Nutrition GPA All-Day A+ Salad ♥

Nutrition GPA All-Day A+ Salad, another flexible concept salad ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with all the vegetables, legumes and omega-3s for an A+ on the Nutrition GPA app.
A big chopped salad, a full five servings of vegetables plus omega-3s and a big 14 grams of protein. It's inspired by the Nutrition GPA app whose daily food "grade" and overall GPA encourages us to make healthy food choices. With this big salad, you'll be well on your way to an A+ day!

Real Food, Fresh & Flexible. Supper Substantial. Budget Friendly. Little Effort, Big Taste. Easy Meal Prep. Low Carb. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.


New Year's Nutrition Upgrade

I a-d-o-r-e January food. All those vegetables! But then I signed myself up for the nutrition upgrade program from nutritionist Monica Reinagle whose work I've followed for years, way back when she was the resident nutritionist for Gourmet and Bon Appetit, up until this morning, when her weekly podcast "Nutrition Diva" popped up.

Regular readers know that while I'm committed to the Weight Watchers platform, I do occasionally ... um ... branch out, just to learn something new. I invested wasted $169 on Noom last fall: learned nothing, hated the whole social angle. (If Noom works for you, cool. We're all different, we can each respond to different approaches, even at different times in our lives.)

But Call Me Stunned

But knock me over, here I am the long-time veggie evangelist and the first thing I learned from the app is that ... hangs head ... I wasn't eating very many vegetables!

The Nutrition GPA App

The app is free, anyone can download it. Me, I instantly found it fascinating.

Like Weight Watchers, no foods are off limits. Like Weight Watchers, the app encourages us to eat more healthy foods and fewer other foods.
Unlike Weight Watchers, there are no &^%^& points to calculate and count. You don't even have to remember every single thing you ate. Instead, at the end of the day, the app asks 11 questions about what you ate. It literally takes 2 minutes, max.
The app then calculates your day's "grade" and calculates your "GPA" (grade point average, just like in school!) over a period of time.

Let's Look at the First Five Questions

Go ahead, answer yes or no. My first day? I could only answer yes to one question. Oops. Overall, my grade that day was a C-.

#1 Did You Have Five Vegetable Servings – a serving is 1/2 cup, greens are 1 cup
#2 Did You Eat At Least Three Different Vegetables – just three, at least three
#3 Did You Get Enough Omega-3 Foods – that means 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, chia or hemp OR 2 tablespoons nut butter OR 3 ounces of fish or seafood
#4 And How About Legumes – that means 1/2 cup cooked dried beans or lentils or some alternatives (more detail below)
#5 And Healthy Fats – 1/4 cup chopped nuts OR 1/4 of an avocado

Hello, Over Achiever

So the next day, I chop-chopped myself a big salad, one that assured a "yes" to all five questions and setting myself up for an A grade that day. (There are six other questions that could lower the A grade.)

Just one problem. That big salad was SO MUCH FOOD. I was stuffed. I had no room for anything else. At the same time, I knew it wasn't enough calories for the day.

But the thing was. When I cut out nearly all other foods, I felt so good! Most of all, I looked forward to that big salad!

Enter the All-Day Salad

So here's my solution.

SALAD DAYS Every other day is a "Salad Day" that starts with morning oatmeal for breakfast, then part of this All-Day Salad for lunch and the remainder for dinner, maybe with some additional protein. So good! I love Salad Days! And while I'm definitely shooting for an A grade on Salad Days but there's room for a small sweet treat at the end of the day.

OTHER DAYS On the opposite days, I cook whatever I'd normally cook, mindful of the app's questions but not shooting for an A. So far, the lowest grade is a C but my overall GPA is a B+.

How long can I keep it up? The month? The winter? Who knows ... but I'm loving the routine so far. And I so look forward to that big salad!

What's In the All-Day A+ Salad?

Five servings of vegetables (raw, roasted, steamed, microwaved, etc.) including at least three different veggies
Canned beans plus ground flax plus chopped nuts (there are substitutes for these, keep reading)
A surprising 14 grams of protein!

