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. Yep, real men DO eat salad, and LOTS of it! I grow my greens in the summer in prodigous quantities and devour them at least a couple times a day. When I can’t grow them I buy them and do the same. Lots of good veggies (did I mention I LOVE my garden?), lean meat & fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, topped with balasmic dressing. I don’t avoid grain carbs but I limit them to once a day, and never in the morning or at noon. Sugar spikes, fatigue, insulin related blood sugar drops and the inevitable cravings, are gone from my life. Just over 2 months and 25 pounds lost, and there is no doubt that I’m on the right track. Energy levels, muscle tone, mental clarity, brighter eyes, better skin, and postive comments and looks from not just my wife but also from women when I’m out and about…it all adds up to a very powerful motivator to keep on doing what I’m doing and futher refining how I do it. Lots of time in the gym too, with cardio and resistanc training. The endorphin rush from a good workout is a reward in itself!

    Rick wrote on March 8th, 2010
  2. I haven’t read through all the comments so it may be up there, but what would you substitute instead of chicken for us vegetarians?

    Daylie wrote on April 12th, 2010
  3. i top salad with coconut flour crusted goat cheese fried in olive oil; maybe some strawberries and walnuts, then annie’s goddress dressing – oh yeah

    pam wrote on April 16th, 2010
  4. Thanks for sharing. What amazed me the most is you keeping everything ready into tupperwares. Never thought about such a time saving trick. Do you leave items out after washing to make them dry, before storing them? You keep a – dry? – towel on top of the salad greens to absorb moisture, don’t you?

    Elena wrote on April 27th, 2010
  5. Cheese, nuts, DIY croutons made with quinoa or amaranth meal; these thing will add great taste, texture and protien to the salad and are all vegetarian in nature. Omit the cheese and it’s even vegan.

    The secret to clean and healthy eating is planning and preparation. Tupperware makes some awesome containers for storing veggies in. We use ours for lettuce and other veggies. Whether from the garden or the market, when it’s in the house we prep things into bite-sized pieces and store it in the fridge so it’s ready to go. Salads, stir frys and quick snacks are convenient and ready to go when we want them.

    Rick wrote on May 18th, 2010
  6. Balsamic vinegar has a surprising number of carbs/sugar in it, and isn’t listed in the fitday info provided. It’s about 4-5 carbs per tbsp.

    And did someone seriously say that 4 oz of pasta has the same number of carbs as 4 oz of veggies??

    -Jess, big fan of big salads.

    Jess wrote on July 7th, 2010
  7. Hey Mark! I liked you in “Point Break” and “Under Siege”

    bobstoufus wrote on July 27th, 2010
  8. I thought snow peas were a legume and were not allowed?

    Evo wrote on August 21st, 2010
  9. This is a wonderful salad. Easy to make and healthy.

    buy l-arginine plus wrote on December 1st, 2010
  10. Wheres the video?

    Stacey wrote on December 23rd, 2010
  11. I know you from somewhere!! Oh yeah, P90X!!!

    Joydev wrote on January 20th, 2011
  12. Don’t refrigerate tomatoes!

    Patrick wrote on March 16th, 2011
  13. My husband and I also eat enormous salads as much as possible! I am into all kinds of lettuce and greens, arugula, watercress, frizee, spinach and more- all superfoods. I either make my own dressing, or use miso. I have lovely photos of my salads. My fave is rare grilled ahi on cabbage & lettuce with ginger wasabi miso dressing & sesame seeds.

    Lola Dee wrote on April 3rd, 2011
  14. is there a link available for the dressings?

    liese wrote on April 4th, 2011
  15. No way does this take 2 minutes. I wouldn’t have time to make this every day. The prep takes ages then there’s the chicken to cook then all the clearing up. A bit misleading actually……..

    Gem wrote on April 21st, 2011
  16. I have a big ass,

    esther wrote on June 8th, 2011
  17. Mark the Big Ass Salad is the way to go. I agree. More times than none, that’s what I have, I just tend to change my protein around, depending on what’s left over from dinner the night before or what’s available, i.e. tuna fish, salmon, some rotisserie chicken. Plus my wife makes my salad dressings too. There’s nothing like a homemade salad dressing. Mark quick suggestion though, it would be Awesome (Barney Stinson voice) if you made your videos, IPAD FRIENDLY. I know many of your followers like myself would appreciate it..

