Take my main dish salad challenge!

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Attend my Main Course Salad Challenge and lighten up your menu for spring. Join me and eat a hearty healthy salad for dinner once a week during the months of March and April!

Pad Pad Thai Salad

Does a good crispy salad suddenly sound good to you? Your body is trying to tell you something, so listen …

What is my main dish salad challenge?

It's simple ~ I am starting the beginning of spring this month by offering one dinner a week for a magnificent main course salad, and I am asking you to join me. You choose the day, I will provide you with all the information you will need to eat lightly and deliciously. You may find yourself following this plan month after month. See the bottom of the post for links to all of the main course salads released during this challenge…

I will share a new entree salad recipe every Wednesday during March and April. Be sure to subscribe to my email list because I will also post a teaser on the shopping list for a new recipe in my Sunday emails. You can take what you need to get ready to rock during the week. These salads will also serve a double function as working lunches.

Grilled Greek Chicken Salad

We crave lighter, healthier rookie foods that will drain our system and revive us after the long winter. It is our instinctive way to balance the heaviest winter diet and prepare for spring.

How is a main dish salad different from a regular salad?

I define a main course salad as something that can replace a meal, specifically a dinner. And that means that a main dish salad has some sort of protein component. This can be meat, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, or grains.

Edamame salad

The complete protein myth.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to protein. Like the old myth that some proteins are complete (animal proteins) while others (vegetable proteins) are not, and that you need to combine different vegetable proteins together, such as grains and beans, for example, in a meal to equal the quality of protein animals. But here's the question, complete and incomplete is not a useful way to look at protein, and it tends to devalue plant-based food over animal-based food at a time when we should be doing the opposite.

What is true: There are essential amino acids that make up all the proteins the human body can use, and some foods, such as meat and eggs, contain all of them, while other foods, such as lentils and whole wheat, contain some but not all. Whether you get these amino acids from steak or tofu, these building blocks are the same. If you don't eat any animal (vegan) products, then you need to eat a variety of plant foods, including grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, to make sure you're getting all the essential amino acids in your diet. It's that easy.

What is a myth? that vegetable proteins are somehow of lower quality and cannot be used by the body unless you combine them in certain combinations in a single meal. In the course of a normal diet, you will get all the essential amino acids you need, and therefore all the protein you need, even if you follow a plant-based diet, and you don't have to combine certain foods in a given meal.

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In other words: hummus equals filet mignon when it comes to protein (and, in many ways, much better for you).

* read more about this interesting topic here.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

If you're interested, here are the classic plant-based pairings that combine to include all of the essential amino acids. You can eat them together at a meal, or just include them in your daily diet. (via verywellfit):

  • Black beans and rice
  • Pasta and peas
  • Whole wheat bread and peanut butter
  • Bean soup and crackers

Nuts and seeds plus legumes:

  • Roasted nuts, seeds and peanuts
  • Hummus (chickpeas and tahini)
  • Lentils and almonds

And there are some plant-based foods that actually contain all of the essential amino acids, so it's good to know if you're trying to eat less meat.

  • soy (milk, beans, or tofu)
  • amaranth (an old grain)
  • quinoa
  • hemp seed
  • chia
Wheat and berry salad with beets and feta cheese

~ This is the classic main course salad, packed with protein! It fills up and satisfies without weighing you down.


~ The products are starting to take on a whole new freshness in the supermarket this month, making it a great time to make a super colorful salad for dinner. Look for red "greens" like chicory, red endive, and red leaf lettuce to spice things up.


~ This salad redefines the notion of steak for dinner. A little meat goes a long way so you can splurge on the good stuff. Use your sharpest knife and cut the fillet through the grain to get very thin and tender slices.


~ This classic main dish salad is always a winner in my book. Enjoy a good tuna full of oil, and don't forget the capers!


~ use black rice, black lentils, or red quinoa if you can't get wild rice, but don't substitute anything for watercress, it's to die for.


~ This salad was a huge hit with me, I could have kept eating it for days. The satisfying combination of flavors was just wonderful. Most supermarkets sell shelled and trimmed spike bundles, and that will stay fine until we can enjoy this with high season corn 🙂


~ Even without the addition of good canned tuna, this chopped asparagus salad could be a main dish because beans provide great protein.


~ This is another one of my personal favorites. I'm always a little disappointed with Chinese chicken salads in restaurants, so I took it upon myself to create the ultimate version. It definitely takes the extra minute to make those fried wonton strips, they are amazing.


~ This is usual in our house, with different types of fish and vegetables in rotation. You can poach, fry, grill or bake your fish and put it directly on your salad, the combination of fresh and warm is lovely.

Links to main dish salads published in this 2019 series:

Main course Salad # 1 ~ Cobb Salmon Salad

Main course salad # 2 ~ Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (Balela Salad)

Main course salad # 3 ~ Shrimp Taco Salad

Main course salad # 4 ~ Chopped Chef Salad with Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing

Main Course Salad # 5 ~ Burger Salad

Main Dish Salad # 6 ~ Great Island Curry Chicken Salad Dish

Main Course Salad # 7 ~ Spring Salad with Eggs and Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Main Course Salad # 8 ~ Mexican Fajita Steak Salad

Thanks for fixing!

Challenge Salad Plate Main

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