Crunchy Salad Mix + Three Easy Lunch Salads

Crunchy Salad Mix + Three Easy Lunch Salads

Try this easy idea for meal prep! Make this crunchy salad mix, packed with tons of different vegetables, and use it as a base to make these easy lunch salads that utilize leftovers and pantry ingredients. In this post, I provide three ideas for chicken tortilla salad, curried lentil and sweet potato, and harvest salmon salad. 

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Nordic Salad with Smoked Salmon and Lemon-Dill Dressing

Nordic Salad with Smoked Salmon and Lemon-Dill Dressing

This nordic salad with smoked salmon and lemon-dill dressing was inspired by an upcoming trip to Iceland! Embrace the nordic diet trend with this salad that packs tons of common nordic ingredients and flavor into a fresh salad bowl - hard boiled egg, root vegetables, dill, peppery radish and a bright lemon-dill oil dressing. 

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Curry Salmon Noodle Bowl with Mango and Soy-Lime Dressing

This curry salmon noodle bowl with mango is packed with fresh flavors! Drizzle with a soy-lime dressing for even more of a kick! 

Curry Salmon Noodle Bowl with Mango and Soy-Lime Dressing

With intuitive eating, you're never done learning. I consider myself a fairly intuitive eater at this point, but I still have learning moments! Like last Thursday, for example.

It was a really crazy day with leading a lunch and learn at Colonial Life, a client session, our last meeting before launching Joyful Eating and an evening meeting for our Columbia dietetics association, where I'm serving as the education chair for the second year. Running around all day, I wasn't really hungry and ended up eating a late, light lunch. Going into my five pm meeting, I felt comfortable, probably a five on the hunger/fullness scale. I figured I'd be ready to whip up dinner as soon as I got home, but as the meeting ran late, my stomach started to growl, my head started to throb - I was famished.

After the meeting was over, I was way too hungry and tired to cook and decided to meet my husband and friends at our local soccer bar where they were planning to watch the Copa America game. I glanced over the menu, and even though I knew Thursday was curry night and they make seriously one of the best curries I've had, my famished stomach was yelling "YOU NEED THE BURGER WITH BACON AND FRIED EGG AND CHEESE AND AAAAAALLLL THE FRIES."

Three bites in and I had regrets. What my body was really craving was to feel energized after a long day and for fresh flavors with lots of spices. Not a greasy burger, which was already making my stomach hurt.

Years ago, I would have beaten myself up for it. Blamed willpower. Told myself I was a poor excuse for a dietitian. But instead, I filed the experience into my mental bank where it'll serve as a reminder to be prepared with snacks and reheat and eat meals on full days and that when I'm really physically hungry, any food will fill the empty hole in my stomach. And then I stared longingly with sad puppy dog eyes when my friend was served his delicious looking chicken and vegetable curry, being the mature adult that I am.

This curry salmon noodle bowl is super filling, energizing and packed with the same fresh flavors I was craving that night. If only I had the ingredients on hand that day to whip this up real fast!

Ever since our trip to Vietnam, I've been obsessed with noodle salads. I usually use rice noodles or cellophane noodles, which are very thin and have a nice chewy texture. Plus, they soak up all the delicious flavor from the dressing. Also, feel free to use different vegetables or protein if you like. Chicken, pork or baked tofu would go great here, and for vegetables, radish, peppers, snap peas and sprouts would all add a similar fresh crunch.

Curry Salmon Noodle Bowl with Mango and Soy-Lime Dressing

Serves 4



  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar

  • 1/4 cup warm water

  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded, finely minced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • Juice of 1 lime


  • 1 1/4 lb salmon filet

  • 1/2 teaspoon Thai curry powder (or regular curry powder if you can't find it)

  • 8 ounces cellophane or brown rice noodles

  • 1 head butter lettuce, stemmed, chopped, rinsed and dried

  • 1 large carrot, shredded

  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced

  • 1 scallion, sliced

  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1/4 cup cashews, toasted and chopped


  1. First make dressing. Whisk together sugar and warm water until dissolved. Whisk in jalapeno, sesame oil, soy sauce and lime juice. Set aside until ready to use.

  2. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat salmon filet dry with a paper towel, place on a baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with curry powder and season with salt and black pepper. Place in the oven and roast until it flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Use scissors or shears to cut a few times into smaller strands.

  4. Divide butter lettuce between four bowls. Break salmon into pieces. Divide carrot, cucumber, mango, avocado, scallion and cilantro between the four bowls. Sprinkle with cashews. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

More fresh flavors for summer: 

Dark Cherry and Crispy Proscuitto Salad

Dark Cherry and Crispy Proscuitto Salad

Green Panzanella

Green Panzanella

Tropical Vegan Salad with Mango Macadamia Dressing

Tropical Vegan Salad with Mango Macadamia Dressing

Slow Roasted Salmon Salad with Apples and Maple Mustard Dressing

This slow roasted salmon salad with apples and maple mustard dressing includes an impossible to mess up roasted salmon recipe! 