Here's How I Do It

At first, I weighed the vegetables, being quite precise. But now I use the same medium-size mixing bowl every time. When it's almost full, I know that the salad has enough vegetables.

I aim for bite-size vegetables, a mix of color and textures.

I make a smaller all-day salad for my husband at the same time. Otherwise, he's prone commandeering mine! :-)

Every week or so, I make a batch of the house salad dressing, also a concept recipe, My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing.

For grocery orders, I definitely order more vegetables than usual, otherwise, we run short.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

Is This a Sponsored Post? No! It's just me, Alanna, sharing a tool and a course and a salad that I'm learning from. You can count on this, 100% of the time, it's all here My Disclosure Promise.

Is the Nutrition Upgrade Program Free? No. There's no charge for the Nutrition GPA app. I do recommend that you sign up for the nutrition upgrade program from Monica Reinagle. There's a new "class" of participants every quarter. Sign up for her newsletter or listen to her podcast to learn about the next one, including a discount code. In 2021, I paid $39. That includes an hour-long live (or recorded to watch later) explanation of the program plus access to a private Facebook group where Monica herself is active, answering questions and providing encouragement, especially related to balancing choices. There are daily email messages. I find it all really useful.

If You Eat This Salad, Will You Automatically Get an A+ on the Nutrition GPA App? Not Quite. This salad addresses only the first five questions out of eleven. How you answer the remaining six is up to you. That said, in my experience, it's the first five questions which take the most forethought to truthfully answer "yes".

Can You Just Eat this Salad In One Sitting and Be Done With It? Maybe. Emphasis on may. You sure could eat it all in one sitting but whoa, it's a lot of food. I eat about a third at lunch, the rest at dinner and even then, it's so very filling.

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Nutrition GPA All-Day A+ Salad, another flexible concept salad ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with all the vegetables, legumes, protein and omega-3s for an A+ on the Nutrition GPA app.





NUTRITION GPA All-Day A+ Salad

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Serves 1

A+ ESSENTIALS
Q1 & Q2: 2 cups (about 300g) chopped vegetables (at least 2 different, preferably 4 different)
Q1 & Q2: 1 cup (about 30g) leafy greens (spinach, chard, leafy lettuce, etc.), chopped OR another 1/2 cup (75g) chopped vegetables
Q3: 2 tablespoons flax or chia or hemp hearts OR 3oz cooked fish or seafood
Q4: 1/2 cup (80g) canned beans (black beans, chickpeas, lentils etc), rinsed and drained OR 1/2 cup cooked lentils OR 3 oz tofu OR 1/4 cup hummus or bean dip
Q5: 1/4 cup (22g) chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, etc.) OR 1/4 avocado

RECOMMENDED ADD-INS
1 small piece of fruit, chopped
A green onion, chopped (feel free to contribute this to the vegetables for Q1 and Q2)
Fresh herbs, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Salad dressing (add just before serving)

OPTIONAL ADD-INS
3 ounces (85g) cooked chicken breast or another lean protein
OR 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (a high-protein substitute for salad dressing)

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

MAKE-AHEAD For an all-day salad, combine everything except the salad dressing in the morning. Keep refrigerated, adding salad dressing just before eating.

MEAL PREP For three days of meal prep, combine everything except the chicken (for food safety) and salad dressing (for sogginess). Keep refrigerated; add chicken to a day's salad on the day you'll eat it; add the salad dressing just before eating.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
HOW TO CHOOSE THE VEGETABLES Choose what you like! (No corn or potatoes, however. They're "allowed" in the Nutrition GPA but don't count as one of your five vegetable servings.) Choose what you have on hand! This is such a great way to use up odds and ends. But after that, this is an opportunity to explore vegetables you've maybe heard of but never tried before. Some suggestions: jicama or fennel or kohlrabi.

COLOR & TEXTURE & WETNESS Aim for a lively combo of color and texture. I do think that "wetness" also matters in this salad, if only to limit the amount of salad dressing you'll add. For me, that means always including some tomato, even during winter. I'm a huge fan of the Campari tomatoes and the Flavor Bomb mini tomatoes on the vine from Sam's Club. Bell peppers and cucumber add moisture too, so do one of my very favorite "vegetables," a few mini kosher dill pickles.

