Wednesday, August 5, 2015

5 Delicious Whole30 Compliant Salad Recipes

The marriage between Whole30 and salad is a no-brainer, and there are plenty of lists and websites out there for Whole30 salad recipes. However, a surprising number of them are not actually Whole30 compliant, they will link to a recipe and then say "oh yeah, you can make this compliant by substituting the blahblahblah" or "just leave out the part that makes it taste good." It really seems that way sometimes. In some cases here, I have adapted a recipe and I will just give you my version instead of expecting you do to all the work. I mean, you still have to put it together yourself but now there's less thinking involved.

Well, as you know, I've done the Whole30 and plan to do it again. Several times, I've also done what I call a "Week of Salads," where I would have a salad for at least one meal a day, for a week straight. When you do a lot of salads, you have to have some variety, or at least I do. I've tried to mix it up with different types of greens/lettuce, different proteins, and various seasonings so that the flavor profiles and even textures vary greatly.

Okay, let's talk about dressings for a minute. I'm not really big on dressing to begin with and it's hard to find store bought dressing that is Whole30 compliant, especially if you favor creamy dressings. I usually go with olive oil and seasonings. Another good alternative is to make vinegarette type dressing with raspberries. Quick and dirty version (I think I adapted this from an issue of Runner's World, but I'm not sure): Throw some raspberries, olive oil, garlic, and spicy brown mustard into a food processor and pulse, adding more olive oil to achieve desired consistency. Might sound a little weird, but it's good. You can also leave it thick and use as a dip for things like coconut shrimp. Speaking of coconut shrimp...

1. Shrimp & Raddichio Salad - adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
This is the salad pictured above, doesn't it look amazing? Of course my photo isn't a great as the one in the magazine (I love a good food photo, but hey, this was taken with my phone, not a $10,000 studio setup). Shrimp is really easy to cook, even if you've never done it before, so don't be afraid.
  • 1lb shrimp, peeled (if you don't have access to fresh shrimp, frozen works great, just put it in a bowl of water and it's defrosted in no-time)
  • 1 head raddichio (this looks kind of like a small purple cabbage, and at Publix it's with the chard, green onions, and other such things)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, mostly drained
  • 3 heaping tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut (Publix didn't have this, but Target did, go figure)
Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet. Put your garlic cloves through a press (or mince) and add to the oil. Add the shrimp, cook on one side about 4 minutes, flip and cook 1 additional minute. The shrimp is done with it's no longer see through. Remove shrimp from heat and toss with remaining ingredients.

2. The Best Grilled Chicken Salad 
Most of the flavor in this salad comes from how the chicken and artichoke hearts are seasoned. The amounts here are for one serving.

  • 4oz. chicken breast meat (I cook several breasts in a batch, then use them in different meals throughout the week)
  • Half can quatered artichoke hearts (not marinated!), drained
  • EVOO
  • Two handfuls Italian blend salad greens
  • 2 greek peppers (peperoncini)
  • 2 Teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 Teaspoons steak seasoning
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
I use a grill pan for this recipe but you could certainly use a regular skillet or be adventurous and actually cook it on the grill. Heat a couple tablespoons evoo over medium/high, season chicken with salt, pepper, steak seasoning, and half the red pepper flakes. I like to cook the chicken until it has a nice golden crust. Set chicken aside, and put your artichoke hearts in the skillet adding more oil if needed, season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and remaining red pepper flakes. Cook until heated through and beginning to brown. Then simply put all of your ingredients in a bowl and toss.

3. Classic Cobb
This one is simple, yet the trickiest because it takes a little work to find Whole30 compliant bacon.

  • 2 slices Whole30 compliant bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 egg, boiled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/3 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2 Greek peppers, sliced
  • 1 handful Spring mix
  • sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and evoo to taste
Place greens on plate, top with other ingredients, season, drizzle with a small amount of evoo, take a photo for your instagram, and dig in!
 4. Not So Traditional Tuna Salad

 The photo at the top of this post is another variation of this tuna salad, where I've included strips of roasted red bell pepper, and sliced red onion.

  • 1 handful mache blend or baby greens mix
  • 1/2 can of tuna (for Whole30 compliant canned tuna looks for ones that are packed in olive oil instead of water and check the ingredients to make sure there's no soy)
  • 1/3 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 egg, boiled, chopped
  • 2-3 Greek peppers 
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • drizzle of olive oil
Toss and season, simple as that!

5. Sesame Ginger Tuna Salad 
This is one variation of an Asian salad I like to have sometimes, I would normally include carrots, but was out at the time I took this photo. This is also good with some sauteed mushrooms thrown in. I love the taste of the sesame seed oil with the purple cabbage.

  • 1 handful Spring mix
  • 1 handful chopped purple cabbage
  • 1/2 matchstick carrots
  • 1 egg, boiled, chopped
  • 1/2 can tuna (for Whole30 compliant canned tuna looks for ones that are packed in olive oil instead of water and check the ingredients to make sure there's no soy)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • drizzle pure sesame seed oil  
Toss and season! Sesame oil can be very strong so be careful not to add too much.

For some more awesome Whole30 salads, check out this post on the official Whole30 website.

What are some of your favorite salads? If you try any of these, let me know what you think.

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