Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
15 Jul

2 Minute Salad

Most readers here understand the concepts behind the Primal Blueprint, but some seem to be concerned about the amount of time it must take to prepare PB-style meals every day. Nothing could be further from the truth. My 4-egg breakfast or protein shake take but a few minutes. My evening lamb-chop or grass-fed porterhouse with steamed veggies is complete in under ten minutes. But my fastest meal is also my favorite (and probably healthiest). That, of course, is the “2-minute big-ass salad” I have every day. I’ll show you how easy it is to make in the following video. I’ve also done the fitday.com analysis and it’s pretty impressive: 588 total calories. 37 grams of protein, 40 of fat and only 27 of carbs…and that’s probably my highest carb meal of the day!



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Click the image below to see a full-size version.

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I plan on trying to do more videos in the future. If you have anything you would like me to address in video format hit me up with a comment.

Further Reading:

Primal Breakfast Suggestions for People on the Go

Choose Your Own Salad Adventure

DIY – Butter, Yogurt, Kefir, Oh My!

Alternatives to Canned Soup

Homemade Condiment Creations

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. We’re salad twins!

    I keep a ton of veggies and protein prepped in my fridge in reusable containers (to cut down on trash, instead of using Baggies) and when it’s time for lunch, I grab and dump. I love my salads. I never tire of them.

    And I like the prepping every few days. It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re slicing cucumbers. It’s a good break from the daily grind, it gives my eyes a break from staring at the computer screen, and it eliminates any thought of, “Oh, I’m hungry. But I don’t have anything in the house. Well, I’ll just run to McDonalds.” Where, incidentally, I’d buy a salad, but still. I like mine better.

    Beth wrote on July 15th, 2008
    • Make it Salad Triplets,

      I love making my salads, I do practically the very same thing. The only dressing I really use is a drizzle of EVOO, splash of key lime juice with sea salt and ground fresh pepper. I have a special pretty blue/huge salad bowl too!

      Love this site!

      Farrah Knight wrote on October 31st, 2012
    • Hi mark no video for me to see? Am I missing something?

      Shoshana wrote on May 16th, 2013
      • No video for me either. I’d love to see it!

        Amy wrote on July 19th, 2014
  2. mark i love the site. a lot of the principles make sense and through trial and error i’ve come to similar conclusions. i’m a professional ultra distance athlete so at times i simply need a bit more carbs. but it doesn’t have to come from grains/wheat. 4oz of pasta and 4oz of veggies contain the same amount of carbs… and one leaves me feeling a whole lot better.

    keep it up!

    Hart wrote on July 15th, 2008
    • Umm, but pasta is made of wheat.

      Johnny wrote on June 12th, 2012
      • Read again. They’re comparing veggies and pasta and saying veggies make them feel better

        Tanya wrote on June 23rd, 2012
      • There are pastas that aren’t made of grains, like vermicelli (rice) and cellophane/glass (bean starch).

        Sheryl wrote on April 5th, 2014
        • Rice is a grain.

          Tracy wrote on May 14th, 2014
  3. Hey, that was fun! The salad I’ve got sitting in the frig at work is almost exactly the same (including the pine nuts, yum!) except for eggs instead of chicken. Oh, and radishes, which I’ve become addicted to! I’ve been referring to my daily monster salad as my ‘kitchen sink’ salad, since it’s got everything but. I promise to do a testimonial in the future. Thank you again for a great, great blog and for sharing the PB with all of us!!

    Jennifer wrote on July 15th, 2008
  4. I love to put chicken in my salad, and I agree with the addition of cucumbers to add a little texture as well. I also gotta say that the addition of bell peppers really will give that extra “taste” factor that really brings the salad together into the meal category. Well done!!

    Jim wrote on July 15th, 2008
  5. Love big salads – love them! They are a pain to make from scratch daily, though, with all the vegetable scrubbing and lettuce washing (and re-washing). I’m talking 30-45 minutes a day, just for one meal. I’d love to do the prep work just once or twice a week, but don’t vegetables begin to lose nutrients (rapidly) once they are cut? I have too many food intolerances to take supplements, so I must rely on food to get what I need. Am I fooling myself (and wasting precious time) by insisting on “fresh” salads or is the amount of nutrition lost in a day or two not worth fretting over?

    Greta wrote on July 15th, 2008
    • I put my dressing in the bowl [or straight into my lunch container] and cut the “sturdy” veggies a little chunkier and add protein and herbs and coat them with the dressing and I think [I know, I know, thinking and believing is not exactly scientific proof but it stops adding guilt to the mix] that minimises the oxidation. I then and layer the lettuce and anything that would go soggy on top and toss it when I am ready to eat it and that saves having to take the dressing in a separate container. KISS – Keeping It Simple Sweetie.

