15-Minute Easy Meal Prep Salad for Lunch or Dinner – No Cook Cold Asparagus Salad Recipe
There are tons of healthy meal prep lunch ideas out there featuring the simplest of veggie-packed dishes: salads. But, what if (like me) you don’t like eating a bunch of leaves? Luckily, you can still reap loads of nutritional benefits from a salad without the leaves—like this cold asparagus salad with feta cheese!
Salads can be great healthy lunches for work or cold lunches to
take on-the-go, but they’re not doing you any good if you don’t want to keep eating them. Yes, leafy
greens are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. But, if you
don’t like them or want to eat them, you won’t keep eating them!
Plus, leafy greens aren’t the only nutritious vegetable options that can make up a salad base. In fact, this asparagus salad is rich in
many of the same superfood nutrients that leafy greens contain, like vitamin K,
vitamin A, and folate. Asparagus may not be as rich in these nutrients as spinach or kale, but some is certainly better than none!
So, rather than ditching salads and their veggie-licious goodness altogether, try getting creative with new ingredients, flavors, and textures. Really, you can make ANY veggie dish more enticing by pairing it with a meal that you love. I originally crafted this cold asparagus salad as part of my grilled chicken BBQ meal prep bowls—I highly recommend giving them a try!
Healthy Aldi Meal Prep for the Week & Haul!
Crafting Cold Salads that
You Actually Enjoy
In this cold asparagus salad recipe, I’ve ditched the leaves in favor of a tastier, crunchier veggie as the main ingredient. By blanching raw asparagus for just a few minutes, it becomes more palatable, less bitter, and still maintains that satisfying crunch! Making for a much heartier salad that’s actually fun to eat.
Simply chop fresh asparagus and blanch in boiling water for a few minutes, until vibrant green. Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to an ice bath for another few minutes — and that’s it! Allow to dry slightly or pat dry with clean towels before tossing together your crave-ably crunchy cold asparagus salad.
Don’t underestimate the power of a cold vegetable salad that gives you something to chew on. It’s hard to feel satisfied after you’ve only eaten a bowlful of leaves! Combined with the sweet and tangy grape tomatoes, the rich, salty bite of feta cheese, and the added nutty crunch from the almonds, this asparagus salad is chock-full of scrumptious flavors and textures.
And, you don’t even need a complicated dressing! Just a bit of
olive oil and lemon juice get the job done, bringing out all of the yummy,
natural flavors in your cold salad. It’s great to pack as a part of a healthy
work lunch or to serve as a side dish with dinner. Or include it in your next
weekly meal prep so you’ve always got a tasty, wholesome veggie dish on-hand!
Plus, asparagus is a
great ingredient to include in a cheap healthy meal prep because it’s actually
very affordable. When I made this cold
asparagus salad recipe, I was able to get an entire pound of asparagus for just
Asparagus Nutrition &
Although it doesn’t get much of the superfood spotlight, asparagus is actually an extremely nutrient-dense vegetable. It’s low in calories per gram, but still rich in wholesome nutrients! Compared to 1 cup of spinach with 7 calories and 1g protein, 1 cup of raw asparagus contains only 27 calories and 3g of plant-based protein.
Spinach is known for its rich content of bone-building vitamin K,
and vitamin A for immune system and vision health. But, in 1 cup of raw
asparagus, you also get 70% of your
daily recommended vitamin K and 20% of your vitamin A! That’s not quite as impressive as spinach, but it’s
still one of the best non-leafy-green sources of these essential nutrients.
And, 1 cup of asparagus
actually contains a bit more folate
than spinach! Folate is a crucial B vitamin for energy
production and growth, and it’s especially important for pregnant women. So, if
you’re not into eating leaves, don’t fret! Options like this cold asparagus
salad still offer an incredible smorgasbord of nutrients.
1 lb asparagus, chopped into 2-inch pieces (~3 cups) 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved ¼ cup red onion, chopped 2 oz (~¼ cup) feta cheese ¼ cup slivered almonds drizzle of olive oil salt & pepper, to taste 8 lemon wedges
Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until vibrant green. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice bath briefly.
Drain, allow to cool to room temperature, and allow to dry a bit.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except lemon wedges) and toss to coat.
Serve immediately or portion into prep containers, with lemon wedges on the side, and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.