Learning to eat 7-9 servings of veggies and fruits daily, (or as I’ve dubbed them freggies) was a huge part of not only my weight loss, but changing my entire relationship to food!
Suddenly I was focused on what I could eat and shocker, it was making me feel better too.
But in the last year, I’ve come to realize how I was neglecting my protein focus, which is HUGE for runners! We need it to repair our muscles from all the pounding and for those of us looking to lose a little body fat, protein timing and intake is so key.
Common Protein Questions!
As soon as I start talking protein a few questions come up and I’ve answered many of them previously, so some quick links:
- Does IIFYM (macros) work for runners?
- Which protein powder is right for you?
- Protein Timing for Fat Loss
- High Protein Recovery Smoothies
- High Protein Clean Eating Desserts
Today I want to combine my freggie love with my protein needs, which leads us to the dear old salad. Except these salads aren’t anything like the nasty romaine lettuce with a little shredded cheese that many place pass off…that…is…not…salad.
Salads are great for many reasons – obviously because it means we can eat more vegetables! But also because of the different ways we can get in protein: meat, seafood, beans, nuts, tofu – there are plenty of options and endless combinations.
Almost all of the recipes in this round up are ones that can be prepped ahead of time for you my meal prep lovers. Or pulled together quickly with a little thought for the rest of us.
High Protein Salads
Salads don’t have to be boring! In fact, there are so many creative ways you can make a salad into a hearty, delicious and healthy meal that they should be anything but boring.
Skeptical? Don’t be. Not only are salads a great vessel for experimenting in the kitchen, but most of the time they are great make ahead dishes for meal prep, and can be very filling for both lunch and dinner.
This list is perfect for those who are in training training, trying to eat clean (eh hem minus our daily cookie), or even if you’re just looking to step up your game in the kitchen. Sneak a few more vegetables into your daily routine with a little more variety and some much needed protein as well.
Chicken Salad Ideas
Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins to cook with! You can grill it, shred it, marinate it – the healthy possibilities are endless and it goes with just about everything- so pack it in those salads! Best of all if you like to meal prep, it can easily be made ahead of time and get you through the week.
Chopped Cashew Chicken Salad – How Sweet Eats
Pesto Chicken Salad – Primavera Kitchen
Healthy Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad -Ambitious Kitchen
Quinoa Chicken Spinach Salad – Family Food On The Table
Blueberry Chicken Chopped Salad – Gimme Some Oven (pictured above)
Meat Based Salad Ideas
Whoever came up with the idea to put steak on top of a bed of greens is truly a genius! These salads are packed with all the healthy proteins and fats – such a great option for those training days or after a long run when you need something filling!
California Steak Salad with Chimichurri Dressing – Joyful Healthy Eats (pictured above)
Low Carb Taco Salad – Salt and Lavender
Marinated Flank Steak Salad – Design Mom
Spinach Salad with Sweet & Spicy Nuts, Apples and Bacon – Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Whole30 Steak Salad – 40 Aprons
Seafood Based Salad Ideas
If you’re a seafood fan – these salads are the ones for you! High in protein, omega3’s, and low in fat and cholesterol – there are so many healthy benefits of incorporating fresh seafood into your diet. These salads will fill you up without making you feel overly-full.
Clean Eating Shrimp Salad – Eating Bird Food
Tuna Avocado and Quinoa Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers – Inspiralized (pictured above)
Meal Prep Salmon Cucumber Chickpea Salad – Skinny Fitalicious
Glowing Grilled Summer Detox Salad with Shrimp – Pinch of Yum
Smoked Salmon Salad (Gluten and Dairy Free) – The Fit Cookie
Vegetarian Salad Ideas
Don’t be fooled by the lack of meat – these salads are still packed with tons of protein! Even if you may not be a strictly-vegetarian, you should still give these recipes a shot, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out just how much you’ll be filled up. Plus, there is no such thing as eating too many vegetables – right?
Lentil Salad with Roasted Cauliflower and Mushrooms – Well Plated (pictured above)
Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Power Salad – Little Spice Jar
High Protein Fresh Vegan Salad – The Live-In Kitchen
Brown Rice Salad – Green Healthy Cooking
If you’re feeling up for it – try to make your own salad dressings too! Not only are they fairly simple to make (for the most part!) – but it’s a good way to avoid some of the hidden unhealthy fats or additives in store-bought dressings.
What are some of your favorite protein-packed salad recipes?
Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish
Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish
Get more running tips: Pinterest