I never ever, ever, ever thought I’d be sharing a post titled ‘Summer of Smoothies & Salads’ with you. But here we are.
And I’m actually SO EXCITED to share this post with you. I could hardly wait to put it all together and hit publish.
A few weeks ago, my husband Nick and I were talking about how we wanted to eat healthier. This is a recurring conversation. We’re always striving to be better, which I think is a good goal.
Then life gets busy and nothing really changes in terms of eating healthier.
As we were talking one Sunday night recently, he said “how about we do the summer of smoothies and salads?”
I love rhymes and this sounded interesting. So I asked for more details.
He elaborated that he thought we should do smoothies for breakfasts, and salads for lunch during the week.
I LOVED the idea, and was so inspired by it that I actually did it, I got going, and now love it so much, that I can’t stop and thinking about it!
I shared a few pictures on my Instagram stories, and was overwhelmed by the number of people asking for more information and shopping lists and recipes! So I put everything together and gah, I’m just so excited for this.
The 1st day, I had the worst headache at noon after having just a fruit smoothie and salad. It made me think “oh my goodness, how bad was I eating that my body is reacting to fruits and veggies like this?” After week 1, I felt great. I’m not doing this to lose weight, I’m just doing this to get more fruits and veggies in my diet and be healthier (weight loss will be a nice added side effect? I haven’t weighed myself, but my husband lost 5 lbs the first week of us doing this).
Smoothies are such a great way to get in those fruits and vegetables. I can definitely say I’d suggest starting slow before adding in too may crazy greens or nutitional ad ons (like chia seeds, etc.) and I’ll share tips with you below (like making smoothie bags ahead is such a time saver!)
- Use a good blender. I’ve heard good things about the Ninja blender ($89), years ago I got the Dash blender ($200) which I love and use (it’s on sale from $549, I got mine on sale and covet it as one of my best kitchen buys), and I’ve also heard good things about the Vitamix blender ($150-$350). I also use this single-serve blender ($17) when I’m making a smoothie for 1.
- The ratio of fruit&vegetables/liquid for a thicker consistency, 2 smoothies is 2 1/2 cups fruit/veggies to 1 3/4 cup liquid
- In terms of liquid, you can use water, milk, non-dairy milk (like almond milk) and/or a combination of the options mentioned. My favorite is a mixture of water and unsweetened almond milk – it gives it a creamy texture without too many extra calories.
- I don’t love coconut water by itself, but it totally makes smoothies. Also, Bai has a coconut drink that has far fewer calories if you’re looking for a low calorie alternative
- Buy frozen, pre cut fruit. It saves so much time.
- Make smoothie ‘bags’ containing all the fruit/vegetables, then in the morning all you have to do is dump the bag into the blender and add liquid.
- Pour in the liquid first, it helps get the smoothie blending.
- Use ice if using fresh fruits and vegetables.
- If you have leftover smoothie, pour it into an ice cube tray and then then add it as ‘ice cubes’ to your next smoothie.
- Invest in some containers you like. Personal favorites are this set, or this leak-proof set (the little containers are perfect for dressings, and they legit never leak!)
- Always make sure your salad has enough protein (meat, nuts, eggs, quinoa). That makes all the difference for me.
- You want the crunch factor in salads, so make sure not to forget toppings like nuts, tortilla chips, or raw vegetables like bell peppers to give the contrast in texture.
- For things like nuts or seeds, check the bulk bins at the grocery store
- Generally, it’s 2 cups greens per salad
Notes about the recipes:
- I made the meat ahead, grilling it. You can use rotisserie chicken in place of grilled chicken if you’d like. If you’re vegetarian, not a problem, just substitute the meat with your protein of choice (I love using tofu.)
- I make the smoothies ahead by putting all the fruit in a bag and putting the bag in the freezer, then in the morning I add the contents of the bag into a blender and add all the liquids.
- I cut strawberries by taking the top off and then cutting them in half. So 1 container of strawberries yielded about 3 cups.
- The recipes serve 2, and there are 5 recipes (Monday-Friday), we actually liked doing this so much we continued it into the weekends, but we’ll go to WholeFoods and get a smoothie on the weekends.
