Either you love a good salad or you don’t, there isn’t much in between. Yes, those who aren’t in love with the good salad will eat the occasional side or garden salad but for those of us who LOVE a good salad…well love a good salad and can easily make a meal out of one. I have been making salads for my lunch for the last thirty days, you see I have been participating in the “30 Day Salad Swap” that Fresh Express is promoting. I often take a salad for lunch just because they are super easy and you can get pretty creative with them, and for the last thirty days I have tried to really take them to the next level.
If you aren’t familiar with Fresh Express bagged salads well then I would recommend you see if they are available where you shop. They are ready-to-eat, prewashed, bagged salads. They have a variety of mixes and kits to chose from. I personally really enjoy the Sweet Butter blend. The convenience of these salads make them so easy to just dump and go.
Okay so I am a sucker for LOTS of stuff in my salad, I love having different textures and tastes. I like trying different things and in participating in the salad swap I was able to use their ideas and play with the flavors. By combining proteins in the salads it is really easy to make a salad a meal. You just need to find the balance. On the Fresh Express website and 30 Day Salad Swap App you can find some really great salad ideas. (I’ve even created a Pin Board with lots of ideas)
Now, let me back up. What is the 30 Day Salad Swap? Well, it’s a challenge to swap one meal a day with a salad. I chose lunch because it was the easiest for me, occasionally I did do dinner. On the app (or website) there are salad options for some of your favorite meals. Such as a Bacon Cheese Burger Salad or a Grilled Cheese Salad. But if you are using the app, it is so much more than just getting salad ideas, you can log in a code found on Fresh Express Salads and earn $1.00 off for every two bags, you can also keep track of your calories and exercise. It’s like fitness app with extra perks!
It’s a must try app and a great challenge!
Over the last few days I have created many different salads as well as a few different dressings, using a few different FEX bagged salads. I made a Mediterranean Style Salad with homemade falafel, a Garden Style Salad with Fish Sticks, a BBQ Chicken Salad, a BLT Salad, just to name a few. The fish stick ones was kinda a surprise, my husband made fish sticks and Mac n cheese for dinner for my son. I can easily eat 5-6 sticks and a decent helping of Mac n cheese but decided I didn’t want that. I made a salad, using the Baby Kale mix with cucumbers, a little feta and well decided on chopping a couple sticks to throw in for some crunch. A little homemade ranch on top…it was surprisingly delicious! I mean why not. You put fried chicken on a salad. Plus, I only used two sticks opposed to the normal six I would have eaten plain.
I am gluten free and am always searching for other alternatives for crunch. The fish sticks added that needed crunch, I also use nuts, seeds and tons of other veggies. I need the crunch in a salad. I also got in the habit of making layered salads (kinda like the salads in a jar concept) but because I am taking them with me I don’t use glass. Making layered salads are great for salads on the go!
Challenge yourself…can you swap out a meal with a salad?? It’s easier than you think.
The mixes I used the most of were; 50/50 Mix, Baby Kale mix, Sweet Butter, and Spring Mix. I also had Romaine. I was excite to see the last time I went to the store they started carrying the Organic mixes. They really have a lot you can chose from (my little local store was a little limited).
As a Mom Ambassador with Green Moms Meet, I was able to have a get together with other moms to sample and talk about the salads. Everyone knew about Fresh Express and were excited to try some of the recipes.
Ok, now on to some recipes. These are my recipes. (For more salad swap recipe ideas download the app or go to the FEX website, here.)
Mediterranean Style Salad
1 bag Fresh Express Spring Mix
1/2 cucumber, halved and sliced
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2-1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
10 falafel balls OR 1/2 can of drained and rinsed chick peas
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, add greens and toppings, gently toss. For the dressing, add the ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously until well combined. Gently toss the dressing in the bowl or serve on the side.
2 cups dried chick peas, soaked for a min of 24 hours.
2 cloves garlic
1 med yellow onion
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp GF flour
1 egg, beaten
In a food processor, process half of the soaked chick peas into a coarse meal. Put aside.
Now process the remaining chick peas along with the herbs and spices, onion, garlic, soda, salt and lemon juice. Process well. Stream in water just until a dough starts to form. Mix in the remaining chick peas, flour and egg. Using a scoop or hands, mold into 2 tbsp size balls. Place on a lined cookie sheet or dish and refrigerate for at least an hour or until ready to cook.
To cook, heat oil in a high sided pan on medium high heat. Fry the balls until brown, about a minute a side. Set aside to drain. Top on your salad or eat wrapped in a pita or on their own.
Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk (more or less depending on how thick or thin you like your dressing)
Combine all the ingredients into the blender and blend until well mixed and you have the consistency you want. Drizzle over a salad or use as a dip. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Easy Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 to 1 oz blue cheese crumbles
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix well, if it is too thick you can add a little milk. For a chunkier dressing, only blend half of the blue cheese crumbles and once you blended stir in the remaining crumbles. Drizzle over a salad or use as a dip. Store covered in the refrigerator.
For more great salad ideas make sure to check out and follow Fresh Express on Facebook, Twitter and definitely check out their pinterest boards!
Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.