The ‘get fit’ Christmas countdown (11): 7 Christmas salads to try out at lunch break before serving at the Christmas table

The ‘get fit’ Christmas countdown (11): 7 Christmas salads to try out at lunch break before serving at the Christmas table

‘Christmas is coming and you’re not going to get fat, because Watch fit is here, to keep you on track!’

And, the Christmas count down continues with just about 11 days until the big day and all the parties and socialising in between. It can be ‘oh so easy’ to find yourself 4-6 pounds heavier in January, and feeling tired and bloated. A heavy lunch followed by a big night out can quickly increase your calorie intake and leave the ‘little black dress’ or ‘black suit’ straining at the seams!

This is why (with a drum roll) we’ve created 7 amazing Christmas salad recipes for you to enjoy during your lunch break which tick all the boxes in terms of helping you stay in shape while enjoying healthy and delicious foods.

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Think salads are boring? Think again! What makes a salad spectacular? In our (humble!) opinion, a serving of lean protein, lashings of seasonal vegetables, a dash of healthy fats and the option of a whole grain carbohydrate. Our aim is for our salads to be ‘Christmassy’ – colourful, tasty and delicious. So enjoyable, that you do not even need cake, chocolate, sweets etc to follow!

These salads will help you ‘beat the bloat’ and keep you glossy and glowing over the festive period. They are so good that you will also be able to serve them at the Christmas table.

Note that all the salads can be adapted for vegetarians. If you are trying to lower your carbohydrate intake, rice and quinoa can be replaced with cauliflower or shredded lettuce.

All recipes serve 2 unless stated otherwise.  So, here are

7 Christmas Salads

Caesar Santé, Jeweled Quinoa Salad, Mackerel and Bean Autumn Salad, Black Thai Rice Salad, Chicken Asian Slaw, Buckwheat Fusion Salad, Smoky lentil and Beetroot Salad

The ‘get fit’ Christmas countdown (11): 7 Christmas salads to try out at lunch break before serving at the Christmas table

Caesar santé

A healthier version of the famous classic which avoids using huge amounts of mayonnaise. Our tip is to dress the salad just before you eat it.

Ingredients:

– 1 large cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced
– 1 avocado, chopped
– 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1 crisp lettuce, torn into large pieces
– 1 handful of chopped fresh basil
– 1 tbsp of toasted pumpkin seeds
– 1 large slice of sourdough bread
– Olive oil

Dressing:

– 120g tofu
– 2 tsp mayonnaise
– 1/2 clove of garlic, crushed,
– 1 tsp mustard
– 1 anchovy fillet, chopped (optional)
– Squeeze of lemon juice
– Salt and pepper

Drizzle the sourdough bread with olive oil and toast under a hot grill until golden, turning to get both sides toasted. Tear into large pieces and place in a salad bowl with the other ingredients.

Blend the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Eat with relish!

Jeweled quinoa salad

These wonderful colours are very Christmassy!

Ingredients:

– 200g cooked quinoa
– 50g feta cheese, cubed
– 1/2 small red onion, finely sliced
– 25g shelled pistachio nuts, toasted
– 50g pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 a small pomegranate)
– 1/2 small preserved lemon (skin only, finely chopped)
– 200g cooked lamb, turkey or chicken, cut into cubes
– Large handful of baby spinach leaves
– Fresh mint and coriander

Dressing: 

– juice of 1 lemon
– pinch of brown sugar
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– pinch of cumin powder
– pinch of coriander
– Salt and peppet

Place all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Blend the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad.

Mackerel and bean autumn salad

This salad is also good warm. You can add the beans and mackerel to the baking tray once the vegetables are cooked and return to the oven for 5 minutes to warm everything through

Ingredients:

– 120 g smoked mackerel (2 fillets)
– 1 tin of haricot or chickpeas, 400g, drained
– 200g butternut squash
– 100g parsnips
– 100g courgette
– 1 small onion
– pinch of cumin powder
– 1 tsp sherry vinegar
– 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
– zest and juice of 1 clementine
– 1 tsp olive oil
– 2 large hadfuls of spinach
– chopped fresh parsley and chives
– 10g of pumpkin seeds

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Peel the onion, parsnips and butternut squash.

Slice the onion into 8 chunks, chop the parsnips, squash and into 2 cm cubes. Chop the courgette into chunky batons.