      Jo-Anne wrote on March 1st, 2012
  6. Looks great! I’ve got to start using tupperware for my veggies. I have to hit the grocery store 3-4 times a week just so I have fresh veggies. The tupperware method looks much easier.

    And hey, I’d love to get some more of your salad dressing recipes, Mark!

    Samuel wrote on July 15th, 2008
  7. Salad dressing recipes are coming, Samuel. Check back next week!

    Greta – Veggies actually stay pretty well in tupperware. If using this method gets one to start eating regular salads, or cuts chunk of time out of your daily effort to get the “freshest” IMO it is worth any sacrifice in nutrition lost. 30-45 minutes a day for one meal is a lot of time in my book. Give Mark’s method a try and report back on how you feel!

    Aaron wrote on July 15th, 2008
  8. Good stuff – looks like the big salad I like to make.

    Mark wrote on July 15th, 2008
  9. Hey! “Big-Ass Salad” is my term! :-) :-)

    I’m currently preaching the PB gospel on a forum frequented by ex-pats (and ex-pat wannabes) in Thailand. I posted a picture of my big-ass salad bowl yesterday. I’m dealing with some opposition from carboholics, but hopefully some are getting the message!

    DaveC wrote on July 15th, 2008
  10. Great video, Mark! Looking forward to a lot of these in the future.

    Erin Davidson wrote on July 15th, 2008
  11. I like to add some fresh salsa, cilantro, and peppers to a salad when using beef.

    Blueberries also add a nice flavor to a salad–really!

    Crystal wrote on July 15th, 2008
  12. I’m a lunchtime salad eater, too. What kind of container is the dressing in? It looks rather like a french press. Making dressing at home and bringing it to work tends to be messy, any tips?

    Lex wrote on July 15th, 2008
  13. Lex-

    Here is kind of a cool idea: http://www.lifesolutionsplus.com/fit-fresh-salad-shaker-p-427.html

    I suppose one needs a container that has a screw on lid so there is no worry that the vial/cup/bottle will spill any of the oil/vinegar. Anybody seen/own something like this?

    Aaron wrote on July 15th, 2008
    • Small canning jars! They are the BEST! They are glass not plastic, they have lids which are reusable and actually seal and don’t pop off, you can see exactly what is in them because you can see through the glass, you can stack them and compared to several plastic containers, a case (12) of canning jars is cheaper. You can get wide mouth, 1/2 pint jars that are great for many things like dressings. My husband likes to take cherry tomatoes, blueberries, etc. and they don’t get squished, don’t leak, can be microwaved if necessary. I stopped buying plastic storage dishes.

      Joan Rene wrote on March 12th, 2012
  14. Cool…where’s the 8-cup size? :-)

    DaveC wrote on July 15th, 2008
  15. hey mark,
    i post a primal salad recipe on nutritious junk! Everyone and their mother was “going primal” so i decided to dedicate it to the primal efforts!

    Hungry Waif wrote on July 15th, 2008
  16. Thanks for the link love, Hungry Waif. The salad recipe looks delicious. (Though, we’d probably ditch the peanuts for almonds ;)) Thanks again!

    Aaron wrote on July 15th, 2008
  17. Or 12 cup size for that matter?!

    Aaron wrote on July 15th, 2008
  18. I’m a pig…my salad bowl is even bigger than yours! (I think it’s actually a pasta serving bowl.) I like to refer to it as “a really righteous salad.”

    It’s amazing how using different cutting techniques can alter the texture (and perceived taste difference) of veggies. For example, I enjoy spinach much more if I shred it. Many veggies (like jicama and butternut squash) become my favorites if I cut them into julienne strips. Dicing also gives an entirely different effect.

    dragonmamma wrote on July 15th, 2008
  19. if we’re going with names mine is the “mega-salad”.

    Hart wrote on July 15th, 2008
  20. Big-Ass Salad

    Really Righteous Salad

    Mega-Salad

    All sound good to me. Any others? (As long as it isn’t pasta salad or potato salad I’m all ears!)

    “Primal Salad” seems appropriate…

    Aaron wrote on July 15th, 2008
  21. Great point, dragonmamma!

    I like spinach shredded, too.

    I also like chopped salads where everything is in uber-small pieces. This way you can get a little of each ingredient in every bite. It’s amazing how much the size of the ingredients really matters.

    Aaron wrote on July 15th, 2008
  22. Another nomination: Salad of Unusual Size or S.o.U.S.