ONLY RAW VEGETABLES? Raw fresh vegetables give this salad great crunch. But if you've got some odd vegetables hanging around, you might want to throw a tray of cubed vegetables into the oven to roast while you're doing the other prep work. Recently, I loved a combo of turnip and beet; cut small and tossed with just a little olive oil and salt and pepper, they roasted quickly at 400F/200C. And don't forget frozen vegetables. If you keep a few frozen vegetables in the freezer, they are great additions too although do, likely, take some cooking. And don't forget a few canned vegetables, artichoke hearts, say.

FLAX This stuff is sticky! It sticks to bowls, it doesn't wash off in the dishwasher and really I worry about scrubbing it down the kitchen sink. I've never tried hemp hearts yet, they're on my list. Honestly, flax is my least favorite part of this salad but I'm, um, sticking with it.

QUICK PRICE CHECK I use ground flax in Our Daily Bread: My Easy Everyday Bread and so know it packs a nutritional wallop and is relatively inexpensive, under $4 per pound. In contrast, chia runs about $8 per pound and hemp a whopping $18 per pound.

Q4 OPTIONS It's so easy to keep on hand and then just open, rinse and drain a can of dried beans. But if you're feeling ambitious, there are DIY options too.

First, cook your own beans, we adore Creamy Slow Cooker Beans.

Second, lentils are also legumes so cooked lentils count too. May I recommend Best-Ever Lentil Salad?

Q4 also lets you substitute tofu, Ugly But Delicious Tofu for the Slow Cooker would make it more interesting.

But best of all, hummus! Remember, the traditional base for hummus is chickpeas, in fact, the very word "hummus" means chickpeas in Arabic! I'm kinda famous for my hummus, starting with How to Cook Dried Chickpeas Especially for Hummus aka "Jerusalem Chickpeas". They're used for both my best hummus recipes, Roasted Eggplant “Hummus" (Eggplant & Chickpea Dip & Spread) and Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus. So good! I like this idea too, how you could spread some hummus on a cracker or two (or maybe set aside with some sliced veggies) that would reduce the overall volume of this salad while still meeting all its requirements. Thanks to the Nutrition GPA app's insistence on whole-grain breads, I'm working on adapting my favorite bread recipe for 100% whole wheat, Easy Everyday Bread for the Stand Mixer. That would work too!

VEGAN or OTHERWISE It's easy to keep this salad vegan but the Nutrition GPA offers options for those who eat fish or other animal proteins. Note to Vegetarians



A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic







Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2021

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. HI, Alanna, I LOVE Monica's Nutrition GPA app too. I did the nutrition upgrade last year and have found it so helpful. I'm happy to see it highlighted - and I love your salad!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Kris ~ It’s such fun, finding we have Nutrition GPA in common too! I do find it all very intriguing. THANK YOU for all your support and encouragement over the years!

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  2. This is a great post! I've been making a big salad this month that I call Purple Power, with lettuce, beets, and shredded red cabbage, pepitas or sunflower seeds as mandatory ingredients. It's a different salad all the time. Other add-ins (cooked or raw) so far have been: carrots - shredded and/or roasted; cucumber, avocado, leftover roasted vegs: sweet potato, broccoli, shredded Brussels sprouts; red and/or green onion; spinach, turnips, jicama, bell pepper. I haven't added kohlrabi or fennel yet, but will. Beans - black, pinto, garbanzo - what ever is left over. The list is endless. I usually add a half cup of quinoa - it's the seed that eats like a grain :). I hadn't thought about fruit, but I bet apple, raisins, or mandarin (or navel) oranges would work well. It changes enough that i don't get tired of it.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Anon ~ Purple Power for the win! What a great concept, organizing around a big, vibrant color. You have definitely inspired me, don’t be surprised if you find a Purple Power Salad here soon! Thanks so much for sharing your salad concept. It’s easy to see why you never tire of it!

      Delete

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. (So sorry, as of 4/23/22, I’ve had to turn comments off to prevent hundreds of spam comments a day. Stupid Spammers.) ~ Alanna