Published Apr 12, 2020

Sardine and tomato salad with olives and red onion

A true taste of the healthy Mediterranean diet, this salad is surprisingly filling. Sardines are an excellent choice as they are oily fish and contain many nutritional benefits – even tinned ones, which we base our recipe on for a speedy supper salad and easy on the pocket. Fresh sardines are very seasonal and often hard to get, but you can get your protein, as well as them being low (almost zero) in carbs from the tinned variety. You can also glean vitamins such as B3 (niacin), B12 (folate or iron), and D (the sunshine vitamin). 

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: N/A
Dietary: Suitable for all diets



120g tinned sardines in tomato sauce (drain the sauce and reserve for the dressing)

1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tbsp red wine vinegar

Ground black pepper to season

½tbsp capers, drained

Handful black olives, destoned and chopped into pieces

Selection of salad leaves (around 60g)

½ red onion, very thinly sliced

Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

Extra salt and pepper to season (if required)



  1. Make your dressing first, by taking a small bowl and adding the olive oil, red wine vinegar, sauce from the sardines and some ground black pepper. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Set out your salad leaves on 2 plates and break up the sardines into smaller pieces. Add the red onion slices, the capers and olives. Whisk the dressing again and pour over the salad. 
  3. Top with the fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.


Nutrition: Calories 129



Mixed berry, chicken and goat’s cheese salad

A lovely, refreshing taste of summer, and quite healthy too. You can make an alternative dressing if you prefer, but this one is delicious. Try cooking the chicken on the barbecue for that lovely, charred effect.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: N/A
Dietary: Meat eaters



1tbsp pecans, toasted

90g (about half a cup) baby spinach, stalks removed

80g (about half a cup) strawberries, halved

85g (about half a cup) blueberries

1 medium tomato, cut into 8 pieces or wedges

3 radishes, thinly sliced

160g skinless chicken breast, poached or grilled

15g goat’s cheese, crumbled (or you could use feta)

For the dressing:

40g (about ¼ cup strawberries), sliced

1tbsp fresh orange juice

1½tsp red wine vinegar

½tsp orange zest

½tsp sugar

2tbsp low-fat Greek yoghurt

Pinch salt

Couple of grinds of black pepper



  1. Make your dressing first by placing all the ingredients in a blender (you can hand mix it, but it will be a little lumpy). Try to get it as smooth as possible, then set aside ready for when you serve.
  2. Toast the pecans in your oven for around 3 minutes at 200°C/180C fan/Gas mark 6. Remove and place to one side.
  3. Mix the remaining fruit and salad items in a large bowl to combine. Top with thick slices of chicken, crumbled goat’s cheese, sprinkle with pecan nuts and pour over the dressing, then serve!


Nutrition: Calories 272



Shrimp with celeriac remoulade

This salad is packed with protein, very low in carbs (shrimps contain less than 1 carb per 100 grams), and low in fat. We use brown shrimp in this recipe, as they are much more flavoursome than the average prawns. The remoulade is typically French and can be used in most types of salads. It is useful to have a chopper that cuts thin matchsticks, as these are crunchier than using a grater. Perfect for a low-calorie lunch box. Light and tasty, you will make this salad time and time again.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: N/A
Dietary: Suitable for all diets, Gluten free



1 large carrot (somewhere in between would be good), cut into matchsticks

1 small celeriac, outer removed then cut into matchsticks

3tbsp low-fat mayonnaise

2tbsp low-fat Greek yoghurt

Small bunch chives, chopped

1tbsp Dijon mustard (or more if you like it hotter)

Squeeze lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

60g brown shrimp (you can find these in tubs in the supermarket, but drain off any liquid)



  1. After preparing your vegetables, quickly whisk the dressing together (mayonnaise, yoghurt, mustard, lemon juice, chives and seasoning). 
  2. In a medium sized bowl, toss in your vegetables and thoroughly mix with the dressing, making sure all the ingredients are well coated. Add most of the shrimp, mix again, scatter remaining shrimp over the top, adjust seasoning and then serve.