Hey guys! Popping in with a random and rambling blog post for this salmon salad. Had a bit of a crazy weekend - not crazy in a college spring break way but crazy in a "I'm a total bonehead" way. I drove down to Atlanta with a college roommate/sorority sister for the bridal shower of another one of our roommates/sorority sisters bridal showers (fun fact- she's marrying one of Scott's best friends who she met at our wedding). She ended up getting sick with the flu and in my rush to get out the door Sunday morning and get her back home, plus being distracted by guilt over dragging my poor sick friend all over Atlanta, I accidentally left my computer at my friends house. Of course, I didn't realize this until I got back home to Columbia, three hours away. Mom to the rescue - she met me almost halfway with my computer at Dennys in the middle of nowhere Georgia.

Now I'm finally back home typing this up as my husband prepares my freekeh salad with roasted grapes and brussels sprouts. Haven't tasted the outcome, but from my observations, he may have worked his way out of cooking duty for life. Let's just say he only now learned that you can buy not frozen Brussels sprouts. Kinda wishing I had this salmon salad about now...

I made this with my friend Kara's slow roasted salmon recipe, which has become my go to. It's so moist and impossible to mess up. Just add your favorite sauce or spices to dress it up!

Slow Roasted Salmon Salad with Apples and Maple Mustard Dressing

Serves 4


  • 4 salmon filets, about 1/4th lb each
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons exta-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 ounce bag mixed greens
  • 2 endives, thinly slivered, core discarded
  • 2 fuji apples, chopped
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Place salmon filets evenly over baking sheet. Spray tops with olive oil (or brush with a couple teaspoons) and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast 20 minutes until opaque and easily flakes with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. While salmon is cooking, whisk together water, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, scallions and garlic in a small pot. Place on medium heat and bring to a quick simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together salad greens and endive. Chop or thinly slice apples and toss in the bowl. If not eating immediately, toss apples with lemon juice. Divide salad among four plates. Top with salmon and walnuts. Drizzle with sauce.

More brain-boosting fatty fish recipes, so you don't do boneheaded things like leaving your computer 3 hours away: 

Cedar Plank Trout with Asian Guacamole
Cedar Plank Trout with Asian Guacamole
Sushi Unroll with Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Spicy Mayo
Sushi Unroll with Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Spicy Mayo
Tandoori Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
Tandoori Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Southwest Salad with Crispy Barbecue Cauliflower and Yogurt Ranch

Every time a cauliflower swap recipe makes the rounds on pinterest, I'm always skeptical at first. I mean, cauliflower as pizza? Cauliflower instead of rice? These people must be on something.

But eventually curiosity gets ahold of me. Because you know what, I just really like cauliflower. And guess what? I've never been disappointed. How my least favorite vegetable as a child has become a staple in our house is beyond me.

My latest cauliflower find is crispy baked cauliflower, which I first made in these crispy sriracha cauliflower tacos. They've quickly become a fan favorite amongst my group of friends (and hopefully you too!). Those nuggets of cauliflower goodness are back again, this time in this crispy barbecue cauliflower salad with creamy yogurt ranch.

Southwest Salad with Crispy Barbecue Cauliflower and Yogurt Ranch #salad #cauliflower #healthy #ranch

Just a friendly reminder for any cauliflower recipes - cauliflower is NOT a stand-in for carbs! Your body still needs carbs, which are perfectly healthy, and your body’s favorite source of fuel. That’s why in this recipe I also include black beans and corn for fiber-rich carbohydrate.

Southwestern Salad with Crispy Barbecue Cauliflower and Yogurt Ranch

Serves 4



  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, buttermilk or regular milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, cut into florets

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce


  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 cup frozen corn

  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed

  • 1 avocado, diced

  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced

  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 hearts of romaine, chopped


  1. First, make the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients and seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.

  2. Next, make the pickled red onions. Place the red onion in a small bowl and toss with apple cider vinegar and salt. Let pickle for 10 minutes.

  3. Then, make the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Beat egg together with water in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, mix flour with garlic, onion, paprika and cayenne.

  4. Grab a handful of cauliflower florets and dip into egg. Remove with a slotted spoon and let egg wash drip off, then toss in flour mixture using your other clean hand. Shake off extra flour and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cauliflower. Spray cauliflower with olive oil and place in oven. Bake 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway, until tender and crispy. Remove from oven, drizzle with barbecue sauce and toss evenly to coat. Place back in oven and bake 5 minutes to warm through and crisp a bit.

  5. While cauliflower is baking, heat the olive oil in a small skillet on medium-high heat. Add corn and cook until lightly charred. Remove from skillet to bowl and let cool.

