Why not try some fresh Spring ingredients in that same old lunch salad of yours? This Simple Spring Mix Lunch Salad is here and it’s perfect for the season – includes sliced radish, shredded carrots, microgreens, and you can customize with any protein or dressing you like!
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All those premade salads at Trader Joe’s have me drooling basically every time I step ten feet in the door because they’re the first thing I see! I never buy them, but I always browse. I even once took a picture of that section of cooler so I could review the premade salad options at home and recreate them myself! But for cheaper!
All the premade lunch type stuff at TJ’s runs from $4-6. And really, it’s a great option if you’re short on time – probably cheaper and healthier than going over to Taco Time or the BBQ place. But still, these wrap and salad options can be made at home, saving you money, and saving plastic containers in the process (more TJs inspired salad ideas coming soon!).
This salad here is not actually a direct inspiration from TJ’s, but more of an idea from another salad, the Harvest Salad. That one has green beans, corn, tomatoes, a hard boiled egg, and some grilled chicken. It wasn’t so much the ingredients that inspired me – it was the name. The word “harvest” made me think of fresh vegetables, a Fall harvest time sort of vibe.
I translated the “Fall harvest” vibe I was getting from this TJ’s salad into a homemade “Spring harvest” kind of vibe, and came up with this Simple Spring Mix Lunch Salad. I also realized that lunch salads don’t have to be fancy to be delicious. You can add variety with only a couple new ingredients. You don’t have to reinvent salads every time! *<–advice to myself mostly*
TJ’s salads are usually just 4-6 main ingredients with a dressing (see above photo for proof!). So I decided to think along those lines!
Ingredients in the Spring Mix Lunch Salad
To keep the Spring harvest vibe alive but also keep it simple, I identified three main Spring ingredients that could be found at most grocery stores. What’s even better is that these ingredients are on the cheaper side during Spring time when they are in season (at least here in Seattle where I bought them). Here are the main Spring ingredients of the salad:
- Radishes – Good news! I didn’t even know I liked radish until I was testing out this Spring salad. I found that they are relatively cheap, and easy to wash and slice. I was able to purchase a whole bunch (enough for about 4 salads) for $1.25 at the regular grocery store! You can also use other varieties of radish if you have a preference.
- Shredded carrots – Carrots are of course a year-round staple at the grocery store, but I’ve learned that they do have a Spring crop and a Fall crop. I love carrots, so when I realized I could get a big 16 ounce bag of pre-shredded carrots from Trader Joe’s for 99 CENTS, I was way too excited. Cheap and no prep required. Of course you can also buy whole carrots and grate or shred them yourself!
- Microgreens or watercress – Virtually all herbs and microgreens are in season in Spring. When I first tested this salad, I used watercress. Similar to arugula, it brought a deep pepper taste to the salad. I liked the contrast of the new veggie, but my husband did not. I also couldn’t find this at all stores, so I decided it shouldn’t be a requirement. Microgreens are available at Trader Joe’s and some grocery stores. Pick what you like!
How to customize the Spring Mix Lunch Salad:
Pick your protein: I enjoyed this salad both with sliced baked chicken breasts, and sliced turkey breast. However, this salad could easily be enjoyed with a non-animal protein like chickpeas or lentils as well.
Pick your dressing: I enjoyed this salad both with Tessaeae’s Ranch Dressing, and my homemade Cilantro Lime Tahini Dressing. Pick your favorite dressing and enjoy!
Add more spring veggies: Arugula, peas and pea greens, ramps, spinach, other varieties of radish!
Ways to use up leftover ingredients:
I like a good salad, but I rarely like the same one four days in a row. To help keep your week versatile, I’ve created this recipe to make only one serving at a time. Of course, make more if you love yourself some Spring salad!!
BUT when you buy these ingredients to make only one salad, you’re gonna have leftovers. Here’s what to do in that case:
Radish: Add sliced radishes to any kind of salad (not just the spring salad), add to tacos, soups, or just eat plain with some yummy dip because they are crunchy, cheap and delicious!
Shredded carrots: Like I said above, I recently started buying pre-shredded carrots from the grocery store because they’re very reasonably priced, and such an incredible time saver. I’ve been putting them on all kinds of salads, in tacos, in stir fry, even on pizza. Yes, pizza.
Microgreens: On burgers, tacos, over meat, pretty much anytime you want to dress up a meal with some fancy looking greens. No limits!
Feta cheese: In burgers, on gyros or pitas, on pizza! Wherever you like cheese, really.
Can this salad be turned into a mason jar salad?
Yes, most definitely! Here’s how to layer to make it work, in the order they go into the jar:
- hardy vegetables (carrots, radish)
- cheese (I used feta – leave out for dairy free)
- meat or other protein
- spring mix (stuff the rest of the jar with this!)
How long will this salad keep in the fridge?
This salad, with the dressing kept separately or at the bottom of the mason jar, will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.
More lunch recipes from Project Meal Plan:
- English Muffin Mini Pizzas Meal Prep
- Easy Buffalo Chicken Salad (Whole30)
- Easy Turkey Pinwheels Meal Prep
Did you make this? I want to see how it turned out! Tag me in your social media post @projectmealplan and use #projectmealplan when you share!
Simple Spring Mix Lunch Salad
This Simple Spring Mix Lunch Salad is here and it’s perfect for the season – includes sliced radish, shredded carrots, microgreens! Customize with your fave protein and dressing! Recipe makes 1 serving, make as many as you want! See notes for ideas on what to do with leftover ingredients!
- 1–2 cups Spring Mix greens
- 1/3 cup microgreens or watercress greens
- 1/3 cup shredded carrots (I like pre-shredded!)
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese (optional – omit for dairy free option)
- 4 ounces baked chicken breast (or protein of choice)
- 3 tablespoons Ranch dressing (I used Tessemae’s Whole30 Ranch – or use dressing of choice)
Have it now: Place ingredients into a wide salad or dinner bowl, starting with the Spring Mix as the base. Add microgreens, shredded carrots, radish slices, followed by your protein of choice. Add feta cheese and dressing of choice as topping.
Have it later: Add ingredients in layers to a pint sized (or larger to fit more greens) mason jar or other tall, narrow container in the following order: dressing, carrots, radish, feta cheese, meat or other protein, microgreens, and spring mix (stuff the rest of the jar with this!). Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 4 days.
Ways to use up leftover ingredients:
Radish: Add to tacos, soup, or just eat plain with some yummy dip because they are crunchy, cheap and delicious! One bunch of radishes will make four salads. Shredded carrots: Pre-shredded carrots are very reasonably priced, and an incredible time saver. I’ve been putting them on all kinds of salads, in tacos, in stir fry, even on pizza. Yes, pizza. Microgreens: On burgers, tacos, over meat, pretty much anytime you want to dress up a meal with some fancy looking greens. No limits! Feta cheese: In burgers, on gyros or pitas, on pizza! Wherever you like cheese, really.
Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal.
- Serving Size: 1 salad
- Calories: 347
- Sugar: 5g
- Fat: 16g
- Carbohydrates: 11g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 40g
To make this recipe, I used:
I want to see what you made! Share your version of this Simple Spring Mix Lunch Salad with me on social media! Share with me by tagging @projectmealplan or using that hashtag #projectmealplan. I’ll be able to find your creation that way!
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