    Kermit R wrote on July 6th, 2011
  18. Snow peas are just a pod. There are no legumes in the pod. For those of you, who may have problems with cucumbers, I have been using zucchini slices as a substitute. Pine nuts are very expensive. Walnuts would be good on a salad.

    Michael wrote on July 12th, 2011
  19. On one of the old posts someone asked about the salad dressing mixer, I saw something at Starbucks that would work perfectly for this; it’s an instant ice tea mixer cup and it has propeller type blades at the bottom that gyrate and go up and down when you pump the pump handle on the cup. It looks like a 16 oz. cup so it’s a good size.

    NicoleG wrote on July 14th, 2011
  20. Easy, looks tasty, beautiful!

    And I want that kitchen. Refrigerated drawer *drool*. And that stove! *drool* X 100!

    Stickboy wrote on July 16th, 2011
  21. Instead of the “Big Ass” Salad…today I had a “Kick Ass” Salad!!! Or is it the Everything in the fridge salad…either way, IT ROCKED!

    Tonja P wrote on July 18th, 2011
  22. I had a massive salad for lunch today too! Avocado, mesculin salad, 4-different bell peppers, flax seeds, grape tomatoes, craisins (small amount), and organic goddess dressing from trader joes! YUMMM

    Morgan wrote on July 18th, 2011
  23. I love how you say “fats are our friend.” And that salad just made me hungry. Lots of good stuff on there–the pine nuts are a good touch. I have been using sunflower seeds. I love me some heir loom tomatoes as well.

    Jamison wrote on September 13th, 2011
  24. Mark..how come you list snow peas in the salad? I always thought peas and beans were not allowed on the primal diet?. I may have to refresh my memory and reread some your book? Time to get my book back from my cousin

    William Braithwaite wrote on September 28th, 2011
  25. Is that a big-ass salad? Or, a big, ass-salad?

    Jeff Lebowski wrote on October 15th, 2011
  26. That salad is 63% Fat… and my idea of a big salad is at least 1 head of lettuce. This really isn’t a salad at all but a serving of meat and fat with a little bit of lettuce if you look at calo-nutrient ratio. I really believe recommending people eat a high fat, high protein diet will cause serious long term problems.

    Robert wrote on November 10th, 2011
    • No, I’ve done the math on this before. If you add a can of Coke and a large candy bar to the big ass salad, you are no longer eating “high fat”. Because “high fat” is measured as a percentage, so just adding a bunch of crappy carbs to it makes it no longer “high fat”.

      But it’s patently obvious that soda and candy does NOT make a healthier lunch than just a big pile of veggies and good protein nicely dressed with healthy oil.

      It’s the entire problem with looking at diet as percentages – it can result in stupidity.

      jpatti wrote on September 10th, 2013
  27. New to the site & read on your bio you believe in limited fruits, how is it that 6 of your 10 ingredients in your fastest, favorite and healthiest meal of the day… are fruits?

    VV wrote on November 13th, 2011
  28. The good thing about salad is you can have as much as you want. For those of us that love to eat and hate to cook, the video has great tips.

    Clara wrote on December 17th, 2011
  29. I’m a vegetarian, so we drop the dead chicken (it never did anything to us).

    We replace the chicken with Chinese Mock Duck (which is mostly wheat gluten… semi-bad) sliced finely, coated in a mixture of vegetable stock powder and cayenne pepper and fried in coconut oil, it’s awesome. You could also coat some tempeh in spices, salt and pepper and fry those babies to a crisp without worrying about the dreaded phyto-oestrogens.

    The other way to change things up (that that Mark has mentioned elsewhere, but didn’t mention in the video) is to change the dressings. Add some Sesame Oil, maybe a little chili… Mark’s sensational strawberry vinaigrette.

    Put some fresh baby herbs (coriander leaf [cilantro, for Americans], basil, mint) picked straight from a grow-tub into the mix – add some toasted garlic or shallots for crunch (and maybe some roasted crushed peanuts – why the hell not).

    GT wrote on January 21st, 2012
  30. Can you tell me where you got or where I could purchase your salad dressing container. It looks better than using a mason jar for mixing a dressing together. Please email ASAP.
    Thanks.

