At the start of 2016, I got a medical wake-up call that revealed how flawed my eating habits were. I was eating way too much sugar and bad carbs, and not enough vegetables, fresh foods and the right kinds of protein.
To get things started, I challenged my self to seven days of eating healthy meals, including salads.
Just two days in, I realized how hard it can be to come up with ideas that are filling and taste great. So I decided to document my salad-making process in the kitchen and share the recipes here with you.
Day 1: Roasted Butternut Squash and Beet Salad
Key ingredients: 1 beet; 1/2 butternut squash; crumbled feta cheese; your choice of lettuce; olive oil; Balsamic vinaigrette; salt and pepper.
Toss peeled, cubed butternut squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Spread out the squash on a baking sheet and bake until tender.
Wrap beets in foil and bake until tender, then cube.
Toss lettuce leaves in Balsamic vinaigrette; top with squash, beets and crumbled feta, and serve.
Day 2: Garden Salad, with Sweet Potato and Spicy Marlin Topper
Key ingredients: Bell pepper; 1 steak of blue marlin; 1/2 cucumber; jerk seasoning; garlic powder; ground cayenne and black pepper; red cabbage; sweet potato; your choice of lettuce
Chop red cabbage. Slice cucumber and bell pepper. Combine with lettuce.
Marinate blue marlin in lemon juice and salt (not too much) for 15 minutes. Rinse, cut in strips, and coat in jerk seasoning, cayenne, black pepper and garlic powder. Let it stand for 30 minutes. Coat a saucepan with olive oil, heat and sear fish on each side for 2-3 minutes.
Boil sweet potato in skin until tender. Peel and slice.
Top veggie mixture with pan-seared marlin and sweet potato, and serve.
Day 3: Tomato, Avocado, Mushroom salad
I had lunch at the Coral Reef Club Spa on the third day, and continued with my salad-eating ways. It was great!
No recipe for day 3, just a shot of the salad I enjoyed.
Day 4: High-Protein Kidney Bean Salad
Key ingredients: 1 cup of cooked kidney beans; 1/2 cup of cooked corn; 1 medium cucumber, diced; 1 tomato, diced; chopped, fresh parsley; chopped red onion; olive oil; lemon juice; 1 hard-boiled egg; salt and pepper to taste; your choice of lettuce
Combine kidney beans, corn, cucumber, tomato, parsley and onion in bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour mixture on a bed of lettuce and serve with a sliced hard-boiled egg.
Day 5: Apple-Carrot-Cranberry Salad with Chopped Marlin
Key ingredients: 1/2 medium apple, cored and sliced; 1 shredded carrot; half cucumber, sliced; your choice of lettuce; baked / grilled marlin (chopped); cranberries
On a bed of lettuce, layer ingredients.
Serve with Vidalia Onion vinaigrette, if desired.
Day 6: Breadfruit Salad
Key ingredients: 1/8 breadfruit, boiled and diced; 1/2 cucumber, sliced and pickled; 1 tomato, sliced; your choice of lettuce; olive oil; parsley; hot pepper; red onion; salt and pepper to taste
Combine diced breadfruit, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, chopped parsley, hot pepper and red onion in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve on bed of lettuce, along with sliced cucumber and tomato.
Note, to pickle cucumber, combine with the juice of one lime, chopped onion, parsley, hot pepper and salt to taste, and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Day 7: Black Eyed Peas Salad
Key ingredients: 1 cup of cooked black eyed peas; 1/2 cup of cooked corn; diced tomato; chopped, fresh parsley; chopped red onion; olive oil; salt and pepper to taste; your choice of lettuce
Combine black eyed peas, corn, tomato, parsley and onion in bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Combine with lettuce and serve.
I only remembered to snap a pic when I had almost finished the salad. But I guarantee it’s tasty!