Drizzle over a tiny bit of olive oil (1/2 tsp), a generous pinch of cumin and some sea salt. Use your hands to coat the vegetables with the oil. Place on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes until tender and lightly brown. Leave to cool.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining olive oil with the juice and zest of the clementine, the mustard and the vinegar. Season to taste.

Remove the skin from the mackerel and flake into large chunks. Place in a bowl with the beans. Add the dressing, the roasted vegetables and the chopped herbs.

Toast the pumpkin seeds by ‘dry frying’ in a small frying pan for 2-3 minutes. Scatter over the salad.

Add a generous handful of spinach to the salad just before serving. (Don’t add before this otherwise the spinach goes ‘soggy’)

Also check out these 5 healthy salad dressings for weight loss

Black thai rice salad

We love black rice for its rich colour. You could also used basmati rice. The Edamame beans can be replaced by peas if you are struggling to find them.

Ingredients:

– 100g black rice
– 100g Edamame beans or fresh peas (shelled weight)
– 200g cooked prawns
– 12 asparagus spears (this can be replaced with haricot vert)
– 2 spring onion, chopped
– 8 large radishes, sliced
– 1 handful of rocket
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Dressing:

– Zest and juice of 1 lime
– 1 tsp honey
– 1 dessert spoon sesame oil
– 3 dessert spoons soya sauce
– 1 dessert spoon rice vinegar
– 1 tsp fish sauce
– 1 cm grated ginger
– 1 pinch wasabi paste (optional)

Cook the black rice according to instructions and allow to cool. Place in a bowl. The edamame beans do need shelling but do not need cooking. If using fresh peas, steam them with the asparagus for 10 minutes until just cooked. Slice the asparagus and add both vegetables to the rice together with the prawns, radishes and spring onions.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Scatter over the mint, coriander and rocket. Mix gently and then keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

Chicken asian slaw

Possibly the best coleslaw recipe ever. It’s also a good way to use up left over roast chicken or turkey.

Ingredients:

– 150g cooked chicken, shredded with your fingers
– 1/4 head white cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons
– 2 carrots, grated
– 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
– 1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
– 50g bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
– 1 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts

Dressing:

– 1 dessert spoons peanut butter
– 1 dessert spoon mayonnaise
– 1 dessert spoon natural yoghurt
– 1 dessert spoon water
– 1 tsp honey
– 1 tsp fish sauce
– 2 tsp rice vinegar
– juice of 1 lime
– 1/2 chopped red chilli (seeds removed)

Place all the vegetables in a bowl. Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together. Pour over the vegetables and mix gently to ensure all the vegetable are covered by the dressing. Scatter over the herbs and the chicken.

The ‘get fit’ Christmas countdown (11): 7 Christmas salads to try out at lunch break before serving at the Christmas table

Buckwheat fusion salad

Serves 2

This is inspired by a recipe at Terre a Terre, an amazing vegetarian restaurant in Brighton. This dressing is glorious. Make extra and store in the fridge as it jazzes up any salad. If you want a low carbohydrate option, replace the buckwheat noodles with shredded chinese cabbage.

All the ingredients for the sauce can usually be found in the Asian section of the super market.

For the salad:

– 100g buckwheat noodles
– 1 tsp sesame oil
– 1 carrot, sliced into thin strips
– 1 courgette, sliced into thin strips
– 1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
– 1 handful of radish leaves, washed
– 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
– 100g bean sprouts
– 100g smoked tofu, cut into cubes

Dressing:

– 1 tbsp white miso paste
– 2 tbsp mirin
– 1 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 tsp umeboshi sauce (you can leave this out if you struggle to find it)
– 1 tbsp rice vinegar
– 2 tbsp lime juice
– 2 tbsp water

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Rinse under cold water and toss with the sesame oil to stop the noodles sticking together.

Place all the vegetables in a bowl, add the noodles and tofu. Blend all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Mix gently together and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Smoky lentil and beetroot salad

Ingredients:

– 200g cooked green lentils
– 4 large spring onions, chopped
– 1 courgette sliced into thin strips
– 100g smoked salmon, cut into cubes
– 1 small cooked beetroot, cut into cubes
– 1 large handful of baby spinach leaves
– 1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Dressing:

– 1 tsp mustard
– 2 dessert spoons balsamic vinegar
– 2 dessert spoons olive oil

Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Mix gently (if you over mix the beetroot will colour the other ingredients!).

Loved the ideas? Make yourself a Christmas present and grab a full diet and workout plan to look your best in the new year!