- The shopping list include 2 servings per recipe
Smoothie Menu Week 1 Recipes:
- Smoothie 1: Strawberry watermelon- 1 cup watermelon, 1 cup strawberries, 1 banana, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup water
- Smoothie 2: Strawberry banana mango – 1 cup strawberries, 1 banana, 1/2 cup mango, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup coconut water
- Smoothie 3: Green smoothie – 1 cup spinach, 1 cup mango, 1 cup pineapple, 1/2 banana, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup water (I will say that if you’re just getting started with green smoothies, I’d recommend only 1/2 a cup of spinach and a whole banana instead of 1/2 a banana).
- Smoothie 4: Nectarine smoothie – 2 nectarines, 1 cup pineapple, 1/2 banana, 1 small container greek yogurt with mixed berries, water (nectarines are a little tart, so you can use peaches instead).
- Smoothie 5: Strawberry banana mango – 1 cup strawberries, 1 banana, 1/2 cup mango, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup coconut water (this was our favorite one this week so we had it twice!)
Smoothie Menu Week 2 Recipes:
- Smoothie 1: Tropical green- 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup mango, 1/2 cup spinach, 1/2 cup kale, 1/2 banana, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup coconut water
- Smoothie 2: Razzle dazzle – 2 cups raspberries, 3/4 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup mango, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup water (this one is delicious but is a little seedy)
- Smoothie 3: C boost smoothie (this one has become such a favorite you’ll be seeing it a lot in the coming weeks lol).
- Smoothie 4: Peach mango – 2 peaches, 2 bananas, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup coconut water
- Smoothie 5: Berry banana – 1 cup strawberries, 3/4 cup raspberries, 1 banana, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup water
Smoothie Menu Week 3 Recipes:
- Smoothie 1: C boost smoothie and added 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- Smoothie 2: The best green smoothie- I used Bai coconut instead of coconut water
- Smoothie 3: Blue chocolate smoothie – 1 6oz container blueberries, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup coconut water (I used Bai coconut instead of coconut water)
- Smoothie 4: Berry kale smoothie – 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup raspberries, 1 cup kale, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup coconut water (I used Bai coconut instead of coconut water)
- Smoothie 5: Mango avocado – 1 cup mango, 1 cup pineapple, 1/2 of an avocado, 1 cup milk of choice + 3/4 cup coconut water (I used Bai coconut instead of coconut water- you couldn’t even taste the avocado)
Smoothie Menu Week 4 Recipes:
- Smoothie 1: Cherry berry chocolate smoothie – I like using this chocolate protein powder with this recipe, or you could use cocoa powder
- Smoothie 2: Tropical green smoothie-I used Bai coconut instead of coconut water
- Smoothie 3: Chocolate banana coffee – 2 dates, 2 bananas, 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (you could use 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder instead of protein powder, 1 1/2 cups coffee, 1 cup water
- Smoothie 4: Vitamin C boost smoothie – I’m so in love with this smoothie, gah, actually all of the smoothie this week were so spot on!
- Smoothie 5: Berry mango- 3/4 cup mango, 1 1/2 cups mixed berries, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 2 cups water
Salad Menu Menu Week 1 Recipes:
- Salad 1: Grilled steak salad- each salad 4 oz grilled steak (grilled with salt/pepper/cumin/chili powder as seasonings and dabbed with olive oil), 2 cups spring mixed greens, 1/4 avocado, 5-10 tortilla chips, 1/2 oz shredded cheese, 1/4 cup store bought pico de gallo as salad dressing (next time I would add extra lime to the pico).
- Salad 2: grilled chicken breast marinated with green sauce then for the salad each had 1/2 an avocado, 2 slices bacon- crumbled, 2-3 tablespoons cooked quinoa, 1-2 cups greens, 1 lime + 1 teaspoon leftover green sauce and a dash of olive oil mixed for dressing (each dressing got 1 lime juice squeezed, it added a nice zest to it!)
- Salad 3: repeat of above
- Salad 4: Spinach salad with a soft boiled egg and a mustard vinaigrette (I made 4 eggs instead of 3, so 2 eggs per person)
- Salad 5: Spinach salad with grilled chicken (chicken was marinated in a dash of olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 2 garlic cloves, salt and pepper). I made 1/2 a batch of the salad recipe so we didn’t have any leftovers and I only used 1 apple instead of an apple and a pear.
