2012 Salad Challenge

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on January 2, 2012

Salad challenge posts: Introduction, Sweet + Creamy Broccoli Salad, Green Goddessphere at Sea, Spinach Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette, Cucumber Dill Kale Salad, and Hot and Wild Roasted Veggie Salad

Around mid-October I realized that having one salad a day; whether it be for lunch or dinner, had a dramatic impact on my mood, digestion, and overall wellbeing.

I felt light, energetic, healthier, and balanced. I promised myself then and there that I’d begin bringing a salad as my lunch to work every day as a way to hold on to the good feeling I had going on.

A couple of weeks into it my colleagues took notice. After I explained everything, the ingredients I chose for my salads, and how darn easy it had become to pack my lunch every morning, some of them joined in the fun. Since then, a group of us have continued with the one salad a day challenge – swapping recipes, weekend preparation tips to make lunch packing easier, and have inspired each other along the way.

Through this process, I’ve experienced what committing to something so simple can do to my overall health and thought it was about time we shared in this together.

Over the next week, I’ll be posting a bunch of new salad recipes and encourage you to wrangle up whatever vegetables, grains, proteins, nuts or seeds you have lying around and join in!

We’re going to kick everything off today by counting down the top 5 salads from last year. If you have a favorite from your own blog, or repitore of recipes, please feel free to share in the comments below.

5) Creamy Tahini Salad

This salad dressing is creamy, light, and high in healthy fats and goes great with chickpeas, socca crackers, and carrots!

4) Sweet Lemon Salad with Lemon Pepper Tempeh Croutons

Spice up your salad with some serious tempeh croutons, figs, and sweet lemon sauce.

3) Quinoa Salad with Smokey Bear Dressing

Low fat sweet BBQ flavored gluten-free salad dressings smothers this quinoa bowl.

2) Maple Balsamic Dijon Salad with Strawberries

A light vegan salad, surrounded by a creamy maple balsamic dressing, olives and strawberries.

1) Sunflower Cream Salad with Sweet Taters + Dill Chicks

Sunflower seeds, dill, and lemon dressing poured over dill chickpeas, baked yams and fresh veggies.

Let’s welcome 2012 with a produce drawer full of vegetables and a happy, healthy, radiant body.

Are ya with me?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

I think I could just drink the smoky bear dressing as a smoothie..it’s so pretty! :)

Great challenge and I eat a salad pretty much every day with every any and all veggies thrown in.


Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous

Those look like some great salads to start the new year with!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

I want all of them right now! After all of the holiday indulgence I can’t get enough green. :) Lemon Pepper Tempeh Croutons sound wonderful.


katie @KatieDid

I do stir fries nearly every day which I like to think of as “warm salads” haha. I agree though, getting in a ton of veggies at once always sets me up to feel good the rest of the day.


Hallie @ Daily Bites

Salads are my lunch mainstays, too, even in the winter. One of my favorites is this Citrus Salmon & Red Cabbage Salad: http://www.dailybitesblog.com/2011/06/07/citrus-salmon-red-cabbage-salad/

Can’t wait for your recipes this week! :)


Dottie Wagner

I am drooling! These all look fabulous!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

YES! Aaaa-men on the salads making you feel better. They do the exact same for me and a day just isn’t complete without one! I whipped up 3 different ones in my kitchen yesterday and I’ll be posting them over the coming weeks. One of my all-time faves is my re-creation of the Whole Foods detox salad (http://eat-spin-run-repeat.com/recipes-2/?recipe_id=6006118) and my Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds salad (http://eat-spin-run-repeat.com/recipes-2/?recipe_id=6006259). Both are delish, and all of yours above sound amazing too!!


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Yum, I’ve never had the Whole Foods detox salad, but your version looks amazing! Thanks for sharing the links, Angela :)



I love salad so much… I just hate the prep time involved! Yours look delish, Leanne. One of my faves is my “caramel apple salad” — http://femfusionfitness.com/2011/05/caramel-apple-salad/… I’m trying to avoid peanuts these days, but I’m sure it would be great with toasted almonds too!


Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense

Totally agree with you!! There’s something about having one salad a day!
All of your salads look amazing!!



Love this challenge! I think I’ll jump on board and have salads for lunch as well! This also goes along perfectly with my 2012 resolution of creating a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family!!!


Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife

This is awesome and exactly the kind of post I’m looking for after having a few too many crazy holiday meals. There’s nothing like a good salad to keep you feeling good!


Kris | iheartwellness.com

Ooo baby, baaaaaaby! I love me my salads and I eat sometimes 2 a day!!! I’m watching my bean intake right now {dang GI diet thang} but your chickpeas are making me drool…..

You’re pics are ALWAYS so amazing!


Shannon from Healthiful Balance

All those salads look amazing! :) I can never get my salads to look that pretty. :P

Happy 2012!



YUMMO! I love all your recipe posts…I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months now and have tried several recipes…saved everyone! I just started a workout blog…check it out…fitsgreaterthanskinny.com


The Hippie Health Nut

Those look delicious! I have a salad everyday, too, just because it makes things so much easier. Great idea and I can’t wait to see more recipes.


Bee Goes Bananas

I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! The photos and the foods and so inspiring. I think your blog is just the inspiration I need to kick start the new year the healthy and natural way! Who knew salads could be so beautiful?

I’m adding you to my blogroll so others can find your blog. I hope you don’t mind! You can find it here…


I can’t wait to read more, and I hope others can find your blog and fall in love just as I have!


Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free

YUM! Love this idea, Leanne! Yay for salads! and I can’t wait to see your recipes.

Here’s my favorite salad: http://spoonfulofsugarfree.com/2011/03/09/heart-stopping-chicken-salad/ Tastes like chicken salad w/o mayo!


Faith @ For the Health of It

I’m trying to get better at making more salads too. I somehow always forget about the lettuce in my fridge until it gets soggy, though, so I always say “oh I’ll just order one at a restaurant”, but at the restaurant it becomes “whoa, $12 for a plate of lettuce? I”ll just make one at home…” evil cycle! I need to get more – hopefully following along with your challenge will get me making more of my own!



I’m with ya! For dinner: romaine with brown rice, cilantro, grilled peppers/onions, chicken, avocado, greek yogurt, lime juice…better than Chipotle :) Looking forward to getting more recipe ideas and ways to mix up salads!


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Cilantro is fantastic on salads, or really anything for that matter! Your salad sounds to die for! Enjoy your dinner, Anna :)



I’m normally a healthy eater, but nausea and no energy whatsoever left me eating crap in my first trimester of pregnancy. But now being in my second trimester, nausea gone and energy to do my own cooking again, I have been craving salads like nobody’s business! Fridge stays stocked with fresh veggies and lettuces. I can finally enjoy food again!



Given the fact that I pretty much consume salads like it’s my job, I’m totally down with your salad challenge. I’ve even tried your quinoa salad with the smokey dressing and it’s become a mainstay in my meal rotations. It’s pretty much the best salad I’ve had to date. Thanks again for that recipe. I look forward to trying all the others you continue to post! Rock on sista!



Love them all :-) I also have a salad just about every day for lunch, except when it’s simply too cold. Then I go for soup! Happy New Year :-)



Love this challenge!


Jaclyn and Jenn @ sketchfreevegan

I am so up for this salad challenge, why do your salads look so appetizing, um, YUMM!



yay for salad challenge. i have at least one every day :). happy new year leanne!



Leanne: What a great idea!

I eat tons of salad in hot weather but in the winter tend to shy away from them.

This is a great challenge!

I’m going to give this a try, can’t wait to see your recipes



Magic of Spice

How fun and they all look fantastic! I typically have a salad of some sort every day :)
Happy 2012!


Jessica @ Garden Gastronomy

I LOVE the idea of a daily salad challenge. I also feel much better if I eat a daily salad. I am all over the tahini dressing salad and the sunflower cream salad. YUM!


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