This recipe is not your average salad. Pistachios, apple and mozzarella make it extra fun and extra nutritious.
Nutrition Tip: Adding crunch to salads with a mix of fruits and vegetables not only makes your salad more satisfying, but also makes it more filling and nutritious.
Are you tired of the same old boring salads? I certainly was. And, that’s why I created this recipe that will add some excitement to your lunch routine. My Chicken Crunch Salad is packed with vibrant flavors and a satisfying crunch. It’s anything but ordinary. With a delightful combination of pistachios, apple, and mozzarella, it’s not only fun but also nutritious. So, let’s dive into this crunchy adventure!
Chicken Crunch Salad – A Healthy Choice
What makes the Chicken Crunch Salad a healthy choice is the combination of nutrient-rich ingredients and the use of lean protein. Here are some key factors that contribute to its healthiness:
The boneless, skinless chicken breasts provide a lean source of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, maintaining muscle mass, and supporting a healthy immune system.
Chicken breasts are low in fat and high in protein, making them an excellent choice for muscle growth and repair. They also offer essential amino acids that are necessary for various bodily functions, including building and maintaining tissues. Chicken contains vitamin B6 as well, which supports brain function, energy metabolism, and the production of red blood cells.
Related: Need lunch ideas that are far from boring? Check these out!
Abundance of Vegetables and Fruit
The salad includes a generous portion of spring mix, cucumber, and apple slices. These vegetables and fruits contribute important vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, which are beneficial for overall health and digestion.
Spring mix usually consists of a blend of baby lettuces and tender greens like spinach, arugula, and romaine. These greens are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, dietary fiber, and antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
Cucumbers have a high water content, contributing to hydration and promoting healthy skin. They also contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may support heart health. Cucumbers are low in calories but high in volume, making them a great addition to a salad for a satisfying crunch and texture as well.
Apples contain antioxidants like flavonoids and vitamin C, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. The natural sweetness of apples adds a refreshing flavor to the salad without the need for added sugars as well.
The salad incorporates heart-healthy fats from pistachios. Pistachios are a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help improve cholesterol levels and promote heart health.
Pistachios also provide dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Pistachios contain various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, and magnesium as well.
Kalamata olives are a source of monounsaturated fats, which can contribute to heart health and help regulate cholesterol levels. These olives contain beneficial compounds like oleuropein, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Kalamata olives also provide minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium.
While the recipe includes Kalamata olives and mozzarella cheese, it suggests using them in moderation. This helps keep the sodium content in check, as excessive sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues.
The recipe recommends a red wine vinaigrette, which can be made with healthier oil options like olive oil. Homemade dressings allow you to control the ingredients and reduce added sugars and unhealthy fats found in many store-bought dressings.
Lower Calorie Option
By choosing lean chicken and incorporating a variety of vegetables, this salad can be a lower calorie option compared to other heavier meals. It can be a great choice for those looking to maintain a healthy weight or achieve weight loss goals.
Bottom line – The Chicken Crunch Salad is packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. And, by preparing it at home, you have control over the quality and quantity of ingredients, ensuring a wholesome and balanced meal.
Related: If you love salads, you’ve got to try our Turkey Taco Salad Bento Box!
Chicken Crunch Salad Meal Prep Ideas
1. Pre-cook the Chicken Breasts: Cook the chicken breasts in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to assemble the salad, slice or dice the chicken and add it to the salad.
2. Wash and Prep the Spring Mix: Wash and dry the spring mix thoroughly. Store it in a sealed container or a large resealable bag lined with a paper towel to maintain freshness. This way, you’ll have pre-washed greens ready to use when assembling the salad.
3. Chop the Kalamata Olives: Chop the Kalamata olives and store them in a small container. You can measure out the required quantity for each serving or store them in a larger container to use as needed.
4. Shred the Mozzarella Cheese: If using block mozzarella cheese, shred it in advance and store it in a container in the refrigerator. This will save time when assembling the salad.
5. Chop the Pistachios: Chop the pistachios and store them in a small container. Having pre-chopped pistachios on hand will make it easier to sprinkle them over the salad when you’re ready to eat.
6. Slice the Apple and Cucumber: Slice the apple and cucumber and store them separately in airtight containers or resealable bags. This will help maintain their crispness and prevent them from browning.
7. Make the Red Wine Vinaigrette: Prepare a batch of red wine vinaigrette and store it in a small jar or dressing container. Having the dressing ready to go will save time and ensure consistent flavor in each serving.
When it’s time to enjoy the Chicken Crunch Salad, simply grab your prepped ingredients and assemble them in a bowl or container. You can layer the spring mix, chicken, olives, mozzarella cheese, pistachios, apple slices, and cucumber. Drizzle the red wine vinaigrette over the top, toss gently, and your meal is ready to be enjoyed!
Remember to store each ingredient separately to maintain freshness and prevent any sogginess or cross-contamination. By meal prepping ahead of time, you can easily pack the salad for work or school lunches, have a quick and nutritious meal on busy days, or enjoy a ready-to-go option when you’re on the move.
Let’s make this Chicken Crunch Salad!
Chicken Crunch Salad
- 4 3 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 10 oz. package spring mix
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup pistachios chopped
- 1 apple sliced
- 1 cucumber sliced
- Cook chicken on preheated medium-high grill 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden in color and firm to the touch. Set aside to cool.
- Toss salad, dressing, olives, cheese, pistachios, apple and cucumber in large mixing bowl. Top with sliced chicken.