I know I recently made my Summer Salad for meal prep but it was just so good I was craving it again! I switched it up a bit by grilling things which makes it a whole new experience and I love it so much. It’s a bit of extra effort to grill the fruit, but it’s totally worth it.
I’m all about a good, filling salad and this one is full of fun elements! Let’s look at them:
- the greens – as usual, I used spinach because it’s my fav! as long as you store it properly it’ll last all week. Check out the ‘Storage’ section for more on this
- the grains – I always add a grain to my salads to make them more filling so I don’t end up hungry an hour later. I like quinoa and always have some around!
- the grilled fruit – fruit on salad is so fun, it bring a fresh pop of sweetness, and grilling it brings out that natural sweetness
- the chicken – my usual lemon chicken! I added some paprika this time and I really like how it came out
- the pepitas – crunchy things are the best on salads and pepitas add so much, they taste so good and complement the sweetness of the fruit so well
- the vinaigrette – I love a tangy vinaigrette with this salad to balance all of the sweetness!
In the past I’ve avoided meal prepping salads because it’s so hard to make sure that it stays fresh all week. However, I’ve finally cracked the code and want to share what I’ve learned with you!
- storing greens – I’ve found that, regardless of the greens you’re storing, your best bet is to wash them and make sure they’re as dry as humanly possible. then, place in a large storage bag along with one or two paper towels to capture any remaining moisture. Doing this I’ve found that anything, even my spinach, will easily last all week.
- storing cut fruits – if you wanted to switch it up and are using a fruit that browns, put a squeeze of lemon juice on it before storing and they’ll stay fresh! The browning isn’t harmful, it jut doesn’t look appetizing. The acid in the lemon juice dramatically slows that process.
There are so many opportunities to switch this up! As long as you’ve got the key elements – some greens, a protein, fruits/veg, crunchy bits, and a tasty dressing – you’ll be in great shape. When choosing flavors think about how they’ll play together, they should complement each other and not fight for attention.
I hope y’all love this salad as much as I do! Let me know what variations you come up with 🙂
Grilled Summer Salad
This salad is so fresh and bursting with tasty elements that will keep you happy and full! The grilled fruits bring pops of sweetness while the crunchy elements and herbs keep every bite interesting. Switch it up to use your favorite greens and fruits!
for the salad
- 1 package baby spinach
- 1/2 pineapple
- 2 peaches
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 red onion
- 1.5 cups cooked quinoa, or another grain
- 1/2 cup basil
for the balsamic viniagrette
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
for the lemon chicken
- 2 chicken breasts
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- marinade the chicken: prep the chicken breasts by pounding them with a meat mallet (or just use the heel of your hand!) so that each piece is the same thickness. place them in a medium bowl and add the other chicken ingredients. mix to combine and let sit for 20-30 minutes
- toast the pepitas: preheat the oven to 350*. spread the pepitas on a sheet pan and toast for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until thoroughly toasted. set aside
- prep the fruit and veg: wash the spinach and dry very well before storing in a plastic bag with a paper towel, if using for meal prep. cut the pineapple and peaches into large chunks. remove the seeds from the cucumber and cut into bite sized pieces. slice the red onion and place in a bowl of ice water for 3-5 minutes to take out some of the bite. remove from the water and store everything in containers
- cook the chicken: in a grill pan or cast iron pan, heat the remaining tbsp of oil over medium heat. cook the chicken breasts for 5-8 minutes per side, depending on their thickness, until the internal temperature reaches 160*, carry over heat will take it up to 165*. let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into pieces
- grill the fruit: using a grill pan or on a grill, cook the pineapple and peaches over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes per side until they've got some color on them
- make the vinaigrette: combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar. shake vigorously. taste and adjust seasoning as desired
- enjoy: arrange all of the salad toppings on top of a bed of spinach. top with the vinaigrette and enjoy on it's own or with some crusty bread!
You put it together so beautifully. It looks refreshing, now I’m hungry.
This looks delicious, and a lovely presentation.