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Pin-Worthy Produce: Easy Salads from Fit Bloggers We Love

When your usual store-bought salad becomes ho-hum, get creative in the kitchen. Where's the biggest source of inspiration (other than FITNESS)? Pinterest, obviously. Not only are these salads healthy, inventive, and super delicious, they're custom made by some of our favorite fit bloggers. Don't worry, they don't mind sharing with you!

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Iowa Girl Eats
Four Ingredient Quinoa Salad
Fannetastic Food
Fitnessista
Healthy Tipping Point
Blogilates
Running to the Kitchen
Skinny Taste
Peanut Butter Fingers
A Nutritionist Eats
Hungry Healthy Happy
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BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

"I love this recipe so much, I've had it for dinner three nights in a row!" exclaims Kristin from Iowa Girl Eats. The secret ingredient that sends her recipe over the top? Crushed tortilla chips. "Salty and crunchy, they add a little bit of decadence." If you're not quite ready to let go of summer, toss this treat together for a twist on traditional barbecue.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 2 10-ounce bags chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Light ranch dressing
  • BBQ sauce

Directions
Brush chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side, brushing grilled side with BBQ sauce after flipping once.

At the same time, grill ears of corn, rotating occasionally, until evenly charred. Remove chicken and corn, let cool slightly. Chop chicken and slice corn kernels off cob and set aside.

(You may need to do this in a couple batches.) Use a pizza cutter to evenly chop lettuce into small pieces. Toss it in a very large bown with tomatoes, black beans, red onion, cheeses, tortilla chips, chicken, and corn. Drizzle with light ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. Toss and serve immediately.

Visit Kristin's blog at iowagirleats.com

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Four-Ingredient Quinoa Salad

Lunch (or dinner!) doesn't get much simpler than this plate from Anne over at FANNEtastic Food. The ingredients you need are likely already in your house, so toss them all together and consider it ready to serve.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package
  • 1 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • Cracked pepper to taste

Directions
In a bowl, mix together all ingredients. Serve immediately. For extra add-ins, consider avocado, fresh spinach, or chopped peppers.

Visit Anne's blog at fannetasticfood.com

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Six-Minute Spicy Chopped Salad

Gina from Fitnessista is known for bringing the heat to her food. Jalapeno and pineapple add a flavorful punch to this superstar salad.

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped into thin slivers
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cooked chicken breast, diced

Directions
In a bowl, toss together all ingredients. Serve immediately.

Visit Gina's blog at fitnessista.com

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Ptitim Salad

If you're really looking to try something new, Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point has a winner. The main ingredient: Ptitim, or Israeli couscous. "It's so easy to put together," she says. "This is one of those dishes that gets better with time, so it's a great make-ahead meal."

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup dry ptitim
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions
Prepare ptitim according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, shaking excess water off in a colander.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand in fridge for 1-2 hours for best results.

Visit Caitlin's blog at healthytippingpoint.com

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Sweet and Savory Cranberry Spinach Salad

Perfect for group get-togethers, Cassey from Blogilates says this is the perfect go-to side dish. "It takes less than five minutes to make, and the flavors really excite my palette because of the sweet and savory combo." That's all we needed to hear.

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
  • Drizzle raspberry vinaigrette

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss and serve.

Visit Cassey's blog at blogilates.com

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Strawberry Avocado Honey Lime Salad

For a light and refreshing lunch, look no further than this recipe from Gina over at Running to the Kitchen. The strawberries give it a fruity taste while the avocado punches up the salad with a dose of healthy fats. Cue office envy.

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mixed greens/chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Zest of 1/2 a lime
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions
Combine the lettuce, strawberries, kiwi, avocado, and almonds in a salad bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients to form the dressing. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.

Visit Gina's blog at runningtothekitchen.com

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Chilled Watermelon Cucumber Feta Salad

After you've busted your butt in the gym, the last thing you want to do is work hard for your food. "This chilled salad is so easy to make," says Gina from Skinny Taste. "It's perfect on a hot summer day!"

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chilled seedless watermelon, diced large
  • 1 medium chilled English cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint (or basil) leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze

Directions
Divide the watermelon and cucumbers equally between 4 plates, or in one large serving bowl. Top with olives, feta and mint. Drizzle balsamic glaze over everything when ready to serve.

Visit Gina's blog at skinnytaste.com

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Tropical Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Instead of using standard dressing from a bottle, Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers decided to create her own, giving it a citrus punch. "The creamy goat cheese dressing is so wholesome, and the freshly squeezed orange juice weaves the flavor throughout the dish," she says. Add it to this produce-packed plate before summer's end.

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 Clementine or tangerine, peeled
  • 5 strawberries, sliced with stems removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 8 praline pecans
  • 2 tablespoons citrus vinaigrette

Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Juice of one Clementine (approximately 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions
Place arugula and spinach on a plate and top with fruit and pecans.

For dressing, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Drizzle dressing on top of salad and serve.

Visit Julie's blog at pbfingers.com

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Fattoush Salad

Fattoush is a bread salad made with vegetables and fried pita bread. This Mediterranean dish from Emily at A Nutritionist Eats is full of color, flavor, and good-for-you ingredients. Don't leave out the pita chips, she warns -- they really give your bowl some bite!

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers, halved and sliced
  • 1 pound grape tomatoes, halved and sliced
  • 3/4 ounce fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 ounce fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup crushed fried pita chips

Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon za'atar
  • Salt and pepper

Directions
Mix all ingredients but pita chips. For dressing, mince garlic and whisk together all ingredients. Toss salad mixture with dressing. Top with pita chips and serve.

Visit Emily's blog at anutritionisteats.com

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Nicoise Salad

Green beans and potatoes make an interesting add-in to this meal from Dannii of Hungry, Healthy, Happy. "It's packed with protein, so it makes a great post-workout lunch," she says. With all the hearty ingredients sprinkled in this salad, we bet you'll be full until dinner.

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 3 charlotte potatoes, sliced
  • Half a tin of tuna
  • 1 egg
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 radishes
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  • 8 green olives
  • 8 green beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Directions
Boil potato slices and egg for 12 minutes. After 8 minutes, add green beans and finish boiling.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Top with potato, egg, and green beans. Serve immediately.

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, August 2013.

Visit Dannii's blog at hungryhealthyhappy.com

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