Prep this salmon salad with sesame-orange dressing and you will have some lunches that are ready to go for the week ahead. You don’t have to put up with a sad desk salad when you bring this rainbow of crisp veggies to work. Looking to get more omega-3s or pack more vegetables into your diet? We have you covered here.
Happy Friday! I’m excited to share my first lunch recipe with you this week, a salad prep. Meal prepping has helped me so much in staying on track with my health goals. I find it so much easier NOT to have to think about what I’m having for lunch on a weekday.
Wondering which lunch containers I’m using? I'm linking to them in the recipe card below. I don’t think that Amazon carries the exact containers that I have anymore, but they do offer something close.
Did you know that it is not a good idea to prep salads more than 3-4 days ahead? Keeping prepared food (i.e., leftovers) in the fridge for longer than that may increase your risk of foodborne illness. Additionally, your salads are likely to be pretty limp after sitting around for more than a few days. Just say no to soggy lettuce!
I tend to have dinner leftovers for lunch on the days that I don’t have a salad prepared. With a family of three but so many recipes serving 4-6, I often have leftovers from dinner.
By putting individual portions of these meals into Pyrex containers and freezing them right away, I always have additional lunches on hand. I’ve found that popping the leftovers into the freezer makes it far less likely that I will snack on them between meals.
Get your calcium without the dairy here
These salmon salads are the perfect option for those on dairy-free diets who are looking to increase their calcium intake. Using canned salmon with the bones is not only one of the least expensive ways to enjoy seafood, it also packs in the calcium. As we learn when we are young, this essential mineral helps to support bone health.
Per salad, the salmon here provides approximately 18% of the DV for calcium. The entire salad, including salmon, offers about one-third of the calcium that you need in a day.
(By the way, did you ever wonder how the %DV on packaging is determined, considering the RDAs differ by sex and age? They use the highest RDA value within four predetermined age/condition groups. Thus, the %DV for iron on labels is based on the 18 mg RDA for adult women, much higher than the 8 mg that men need.)
If you are like my son and dislike seeing vertebral pieces in your food, you can use the boneless salmon. You lose out on the calcium if you do that though. (Sigh. Lol) You could try mashing the bony salmon up well. When it is mixed in with everything else in these salads, you may not even notice the bones.
Salmon is also a superstar source of the omega-3 DHA as well as one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D. The general guidelines recommend to aim for at least two servings of seafood per week. With this lunch prep, you’re all set!
To seed oil or not to seed oil
I used a small amount of toasted sesame oil in this recipe, which lends a wonderful flavor to the dressing. For those who have eliminated industrial seed oils, you could substitute with olive or avocado oil. The flavor will not be the same, however.
Since there is already plenty of healthy fat in this salad from the salmon, avocado, and sesame seeds, you could skip the added oil entirely. Adding a couple of extra tablespoons of the orange juice will help ensure that you have enough dressing for each salad.
Whether you are new to meal prepping or have been at this a while, I hope that you find this recipe helpful. The great thing about salads (aside from the nutrients they provide) is their adaptability. If you don’t like a specific ingredient here, it is pretty easy to swap it out for another. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen!
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!
Salmon Salad with Sesame-Orange Dressing
- 8 cups mixed salad greens (I used Trader Joe's herbed salad mix)
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 15 ounces salmon, canned with bones, drained
- 10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup broccoli, finely chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large cucumber, chopped (about 1 lb.)
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 2 t sesame seeds, toasted
- 5 T orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 T toasted sesame oil
- 1 T reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 t orange zest
To Make the Salads:
- Divide the salad greens between four containers.
- Sprinkle the chopped avocado with the lemon juice to keep it from browning.
- Mash the drained salmon with a fork.
- Divide the following evenly between the four salad containers: salmon, avocado, tomatoes, broccoli, pepper, cucumber, and red onion.
- Garnish each salad with some chopped scallion and ½ t of toasted sesame seeds.
To Make the Sesame-Orange Dressing:
- Place the orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and orange zest in a 1-cup canning jar.
- Put the lid on the jar and shake.
- Divide the dressing between four salad cups.
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). If you need a higher energy recipe, consider adding more avocado or some pecans. Enjoying this salad with some whole grain crackers is an additional way to increase the calories (and you’ll cover another food group).
Is meal prepping part of your healthy lifestyle? What are your feelings on tinned fish with bones? If you make this salmon salad, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a rating in the comments below!