    Jeanne Blandino wrote on January 25th, 2012
    • It’s from Pampered Chef. I LOVE most of their things and I have that dressing mixer thing (whatever it’s called) but I prefer to just use a jar where I can just shake it before pouring. Much cheaper…

      Barbara wrote on September 13th, 2012
  31. I eat an even bigger-ass salad, and was very intrigued by the promise of a humongous bowl of greeens, good fat, and protein that could be made in just 2 minutes, as it takes me a heck of a lot more than 2 mins to throw mine together. As a couple of other folks have mentioned, calling this a “Two-Minute Salad” is rather misleading: you’ve (I hope) pre-scrubbed your veggies, you’ve pre-chopped most of them (maybe not the tomatoes, if they’re grape tomatoes), you’ve pre-BBQed the chicken, and you’ve bought a mixed salad green mix (which really isn’t safe from food poisoning, as we’ve learned from the baby spinach and other bagged-salad crises) and whereas you’ve done everything else in advance, you can’t've run your salad through a salad spinner or treated it with the peroxide/vinegar trick (see (1), and:

    http://www.cooksinfo.com/peroxide-vinegar-sterilization

    … ) or it would have gone rotten: you have to do this kind of thing fresh, and in either case it takes time. And, your wife pre-made the salad dressing!

    How long does it *really* take to make the “two-minute salad”? I’m guessing an hour …

    1. Kristen Y. Bell, Catherine N. Cutter, Susan S. Sumner .
    Reduction of foodborne micro-organisms on beef carcass tissue using
    acetic acid, sodium bicarbonate, and hydrogen peroxide spray washes.
    Food Microbiol. 1997;14:439?48

    Michael wrote on March 2nd, 2012
  32. I use a big bowl. I fill it with an entire bag of mixed salad greens ( the kind with carrots and red cabbage)..cut up 2 hard boiled eggs..throw on 1/4 cup Kraft cheese crumbles..cut up 2 tomatoes..toss in some grilled chicken breats ( cubed)..sprinkle on some sunflower seeds and pepitas..cut up 3 strawberries..and drizzle the whole thing with an oil based dressing.

    This huge sucker will last me all day. When I’m home..and hungry, I’ll just pull it from the frige and eat til I’m no longer hungry..then back into the fridge it goes.

    If I’m out..I’ll just take some along in a gladware bowl….or I’ll just eat my nuts.

    And yes..I’ve learned to never say that around kids….atleast my own weird crazy kids.

    I call it my ”No More FAT ASS” Salad

    Karla wrote on March 3rd, 2012
  33. That salad surely looks great, but I wonder if the veggies would not a little dry and boring after a couple of hours in the fridge?

    Inus wrote on March 4th, 2012
  34. I’d like you to say what type of balsamic you use. Aged 7/10/25 years, or the OTC stuff.

    Charles wrote on May 9th, 2012
  35. “WHO’S a GOOD SALAD??” -Me, everyday, to my salad, while putting the finishing touches

    Ro wrote on May 28th, 2012
  36. Love the 2 minute salad. All my meals take 1 minute by the way. All I do is spend an hour the night before cooking and preparing everything, putting it in the fridge, then taking it out the next day and heating for 60 seconds…. *rolls eyes at 2 minute salad title* Everything is 2 minutes or less when you pre-prepare things… seriously?

    Chuck wrote on June 11th, 2012
  37. I recently started eating big salads daily and I’m wondering if it’s actually causing me to eat more at other meals because I feel like my appetite has increased.

    Linda B wrote on August 16th, 2012
  38. Get real. We don’t all live in California or Florida. Try north of 60, and then try, try to survive without grains and root vegetables. You Americans live so cheap, so “high off the hog” and the rest of the world is your banana republic.

    J*ns wrote on September 13th, 2012
  39. Mark how do you make your salad dressing? Mostly what and a little bit of… etc… This would be a great help!
    Thanks!

    Travis wrote on September 24th, 2012
  40. How come all the greens i try to store in fridge spoils in a matter of days. I am hardly ever able to use it all up no matter how hard i try, it is even harder if i want some mixed stuff.

    :-/

    wese wrote on October 5th, 2012

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