Quick and Zesty Italian Chopped Salad
This is the ultimate high-volume, low cal salad. Big and crunchy and zesty. So easy since you don’t even need to cook anything and it’s still packed with protein. If you’ve got room for fat, please feel free to drizzle some good olive oil in there! But even kept super light, it’s so satisfying.
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved (120 g)
- ⅔ cup bell pepper chopped small (100 g)- I prefer orange, red, or yellow
- 3-4 cups romaine lettuce chopped fine (200 g)
- 2-3 cups spring mix or arugula for a darker green 200 g
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- ⅓ cup pepperoncinis or jarred mild banana peppers chopped (40 g)
- ¼ cup canned artichoke hearts chopped (60 g)
- ¾ cup cucumber chopped (80 g)
- ¼ cup red onion sliced very thin, or diced, (40 g)
- ¼ cup grated or diced mozzarella 28 g (feta would be great too)
- 34 slices turkey pepperoni I used Hormel (60 g)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar* 45 g
- 1 tsp grainy dijon 5 g
- 1 garlic clove minced (frozen)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. A small chop makes it all marry so much better!
Whisk or shake together ingredients for vinaigrette and pour over the salad. Toss well, sprinkle with a good pinch of kosher salt and some cracked pepper and enjoy. If you’re happy to add some fat to your meal, obviously some delicious olive oil would only make things better! But I’m keeping this version super light.
This is made with normal, part-skim mozzarella at 5 fat per oz., not a low-fat mozzarella. Feel free to sub low-fat and save a little fat. I don’t love low fat mozzarella but a low-fat or even fat-free feta work great too.
If you’ve got the room for added carbs, this would be great with chickpeas. If you’d like more protein, add some grilled chicken!
*This dressing calls for red wine vinegar, but if you follow me on instagram, you know I'm obsessed with the specialty fruit-infused white balsamic vinegars. I get mine locally at a shop called Baker and Olive in Encinitas, and use the lemon or peach on almost EVERY salad. This is no exception! They're naturally sweet and SO delicious. They'll make it MUCH easier to skip the olive oil. See if you've got a specialty olive oil shop near you, and they've probably got something similar! Baker and Olive also sells online.
Serving: 519gCalories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 19.8gProtein: 16.8gFat: 7.4gFiber: 6.4g