PRO meals: Spicy chopped salad

As you guys know, I’ve always been a fan of planning and prepping meals in advance. Sunday, I’ll make and chop as many foods as possible for the upcoming week, and then when we’re hungry, it’s so much easier to grab something, add a few finishing touches and feast. I try to have at least 2 “real” meals a day, but the rest tend to be hodge podges of whatever we have in the fridge and pantry. So-called real meals tend to be directly correlated with how much prepping I’ve done in advance. The weeks that I haven’t grocery shopped or taken a little time for food prep end up being the weeks with the most handfuls of chocolate-covered acai berries poured into my mouth.

I thought I’d share some of my quick and easy meals that I put together with the foods I’ve already prepped! They’re not quite “recipes” per se, but rather a speedy combo of ingredients to create an awesome meal. If you’d like to see more of these, please let me know!

Here’s the salad I enjoyed today, using mostly pre-prepped ingredients. I knew I wanted it to be filling, refreshing and spicy.. I think we accomplished that.

Chopped  1 of 1 5

Lately, I’ve been making my salads fairly equal ratios of the different ingredients; salad greens are part of the chorus instead of the main attraction.

I quickly chopped some romaine into thin slivers:

Romaine  1 of 1

Added in prevoisly-chopped bell pepper, diced up some jalapeño and pineapple:


Chopped  1 of 1

+ some of the chicken I baked yesterday. Diced and add to the mix:

Chicken  1 of 1

(veg friends, try chickpeas or tempeh instead)

Chopped  1 of 1 2

The dressing was a version of this (a favorite), using sesame seed butter (I’m on a kick right now, and Liv loves it too) + some tamari.

Chopped  1 of 1 3

The final beast!

Chopped  1 of 1 4

The total prep time from start to finish: 6 minutes (including snapping pics)

Oh yeahhhh. An awesome, healthy PRO meal with less time in the kitchen, more time and energy to play 🙂

Hope you’re enjoying your day! Check out Meg’s new post on the Fashion page.

See ya in the am <3



What’s your current favorite quick salad combo?

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  1. Leslie W on February 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    YUM! I’m loving the “pro meal” concept!

  2. Liz on February 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    This post is heaven sent!! Quick and easy meals are a must for college students. Thank you miss Fitnessista =)

  3. Jennifer @luminouswellnesswithjennifer on February 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I would absolutely LOVE to see more stuff like this! This is what I struggle with, having stuff ready, and then I always de-rail myself, even with healthy foods!

  4. Madison on February 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    My go-to salad (often packed for lunch) is mixed greens, chopped red pepper + cucumber + onion + baked sweet potato, chopped up half an avocado, with shreds of rotisserie chicken. Dressing is a sorts strange mix I love: EVOO, apple cider vinegar, mustard, Cholula, and pepper. Yum!

  5. Liz on February 25, 2013 at 10:33 pm


  6. Caitlin on February 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Love this! A combo I’ve been enjoying lately-spinach, chickpeas or coconut tempeh, dried berries, avocado, salted sunflower seeds, and honey miso dressing…so yummy!

  7. Jeannie on February 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    That looks so good! I would love to see more of these types of posts. It def helps to see how you use prepped foods for quick meals during the week.

  8. Brittani on February 25, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I try make sure to fit a salad beast in once a day, which isn’t too hard when you can throw anything in! My latest combo includes romaine, warm sweet potato, corn, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, craisins, and beans and then a saucy dressing of BBQ sauce, Frank’s red hot, and apple coder vinegar. Beastly combos can be strange, but they’re always tasty!

  9. Kaitlyn @ Keeping up with Kaitlyn on February 25, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Yum! I’m pinning this!

  10. Meredyth on February 25, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I’m trying a new salad combo this week: quinoa (prepped in advance), diced cooked (and cooled) sweet potato, crumbled goat cheese and lots of kale (prepped in advance with lemon juice and olive oil). It’s been a great start to the week!

    Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

  11. Carly @ Life In Training on February 25, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Awesome! Prepping is key and I’m having a week where I have nothing prepped and ready, so this post is a bit of a kick in the butt. Plus, the salad sounds yum. Anything with jalapeños is a winner for me. 🙂

  12. sarah on February 25, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    YES! Definitely share more of these!
    Daily eats, meal/snack ideas & recipes from YOUR blog in particular is something I’ve always really enjoyed, & drawn inspiration from. We like all the same foods :). (Must say you have impeccable taste heehee..)

  13. Laura on February 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Do you (or anyone else) have any tips for keeping chicken moist in the refrigerator? I have tried to cook and refrigerate chicken in the past but find it gets too dry by the next day. Any tips would be awesome 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      i usually eat it cold, or add it to a soup/stirfry which helps give back some moisture

  14. Jay on February 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I REALLY need to get on board the prep train. This looks fabulous!

  15. Shaina Anderson on February 26, 2013 at 12:12 am

    My lunch pretty much every day is a hodge podge salad. This looks delish!! Definitely going to try it soon. And doesn’t fresh cilantro literally make anything taste so good?!

  16. Becky on February 26, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Okay, so, this isn’t a salad but it is my favorite ensemble of prepped foods ever. Black beans + turkey burger + avocado + salsa. This combination makes me so so so happy. I suppose you could add lettuce and call it a salad, why not!

  17. Lucie on February 26, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Mmmmmh that looks delish. I am a huge fan of meal prep too. I always have a big natch of pancakes and chopped fruits ready for breakfast and Quinoa, chicken and veggies for any meal. So helpful when the week is busy!

