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Who says salads are just for summer? With ingredients like pecans, cranberries, and maple syrup, you can enjoy this protein-packed salad recipe this winter as the main dish or as a side dish. Keep it vegetarian on its own (quinoa is a great plant-based source of protein) or with some tofu, or add in some chicken or fish if those are part of your diet.

Adding all sorts of vegan ingredients to your salad makes the ideal breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Of course, it is only as good as the recipe. It’s okay to improvise from time to time, but if you’re looking for a basic recipe online, that’s also a fantastic option.

Building a better salad

  • Lettuce as your foundation
  • Pile of veggies as reinforcement
  • Protein powder
  • Little extras like avocados, seeds, unsalted nuts, cheese, or bacon
  • Salad dressing to top it off

Here’s something to add to your recipe list that you can make for weekend picnics with your family and friends.



Prep Time: 10 mins  |  Servings1 people


A protein-packed winter salad that's perfect as a side dish or a main. 

  • 1/2 apple diced
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup spring mix
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (or more)
  • 1 cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cooked serving of salmon
  • 1 serving tofu



  1. Add 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup to a frying pan on medium heat with pecans. Stir often until maple syrup is soaked up. Set aside.
  2. Combine 1/2 tbsp maple syrup with the honey dijon and extra virgin olive oil for the dressing
  3. Combine all the ingredients
  4. Optional: add chicken, salmon or tofu
    Similar to those extra toppings, salad dressings may pack a hefty fat and calorie load. The secret is to maintain flavor without using too much oil. There is no need to feel deprived in this case, even though a squeeze of lemon is nice, and most people like more of a dressing. Nuts and seeds can also be used in salad dressing since they are low in fat. But don’t use your nuts and seeds as snacks; instead, incorporate them into salad dressings. To boost the absorption of nutrients from the veggies, always try to add healthy oils like olive or Udo’s oil to your salad. You’ll never know how far these will take you.

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