Protein packed salad that is appropriate for Keto, Gluten Free lifestyles. . .Or for anyone (like me) that just enjoys good tasting food.
I HATE to make decisions in life. As in, all decisions. As in, I feel like I need to double up on my anxiety meds before I go to Cheesecake Factory and crack open that “menu” (p.s. when a menu is the length of a novel, is it still called a menu?). At the table amidst a pounding heart, sweaty palms, and rapid breathing, I try to narrow down my decision with a traditional pro/con list in my head. Inevitably when the waiter appears for the order, I am not ready and I make a last minute audible and spurt out my answer in a weak, cracking voice. After the meal appears, before or after my first bite, I notoriously say, “dang, I should have picked _____ instead”.
Case in point, I recently joined my parents and siblings out for a birthday dinner. Bad news is that my last minute audible turned out to be nas-tay. Good news is that my sister’s meal increased the happiness in her and my lives’ by 10 and 12% respectively (those numbers are conservative). I had to duplicate that recipe within the walls of my own home, minus a few ingredients I don’t love (arugula and pepperonis in this case).
This salad is not for the faint of heart. All those flavors. You can purchase a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette dressing and I would never judge. Or you could try my friend Heidi’s amaze-balls homemade balsamic vinaigrette and completely blow your mind.
Do you ever eat salad for lunch and dinner and then find yourself with the hungries shortly thereafter? Chances are that salad did not include enough protein, my dear friend. This salad will not fail in that regard. Top it with Quick and Easy Italian Grilled Chicken as well as mozzarella balls and those proteins will help sustain you until your next meal or snack. While I don’t jump on the bandwagon that we need to eat our body weight in protein daily, it is so important to get enough protein. Protein and fat break down more slowly than carbohydrates and so including both helps keep us satisfied from one meal or snack to the next.
Heaven help me, I need to go fix this right now.– hungry me
- ~6 cups Romaine, washed, drained and chopped
- 1 small Roma tomato, diced
- ⅓ cup banana pepper, chopped
- ⅓ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
- ½ cup canned marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup Mozzarella balls
- 8 oz grilled Italian Chicken (see recipe)
- Prepare chicken according to directions, Grilled Italian Chicken.
- In a large serving bowl or on a platter: add the chopped romaine, tomato, banana peppers, olives, artichoke hearts and mozzarella balls. Top with parmesan cheese. (Note, if you plan to have leftovers, I suggest not mixing these guys together just yet as they will get soggy. I would keep the romaine and parmesan separate and mix the other guys to add in later when ready to enjoy.
- Top with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette or use the divine and EASY recipe below.
Serving Size:2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 687mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 28g