  18. Kensey on February 26, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Loveeeee this!! Coming from a college student, any suggestions for quick, healthy, yummy meals are PRIME! Thanks for posting 🙂

  19. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on February 26, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I’m a big fan of making the lettuce ratio match the rest of the ingredients! I never thought of putting pineapple in a salad like that, but it’s one of my fave foods. I still have an unrational “fear” of sweet things in my salad… even though I’ve had sweet and savory salads that definitely worked!

    I’ve been cooking some big meals during the weekends to eat as leftovers for lunch during the week, but I still haven’t been big into pre chopping veggies or anything. I need to take the leap!

  20. Natalie S on February 26, 2013 at 8:21 am

    This looks so good! I would love to see more ideas like this in future posts. If I don’t plan meals for our family of 4, I am always scrambling trying to decide what to eat at 5:30. It would be nice to have a few of these ideas up my sleeve!

  21. Sylvia on February 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

    yes, please show us more meals like this. I’m always struggling with getting enough fruit and veggies into my daily diet. This is great, thank you!

  22. Mia on February 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Yum yum! Favorite salad combo as of late is shaved fennel with red onion and a thinly sliced crispy apple over a bed of arugula/radicchio/endive. It is heavenly, especially when I marinate the fennel/onion/apple in a cider vinegar & mustard dressing. Add avocado and whatever protein you want. 🙂

    Another combo I like is avocado salad. I pretty much take an entire avocado/ halve/pit and then stuff with tuna salad or crabmeat/green onion/ tomatoes/ etc and douse with cholula OR a tihini/coconut aminos/rice vinegar dressing. mmm!

  23. Emily on February 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I love cobb salad–turkey or chicken, hardboiled eggs, bacon, avocado, and tons of veggies. Yum!

    Gina, I am one of the winners from the Champion giveaway. (Yay, thank you!!!) I didn’t receive an email or anything, but just now saw it in a previous post. Would you mind, please, letting me know what to do to claim the prize? Thank you again!

  24. R on February 26, 2013 at 9:30 am

    would truly love to see more of this. i’m a busy college student and love to prep ahead on weekends, but when i do i always end up making wayyy too much and have about 3 weeks worth of meals instead of one. this could be good but usually what ends up happening is that i’m not too excited to eat the same thing for three weeks so it sits. help with portions, plz!! what do you do with the quinoa/lentil you prep? would seriously appreciate more content like this…thanks!

  25. TheSeptemBride on February 26, 2013 at 9:35 am

    As hard as I try, I’m just not a salad girl. Cafeteria salad bar: boring options. At home: too many ingredients that don’t usually show themselves in my standard recipes= not cost effective. If I do get a salad it’ll be at one of the specialty salad lunch spots we have here in DC. My go to: Romaine, mint, shrimp, feta, grapes, and chickpeas with lemon and cucumber basil dressing:: something I can’t really replicate at home with my budget.

  26. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on February 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I would love to see more speed recipes like this! I like the idea of adding pineapple to the salad, never thought of that combo before!

  27. Kerry @ Totes My Oats on February 26, 2013 at 10:07 am

    That looks amazing! I bet that dressing is to die.

  28. Andrea @ Vegvacious on February 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Yum! I love this combo and I’m excited to try because I have all of these ingredients at home!

    My fave salad combo usually includes mixed greens, goat cheese & sundried tomatoes….as long as those ingredients are there, I will just add whatever else I have on hand. Often it’s a mix of chopped veggies and chickpeas and then I whip up a honey/ACV/dijon dressing. SO GOOD!

  29. Angie on February 26, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Lately i have been loving my nightly salads….i bake a ton of fish on sunday. usually tilapia, mahi mahi and flounder then divide it up.
    My nightly salad beasts consist of 4 oz of fish, romaine, carrots, 5 cherry tomatoes, 5 strawberries, few walnuts, 1/4 cup chopped yellow/orange bell pepper slices with raspberry vinaigrette. sometimes i like to add some cucumber and baked slices of sweet onion 😀
    I sooo look forward to it every day.

    BTW, i bought the Zuzka DVD sets. i havent done them yet. but i am excited. Are you subscribed to her youtube page? she is posting daily updates on her following the dvds.

  30. Moi Contre La Vie on February 26, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Killer salad recipe! 🙂 Thank you for the recommendations!

  31. Haley @ fullnfit on February 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    The addition of pineapple sounds good mixed up with jalapenos and peppers. yum!

  32. Hilary on February 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I love this idea. I am a university student so often times I don’t have enough time to make a full recipe but this would give me so many quick options, please keep doing them.

  33. cathy on February 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I’m making chicken tacos tonight with basically the same ingredients sans the dressing. 🙂 I grilled the chicken on Sunday and made the pineapple/red pepper salsa then too, so it’ll be a heat and eat night. 🙂

  34. purelytwins on February 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    salad looks great! we have been loving romaine a lot lately! so good.

  35. Emily on February 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    My lunches are definately easier when I prep my salads beforehand. I also like to prep breakfast with a giant egg bake with lots of veggies – just nuke a couple of slices and pair with coffee 🙂

    I don’t have any stellar salad combos, but I love a simple dressing of EVOO and fresh lemon juice. Plus, the lemon keeps my avocado from browning before I eat it!

  36. Kathleen@newversionofme on February 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Love all of these salad ideas! I am book marking this page!!

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