This is a sponsored post on behalf of Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.
One of my current favorite meals is a refreshing yet satisfying salad. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, a salad provides all the nutrients I need to fuel my running while also offering a tantalizing array of flavors. I eat one most days, but salads never bore my palate because the options for greens, toppings, and dressings are endless.
My formula for a salad is simple: greens, lean protein, more vegetables, and some healthy fat. To increase the nutrition of a salad, I’ll usually add roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes on top. Potatoes provide complex carbohydrates, which our bodies use to power our runs, and contain potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, amongst other nutrients. I often prefer warm meals to cold dishes, even in the summertime, so roasted potatoes add a hint of satisfying warmth to an otherwise cool meal, which still letting the refreshing crispness of a good salad shine through.
Delicious greens make a significant difference in a salad. I rarely use romaine or green leaf lettuce anymore, instead reach for dark leafy greens full of flavor and vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and arugula provide calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and other nutrients. For this recipe, I used a combination of Taylor Farms Organic Arugula and Taylor Farms Organic Power Greens Blend with baby spinach and baby kale.
One of my current favorite combinations features peppery arugula, baby kale, spicy roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and chicken. The potatoes and vegetables in this salad are seasoned with an enticing combination of smoked paprika and Greek spice blend (oregano, marjoram, parsley, garlic, and basil, along with other spices). In the salad, these spices bring out the peppery flavor of the arugula and add some punch to otherwise bland chicken and vegetables.
To balance out all of the spice, I used a creamy Greek yogurt dressing. I usually dress my salads with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, but I also love the cool and creamy tzatziki sauce served atop pitas and salads at Mediterranean restaurants. Tzatziki sauce tastes so refreshing and elevates a dish from good to amazing – so I figured a similar dressing would do the same for this salad.
I adapted the traditional tzatziki sauce recipe into a creamy Greek yogurt dressing. I substituted the cucumber and garlic with a finely chopped scallion while maintaining the base of yogurt, olive oil, and a hint of lemon juice, and finally thinned it out just a tiny bit with some water. I used Stonyfield Plain 0% Greek Yogurt to provide a thick texture to the dressing and an extra bit of protein to the salad. (I usually use it from the large container, but if I’m using a single serve Greek, I’ll save the rest for a dessert with a bit of fruit!)
The best part about this dressing is that you can whip it up by hand in a matter of minutes – no need to pull out the blender or food processor. Like store-bought dressing, this creamy Greek yogurt dressing is convenient – but unlike store-bought dressing, you know exactly what ingredients are in it. There are no preservatives added to keep it shelf-stable for longer than you spend training for a race – just fresh, natural ingredients.
- 2 large handfuls (~2 cups) arugula
- 2 large handfuls (~2 cups) baby kale and/or baby spinach
- 1 eggplant, stem removed and chopped
- 2 yukon gold potatoes, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Greek spice blend
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. baked or grilled chicken breast
- 1/4 cup Stonyfield Plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0%)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black peppers
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Water, to thin dressing as needed
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the chopped eggplant, potatoes, and pepper with the olive oil, smoked paprika, Greek spice blend, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. If your chicken isn't cooked, cook it with the vegetables until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the Greek yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in the scallions and season with salt and pepper. If the dressing is too thick, whisk in a small amount of water (~1 teaspoon at a time) until desired consistency is achieved.
- Divide the salad greens, vegetables, and chicken between two bowls and drizzle with the dressing.
What’s your favorite type of salad dressing?
What greens do you choose for your salads?
Receive Weekly Running Tips & Motivation
Subscribe for my weekly newsletter and receive a free download of injury prevention exercises for runners.