Salad Menu Week 2 Recipes:
- Salad 1: Asian ground turkey lettuce wrap salad (so good, can be enjoyed as a wrap or a chopped salad)
- Salad 2: Repeat of above (2 servings of Asian ground turkey lettuce wrap salad – if you don’t like two days of the same thing in a row, you could meal prep and the alternate salads.)
- Salad 3: Grilled chicken green goddess cobb (this one was definitely a favorite we’ve had many times)
- Salad 4: Repeat of above (2 servings of grilled chicken green goddess cobb)
- Salad 5: Grilled chicken Caesar. We just grilled chicken breasts brushed with a little olive oil and seasonings of choice and bought a Caesar salad kit, it was really nice to have a really easy salad with virtually no prep.
Salad Menu Week 3 Recipes:
- Salad 1: Greek salad with ground turkey kofta (you could use grilled chicken instead of the turkey kofta in this recipe). To make the ground turkey kofta – combine 1 lb ground turkey with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, handful of fresh parsley chopped (or 1 tbs dried parsley), 1 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and then form into oblong meatball shapes. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes on a foil lined baking sheet. For the salad dressing I combined 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, juice of 2 lemons and a pinch of salt, then divided it into 4 containers. For the salad, per salad: 2 cups mixed greens, 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped red onions, 1/4 red pepper chopped, 1/4 cup cucumber slices, 1-2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, 1/4 of the turkey koftas you made earlier and 1/4 of the dressing.
- Salad 2: Repeat of above. This was by far one of my all time favorite salads we’ve had!
- Salad 3: Protein egg and quinoa salad (I shared this and it’s on my Instagram stories highlight!). The recipe per salad is: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1/4 cup cooked lentils, 1/4 cup cooked quinoa, 1/4 bell pepper chopped, 1/4 of a cucumber chopped, 2 cups greens. Dressing per salad is 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 lime juice, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar and a dash of dried oregano and salt. I used this recipe from Skinnytaste as inspiration.
- Salad 4: Apple feta pecan salad with grilled chicken. For each salad: 2 cups greens, 1/4 granny smith apple finely sliced, 2 tablespoons candied pecans (they usually sell them pre made in the cheese section of the grocery store), 1-2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, 1 grilled chicken breast (we grilled the chicken brushed with olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper, or you could use rotisserie chicken) and for the dressing a mixture (I made the dressing and divided it into 4 small containers) of 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, juice of 1 small orange, 1 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon honey, pinch of salt and pepper. I used this recipe from A Beautiful Plate for inspiration.
- Salad 5: Repeat of above (2 servings of apple feta pecan salad with grilled chicken)
Salads Week 4 Recipes:
- Salad 1: Spinach salad with a soft boiled egg and a mustard vinaigrette (I made 4 eggs instead of 3, so 2 eggs per person)
- Salad 2: Asian ground turkey lettuce wrap salad (so good, can be enjoyed as a wrap or a chopped salad)
- Salad 3: Repeat of above (2 servings of Asian ground turkey lettuce wrap salad – if you don’t like two days of the same thing in a row, you could meal prep and the alternate salads.)
- Salad 4: Greek salad with ground chicken kofta (you could use grilled chicken breasts or ground turkey like i used last week, instead of the ground chicken kofta in this recipe). To make the ground chicken kofta – combine 1 lb ground chicken with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, handful of fresh parsley chopped (or 1 tbs dried parsley), 1 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and then form into oblong meatball shapes. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes on a foil lined baking sheet. For the salad dressing I combined 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, juice of 2 lemons and a pinch of salt, then divided it into 4 containers. For the salad, per salad: 2 cups mixed greens, 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped red onions, 1/4 red pepper chopped, 1/4 cup cucumber slices, 1-2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, 1/4 of the chicken koftas you made earlier and 1/4 of the dressing.
- Salad 5: Repeat of above. This was by far one of my all time favorite salads we had – it was an exact replica of the salad from week 3 and we loved it!
There you have it!! 4 weeks of smoothies and salads with shopping lists. I’d love to know in the comments section, have you made any/all of these recipes?
Shopping lists: To get the shopping lists, simply enter your name and email below the image on the week you’d like! You’ll be redirected to the pdf of the shopping list, as well as it will be emailed to you.
I’ll keep updating this post as we go along, so be sure to bookmark it! If you’d like to join me on this Summer of Smoothie and Salads challenge I’d LOVE to see what you’re making. Just tag #sweetphiblog on Instagram!