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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loaded Spinach Salad For One

I've been strength training and doing cardio at least 5 times a week for a while and my weight has decreased to a less than healthy level so right now I'm working towards gaining about 5 pounds. For this I have to up my calorie intake slightly to adjust according to my new formed muscle mass and metabolism. But I don't just want to gain them in a throw-caution-to-calories-and-health-food kind of way. I want to make sure the weight I gain is healthy and lean. This spinach salad is super filling and packed with all sorts of good nourishment for your body- protien, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It's just what my body needs for some healthy fuel. I like my salads with lot's of extra add-ins so if you like your salads a little lighter just adjust the amounts to suit your taste.

Loaded Spinach Salad for One

1 cup fresh baby spinach
half a block of extra firm tofu, sliced into strips
1 small red apple, cut into small chunks
a few slices of red onion, to suit your taste
about 1/8 of a carrot, washed, peeled, and made into small curls using a vegetable peeler
4 cherry tomatoes, each sliced in half
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 tablespoons dried blueberries or cranberries (sometimes I use a mixture and it's always delicous)
1 large strawberry, cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons light honey mustard
1 tablespoon nutrtional yeast (optional)
salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

1.) In a large bowl combine the spinach, veggies, apple, and berries. Toss lightly. Then if you like place it on your plate or another personal sized bowl (or eat it out of the large bowl, go ahead with your bad self!)
3.) Lightly grease a medium skillet with extra-virgin olive oil or your fave oil ( If I'm in a hurry I use a wok, if you do this you must use a high heat oil like safflower to keep the tofu from burning). Fry the tofu over medium heat until lightly brown and crisp, flipping over half way to brown both sides and being careful not to break it apart too much. Another way I like to do this is to cut the tofu in thin strips and grill it on my counter top George Foreman, they are so handy.
4.) When tofu is done, remove from skillet and arrange slices over your salad, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
5.) In a small prep bowl whisk together the salt, pepper, and nutrtional yeast with the honey mustard. If you didn't add anything to the honey mustard then just drizzle over the top.
6.) There you have it! A belly-filling and delicous loaded salad to fuel your rockin body. Eat up and feel satisfied!

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