The summer is a time of barbeques, a few more social drinks, and salads.  Salads, for the most part, can be a healthy option, however never just assume because it’s green it’s lean…get to know your salads, and make sure they fit into your nutrition requirements.  For healthy ideas read our current blog –

In this blog, I will provide you with a salad meal idea that not only meets the requirements of a healthy salad, it also offers three variations to suit many different taste buds.

STEP ONE – START WITH CHICKPEAS – I love these guys, they pack so much fibre in each bite!  Adding them to any salad will instantly create satisfaction.  For this salad, chickpeas are at the base of the bowl.  When choosing chickpeas, today there are many options.  Options always present a good, better and best option.  For chickpeas, the good option would be to purchase canned beans and rinse thoroughly.  A better option would be to purchase jar, tetra pack or frozen chickpeas -all are ready to eat – and all have a fraction of the sodium of a canned bean.  If you do have the time, dried beans are the best option!  Soak and pressure cook for optimal results.

The next step is to stick to portion – each 1/2 cup of cooked beans is about 20G of carbohydrates (10G of which are fibre based + 10G of protein and little to no fat!)

STEP TWO – ADD A PROTEIN – the original recipe that I promoted with clients was the tuna chickpea salad.  I found however that only a small percentage of them liked tuna!  I started exploring different options and all tasted equally great – for the non-tuna lovers, leftover grilled chicken works great.  Simply diced and toss in.  For the non-meat lovers – chickpeas do have protein, but a little bump up is needed – I like a light feta option for a cheese addition.

STEP THREE – ADD THE LITTLE EXTRAS – this is where the 3 in 1 salad recipes can turn in to endless options…you can really bump the health and spice up a salad by adding the right extras.  Extras are veggies, seasonings, oils, and vinegar.  I typically start with a series of colours with diced veggies from pepper, cucumber, tomato, onion, fennel, celery or shredded cabbage and leafy greens.  For spices and herbs, I tend to stay fresh – I am a sucker for fresh parsley and basil – by the summertime, I have my little pots of these herbs outside and use them daily!

STEP FOUR – DRESS IT UP – now that you’ve got the goods, its time to dress it up.  My favorite fat option is olive oil, however, flax seed oil, or diced avocado are great runner-ups.  The trick is to stick to the right portion of 1 tbsp!!!  Once the fat is picked, you can pair with a zinger if you wish – this can be balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or nothing at all!  Totally up to your taste buds!