    (tip of the hat to Heather Daniel – http://heatherdaniel.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/track-running-and-breakfasts-of-unusual-size/)

    I think I might just grab an 8 oz Nalgene jar while I’m at REI to bring salad dressing to work in. It’s enough to last me several days, and I haven’t had any problems with them leaking.

    Lex wrote on July 15th, 2008
  23. Here’s where I first introduced my B.A.S. back in May:

    http://davegetsfit.blogspot.com/2008/05/no-it-aint-rabbit-food.html

    DaveC - DaveGetsFit wrote on July 15th, 2008
  24. Love the video! And great dressing container tips all around. Is the one you have a French press?

    The Fit and Fresh line is pretty nifty – not huge containers and there is a little danger of spillage from the dressing containers. I have the snack one that has a dressing cup in the lid, but my stuff stays upright on my commute, so no worries.

    Last thing – I totally agree about how chopping makes a big difference. I’ve gotten lazy with my veggie prep on the weekend (still making my other stuff, though) so this is inspiring and a reminder to cut them small (how I like it).

    Alex wrote on July 16th, 2008
  25. That’s what i always tell my friends, preparing healthy meals don’t take that long, it’s really easy and quick to get them ready, and our health will thank us :)

    Helder wrote on July 16th, 2008
  26. “I’m talking 30-45 minutes a day, just for one meal. I’d love to do the prep work just once or twice a week, but don’t vegetables begin to lose nutrients (rapidly) once they are cut? “

    I noticed that, too. Vitamin C in particular, a nutrient found in so many fruits and vegetables, does degrade after the produce is picked and cut. Produce with beneficial sulfur compounds – garlic, onion, broccoli, cabbage – should be cut about ten minutes before cooking/serving to allow heat-sensitive enzymes in the plant to convert the sulfur compounds into more bioavailable forms. These compounds degrade over time, too. To maximize nutrition, I also prepare my produce shortly before cooking or eating it.

    I do like the convenience of storing together foods regularly eaten together.

    Sonagi wrote on July 16th, 2008
  27. Ok, smart move to call this salad a 2 minutes salad, but we all know it is more than 2 minutes to make this salad. Preparing the ingredients is an another 10 minutes, not to mention cooking the chicken.
    :).

    Les wrote on July 16th, 2008
  28. Hey, I’m the Salad of Unusual Size Eater!

    Thanks for the Shout Out. Yes, I love big salads and I especially love them for breakfast (after a big, pre-work run). I’m known at the office for being “the girl who eats those gigantic salads.”

    Heather wrote on July 16th, 2008
  29. “A-salad-that-can-feed-five” salad, if you want names …. :D

    romesaz wrote on July 16th, 2008
  30. romesaz – That sounds about right…

    Dave C. – Sure enough. You certainly beat us to the “Big Ass Salad” punch!

    Aaron wrote on July 16th, 2008
  31. Great video, thanks for sharing! I make a similar salad although it’s a chopped salad with everything more mixed up. Salt, pepper and a little balsalmic is all I use for dressing. Big ass salads rule!

    John's Weight Loss Blog wrote on July 16th, 2008
  32. Mark, how about that dressing recipe!?

    Derek wrote on July 17th, 2008
  33. Check back on Tuesday, Derek. We’ll have 10 dressing recipes for “The Tuesday 10.”

    Aaron wrote on July 18th, 2008
  34. LOL Big ass salad

    Raphael S. wrote on August 20th, 2009
  35. Hi
    At longlast I have been looking for a site like this. I am a type 2 diabetic with food control. I have more books on diabetes and have not found one that works. I am waiting for your book to come but in the mean time I am on your site each day looking for salads to eat plus any thing else.

    I would like some deserts that I could eat and snacks I find breakfast the hard one to get the protein that I need.
    I only weigh a 100 lbs so I dont need to loose weigh.Keep up the great work.
    Thank you
    Joyce

    Joyce wrote on September 12th, 2009
  36. I just made a big ass salad before I saw your video. I think I’m on the right track. I’ve been grain free for a week and love it. I eat good and don’t consider this dieting, Thanks Mark, I’m feelin good. Dan.

    Dan Lange wrote on November 13th, 2009
  37. I make enough salad for a couple of days then take that to work so I am not washing and cutting vegies every day. Add tuna or chicken or egg and I never get bored.

    Robyn wrote on November 22nd, 2009
  38. One thing I dont understand about his dressing is the flax seed oil? Isn’t he radically opposed to grains and processed ingredients?

    nicolas wrote on November 27th, 2009
  39. I’ve been making big ass salads for 2 weeks, avoiding grains most of the time, and lost 8 lbs without trying. This is awesome.

    Eric wrote on January 12th, 2010
  40. What’s with the shoes?

    Houtten wrote on February 26th, 2010

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