Tuesday 21st May

Healthy salad recipes that are high protein, low carb

High protein salads are the best way to have the healthy body you've always wanted, so we'll help you fill that salad bowl with stuff your body will love.

When it comes to advertising foods and meals to be healthy these days, the most attractive word in the English language is protein. For the most part, people don't really know what a protein is. All they know is that people who have fit and lean bodies consume loads of the stuff. There is more to the science and switching some of your carbohydrates for more proteins is very likely to result in fat loss and overall greater health. The best way to do this is with a good hearty salad. A plate or bowl choc-full of high protein foods mixed in with some high nutrient plants is as healthy as a meal can get. So to make it easier for you to pack your lunch and make it healthy, but not boring, here is how you go about it.

Why are high protein salads good for me?

You don’t need to be a qualified nutritionist to know that protein is something that we are told is good and carbohydrates are something we should avoid. While that’s correct, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Firstly, what are proteins and what do proteins do? Proteins are one of three types of energy sources (macronutrients) for humans alongside fat and carbohydrates. They’re essentially the building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood while also being a big part of enzyme and hormone production.

What also makes protein so different to fats and carbohydrates is that the body doesn’t store it anywhere. It uses what it needs, the rest is flushed. Literally. This is why high protein diets can be so successful at weight loss.

For more information on proteins, click here.

Should I have carbohydrates in my salad?

Carbs aren’t always bad and in fact, you need a healthy amount of good carbs in your diet. So what are good carbs and bad carbs? Good carbs are known as ‘whole’ or ‘complex’ while the bad guys are known as ‘refined’ or ‘simple’. Good carbs contain natural fibres and nutrients while bad carbs will do things like spike blood sugar levels and they also contain less of the essential nutrients found in good carbs.

The best foods for salads high in good carbs

  • Oats
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes (skin on)
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Beans/lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Beetroot

For more info about carbs, click here.

What about fats?

Fats are good, if they’re good fats. Fats can be saturated or unsaturated and the latter is the one that has health benefits such as nutrient absorption, antioxidants as well as nerve, brain and heart function. Unsaturated fats can even aid in fat loss, the opposite is true for saturated fats.

The best foods for salads high in good fats

  • Flaxseed
  • Almonds
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Peanuts/pecans/cashews
  • Olives

For more info about fats, click here.

What foods are highest in protein?

So you’re looking to pack in the protein in your salad and keeping calories low isn’t super important as you may want to put on muscle mass or live an active lifestyle and your body needs the extra energy to repair. So you can pack plenty of items into your bowl. When it comes to the percentage of protein per gram, here are the highest that are great to add to your salad:

  • Parmesan cheese (32g)
  • Tuna steak (32g)
  • Pumpkin seeds (30g)
  • Turkey (30g)
  • Peanuts (28g)
  • Cheddar cheese (25g)
  • Beef (24g)
  • Chicken (24g)
  • Salmon (24g)
  • Almonds (21g)

Making a salad with all that protein knowledge

So now you know what are high protein, good fat and good carb foods, you know what should go into your salad. But there is so much to choose from, where do you start? Firstly, basing a salad around a big protein staple is key. Then surrounding your protein with high nutrient foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans and seeds. You should also avoid any proteins that are deep fried and any salads that are drowned in loads of sauces which can be very high in sugar.

The definition of a salad doesn’t mean just filling half the bowl with lettuce either, a salad can be what you want it to be and if high protein is your aim, add some extra high protein, low saturated fat foods.

These ideas using chicken, beef, turkey or vegetarian options should get you started.

