Try this chicken salad with lemon ginger dressing when you want a low-carb and low-calorie lunch option. With only 367 calories and 22 grams of net carbs per serving, this high-volume entrée may help you with your weight loss goals. Celebrate National Chicken Month and increase your vegetable intake with this easy, healthy meal prep. You’ll have your weekday lunches ready to go!
You learned last week that September is Whole Grains Month, but did you know that it is also National Chicken Month? Today’s post will honor this niacin-rich food that is packed with high-quality protein with an easy salad prep recipe. If you purchase grilled chicken or use chopped rotisserie chicken breast, you won’t even have to do any cooking.
It is not necessary to eat salads if you really dislike them; there are so many other ways that you can get your vegetables. However, salads are one of my favorite lunch options. They offer so many benefits:
- Much higher volume for (typically) lower calories than a sandwich
- No need to reheat, as you would for homemade soup
- Easy way to get a daily serving of leafy greens, along with an assortment of other vegetables
- Simple to make ahead so that lunches will be ready for the week
If you are preparing this recipe ahead of time, remember to keep the dressing separate. Having leak-proof dressing cups on hand helps to make your salads more easily portable. Keeping your salad fixings as dry as possible is key to preventing the dreaded soggy salad.
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Chicken Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing
For the lemon-ginger dressing:
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger, fresh
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the chicken salads:
- 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 6 ounces cabbage, shredded (170 grams)
- 1 medium cucumber, chopped (mine was 13.6 ounces/386 grams)
- 1 medium red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup mandarin orange segments, drained
- 12 ounces grilled chicken, chopped (340 grams; can substitute chopped rotisserie chicken breast)
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 2 ounces chopped cashews (57 grams; approximately ½ cup)
To make the lemon-ginger dressing:
- Place the zest, juice, ginger, oil, salt, and pepper in a one-cup canning jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake to combine the ingredients.
- Distribute the dressing evening between four dressing cups.
To make the chicken salads:
- Distribute the mixed greens and cabbage evenly between four salad containers.
- Top the greens with the cucumber, pepper, oranges, and chicken. Try to distribute these ingredients evenly between the four containers.
- Garnish your salads with the scallions and cashews.
- You're all ready for lunch for the next four days!
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). If you have higher energy needs, add more cashews to your salads, and consider including a side of whole grain crackers. Including a carton of milk with your lunch is another way to increase calories and you’ll have an additional food group covered. As with all of the salad recipes, don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients to fit your taste preferences. Fresh snow peas are another veggie option that would work well here.
What are some of your go-to lunch options? Do you prep your weekday lunches ahead of time? If you try this chicken salad with lemon ginger dressing, I’d love to hear how you liked it in the comments!