  6. To prepare the salad, place the lettuce to a large bowl. Toss with pickled red onions, corn, black beans, avocado, radish, and tomato. Top with barbecue cauliflower then drizzle with ranch dressing.

More salad recipes:

Coconut Curry Crusted Chicken Salad with Mango and Homemade Honey Mustard

Coconut Curry Crusted Chicken Salad with Mango and Homemade Honey Mustard

Mexican Street Corn Chopped Salad

Mexican Street Corn Chopped Salad

Spicy Fish Taco Salad with Mango Salsa

Spicy Fish Taco Salad with Mango Salsa

Southwestern Salad with Crispy Barbecue Cauliflower and Yogurt Ranch #ranch #salad #cauliflower #vegetarian #healthy

Tropical Salad with Spicy Mango Macadamia Dressing

Macadamia nut oil is one nutritious oil you should be using! Highlight it's flavor in this tropical salad with mango macadamia dressing.

This month, Recipe Redux falls on Wellness Wednesday, so instead of my usual lengthy ramble on wellness and self care, you're getting a lengthy ramble about food plus a tangent on Jurassic Park and a tasty new recipe. Yay?

April's Recipe Redux theme is all about hidden treasures - those ingredients hiding in the back of your pantry that haven't gotten the love they deserve. So, while I was Spring cleaning my closet (Kidding! My closet is a hot mess.), I did some Spring cleaning in my pantry (Truth. Probably the only clean thing in our house right now).

One ingredient I discovered was an unopened bottle of macadamia nut oil. I received it from my mom, who whenever I see her, always brings a bag of "goodies" for me - a random assortment of things she picks up on sale. On this particular trip, I got an extra-exciting stash - a waffle iron, cast iron skillet, a lifetime supply of gluten free flours, and an assortment of gourmet oils, including this macadamia nut oil.

I made a pretty nice dent into the hazelnut and the avocado oil is long gone. But the macadamia nut remained unopened, sad and alone in the back of my oil and vinegar cabinet, probably because it doesn't exactly lend itself to hearty winter cooking.

Now that the temps are rising, it's the perfect time to whip up a bright and fresh tropical salad, infused with the flavors of macadamias. Also, planning a special trip this winter has us craving macadamia nuts ;) That's right! We're headed to Hawaii! My sister-in-law is getting married in Maui, so we're flying out for a week and a half, exploring Honolulu and Kauai while we're there. Would love any recommendations you have. I went once in 9th grade with family, but there are a lot of beautiful places I remember, but can't quite figure out what island it was on.

The one thing we do have planned? A Jurassic Park helicopter tour on Kauai. I have an abnormal obsession with Jurassic Park and when I say obsessed, I'm not exaggerating. If any of the movies come on TV, I will drop everything to watch it. Whenever a new Jurassic World trailer comes out, I watch it three times in a row then probably once a week after that. Confession: I just watched it again while inserting that link. I'm even trying to choose an ironic T-Rex shirt to wear on opening night. Someone please help me decide...I want them all!

So yeah, besides the wedding, that will be the highlight of my trip. I was really disappointed when my mom wouldn't let us take one the last time we were there...but she buys me macadamia nut oil, so I suppose that compensates?

Anyway, off my lengthy tangent and on to macadamia nut oil. You could certainly swap extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe, but if you see some macadamia oil, I suggest picking up a bottle. It has a light buttery taste, with enough macadamia flavor to shine through other ingredients, but not overpowering. Macadamia nut oil has one of the healthiest fatty acid profiles. Most of the fats are monounsaturated, the hearth healthy fat found in extra-virgin olive oil. In fact, it contains even more than olive oil. The rest of the fatty acids are mostly saturated, but the specific saturated fatty acids that aren't harmful to heart health, and may even be beneficial. It also has a high smoke point, so it doesn't oxidize in high heat cooking, making it perfect for searing the cubes of tofu in the recipe. Bonus points - I've also read it's great for skin and hair care.

Tropical Salad with Spicy Mango Macadamia Dressing

If you don't have macadamia nut oil, swap extra-virgin olive oil for the dressing and coconut oil for the tofu.


  • 1 package of extra-firm tofu, pressed to remove extra liquid

  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil

  • 1 head leaf lettuce, chopped and washed

  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

  • 1 small jicama, peeled and diced

  • 1 avocado, diced

  • 1/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

  • Fresh mint, cilantro and/or basil, for garnish


  • 1 mango, peeled and cubed

  • 2 tablespoons macadamia nut oil

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 pinches cayenne


  1. First, make the dressing. Blend all dressing ingredients together in a food processor until creamy and pureed. Season with salt to taste.

  2. Heat macadamia nut oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and season with lemon pepper seasoning. Add to skillet and fry, tossing every so often, until golden on all sides. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.

  3. Toss lettuce, jicama, red pepper and avocado together in a large bowl. Add tofu and macadamia nuts. Toss together with mango dressing and serve garnished with fresh herbs.