Healthy chicken protein salad recipes

Thai Chicken Salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
  • 11/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemongrass paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, halved crossways
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled into ribbons
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 200g Perino tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup (70g) peanuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

For the full recipe: Click here

Poached chicken salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 (400g) chicken breast fillets
  • 3/4 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek style yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon mango chutney
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 baby cos lettuce hearts, leaves separated
  • 2 medium nectarines, cut into wedges
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds, toasted

For the full recipe:
Click here

Mexican chicken tortilla salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 corn cobs, husks removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 600g chicken schnitzel
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 baby cos lettuce, trimmed, leaves removed, torn
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup (100g) peri-peri mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Smashed potato, olive and BBQ chicken salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 500g baby potatoes
  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 200g green beans, halved
  • 1/2 cup (150g) aioli
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch red radishes, quartered
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (150g) pitted kalamata olives

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Easy sweet potato and crumbed chicken salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 800g gold sweet potato, cut crossways into rounds
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 400g chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup (35g) dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup (40g) pine nuts, toasted
  • 60g baby rocket
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra to serve)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Warm chicken salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 roast chicken
  • 800g butternut pumpkin, deseeded, cut into 8cm x 2cm-thick triangles
  • Olive oil/cooking spray
  • 175g baby beans, topped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 125g semi-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Healthy tuna protein salad recipes

Avocado tuna salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 5oz can tuna packed in water or oil drained
  • 1 ripe avocado roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup minced red or green onion
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Tuna celery salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 6oz cans tuna packed in water, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes and drained
  • 1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Mediterranean tuna salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 baby cos lettuce, leaves torn
  • 200g red grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 green capsicum, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2/3 cup feta
  • 2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 x large cans tuna in oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Healthy beef protein salad recipes

Thai beef salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (about 680g) beef rump steak
  • 400g grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 continental cucumber, halved lengthways, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 red onion, halved, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 long fresh red chillies, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked, large leaves torn
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked
  • 1 bunch fresh Thai basil, leaves picked, large leaves torn
  • 55g (1/3 cup) toasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, centre veins removed, finely shredded

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Vietnamese beef salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 500g beef rump steak
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100g dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1/3 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 long fresh red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup toasted unsalted cashews

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Healthy turkey protein salad recipes

Thai turkey salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated palm sugar
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 100ml lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • 2 cups (320g) shredded cooked turkey breast
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

For the full recipe:
Click here 

LA-style turkey salad

Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 skinless turkey breasts
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and stoned
  • 4 tablespoon fat-free plain yoghurt
  • 2 limes, plus extra to serve
  • 1 jalapeño or red chilli
  • Fresh coriander
  • 2 corn tortillas, sliced into 1cm strips
  • 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 sweet crunch lettuce, cut into wedges
  • 1 little gem lettuce, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 pink or red grapefruit, peeled and segmented

For the full recipe:
Click here

Healthy vegetarian protein salad recipes

Middle Eastern brown rice and soft-boiled egg salad recipes

Ingredients:

  • 500g brown rice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 small lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, sprigs picked
  • 1 large zucchini, finely chopped
  • 4 green shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Spicy grilled pumpkin and tofu salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 750g pumpkin, deseeded, cut into thin wedges
  • 300g firm tofu, cut into 1cm-thick slices
  • 1 red capsicum, deseeded, coarsely chopped
  • 200g green beans, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh continental parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped natural almonds, toasted

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Haloumi with barley salad

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oranges, peeled, cut into rounds
  • 1 fennel, trimmed, very thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 3 green shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup fresh continental parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 225g haloumi, cut into 8 slices
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to serve

For the full recipe:
Click here 

Spiced coconut tofu with pumpkin and broccolini recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1kg kent pumpkin, deseeded, cut into 1cm-thick wedges
  • 2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 250g firm tofu, well drained, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 bunches broccolini, trimmed, halved lengthways
  • 1 teaspoon olive or macadamia oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100ml reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves

For the full recipe:
Click here

Enjoy a high protein salad in Lantern Club’s MàZi restaurant

Lantern Club in Roselands, Sydney is the home of MàZi, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with food beyond what you’d expect from your local club. MàZi’s menu features some amazing salads as well as often including ingredients from our fresh produce garden just metres away from the kitchen.

To book a table at MàZi, call our friendly Reception team on 8037 8200 or click here.