Nutrition: 79 calories (calorie count may vary depending on brands used)



Middle Eastern Rainbow Salad

This refreshing salad is so healthy and has only 90 calories per serving. Both carbs and fats are relatively low, meaning it is ideal for a weight loss diet. You can also gain 49% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, a big boost to your immune system. Quick to make if you have all the ingredients. Will also last a couple of days in the fridge. Simple to make, and you can always add some chicken, fish, cheese or cheese to make it more wholesome, although some people find it quite filling.  Do not forget though, that this would add to your overall nutrition count.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: N/A
Nutrition: Suitable for all diets



¼ (approx. 2 medium handfuls) small red cabbage, shredded in small strips

8 small ripe tomatoes, diced and deseeded (try to get mixed colours)

1 whole medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 Irani (they are small) cucumbers (also called Persian or Israeli), diced small with skin on (you can use ordinary cucumber, but the flavour of the Middle Eastern variety is much better)

25g small white button mushrooms, sliced

25g pitted Kalamata olives (black or green or mixed)

¾tbsp fresh lemon juice

½tbsp olive oil

Small pinch of salt, or more to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

Small handful freshly chopped parsley, to garnish



  1. Prepare all your ingredients as directed. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. 
  2. Toss the vegetables into a suitable bowl, add the olives and seasoning, and pour over the dressing (the dressing is very light and fresh – if you want more, just double the content, you can save any leftover in the fridge).
  3. Sprinkle with parsley when ready to serve.


Nutrition: 89 calories



Turkish Summer Chickpea Salad

If you like a little spice in your salad, try making this one. It is more filling, but still low in calories and packed with protein. Not something to eat in large portions, as chickpeas contain a relatively high amount of carbohydrates. A salad like this really warrants a good dressing to lift it up. As a side salad, or small portion it is only 150 calories, 205 calories for a larger amount, so you can afford to add some sliced chicken or tuna or grilled steak to it for something with a little more sustenance. You can also spice it up with a few chopped pickles or gherkins!

Serves: 2
Prep time: 5-10 mins
Cook time: N/A
Dietary: All, including vegetarians and vegans



75g cherry tomatoes (get the multi-coloured ones, it makes the salad bright), sliced in half

200g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained of salt

½ large cucumber, cut into small chunks

1 medium sized red onion

½ clove garlic, crushed

1½tbsp za’atar spice mix

3tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½tsp dried oregano

4tbsp flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Ground black pepper, to taste



  1. Firstly, make your za’atar oil, by combining the olive oil, garlic, za’atar and dried oregano, whisking well. If it is a little thick, add the lemon juice. It is not meant to be thick, but if you do not need the lemon juice here, save it to drizzle over the top of the salad. Set aside.
  2. Prepare all your salad items as described. Toss into a bowl, pour or spoon over the dressing, sprinkle with the parsley and gently mix with clean hands. Serve immediately.


Nutrition: 205 calories



Healthy Quinoa Salad with fruits

Quinoa can be linked to a weight loss diet as it is high in protein, and with a good amount of dietary fibre. Fibre will bind with cholesterol and fat making weight loss a possibility if combined with the right foods. Whilst infinitely better than white rice, like most foods it should be eaten in moderation. It is also satisfying and a little more filling than just a simple salad.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: Approx 20 mins for quinoa
Dietary: Vegetarian, Gluten free, low on GI index



50g quinoa

2 handfuls mint, coriander and parsley, chopped (combine the 3 in a handful, not 2 of each)

25g hazelnuts, toasted

2 nectarines, peaches or apricots – any soft summer fruit, destoned and cut into pieces

1¼tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juice and zest 



  1. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cooking the quinoa, as they do vary. Once cooked, drain off liquid and leave to cool. Fork it up, to make sure that it is a little fluffy and not sticking together.
  2. Add the fruit, nuts and chopped herbs and mix through the salad. Add the fruit pieces.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon zest until combined, then pour over the mixed salad.
  4. Serve immediately. If you have any left over, store in an airtight container and use for lunch the next day!


Nutrition: Calories 242



‘La Petite Reine’ – Coronation Chicken salad recipe

Prepared initially for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, we have adapted it slightly to make it different. It is also great for using up leftover chicken (if you have any), but if not, you can cook off a couple of chicken breasts and leave to cool, before making the recipe. With a good protein content and not too high in calories, it is a tasty, perfect lunch or supper dish.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 20 mins with leftover chicken 
Cook time: 30 mins for poached chicken or 12 minutes for grilled
Dietary: Not suitable for vegetarians/vegans or nut allergy



2 chicken supremes (without skin) approx.160g each

1 heaped tsp curry powder (you decide on the heat factor)

3tbsp olive oil

2tbsp mango chutney

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cucumber, cut julienne style (matchsticks)

6 radishes, topped, tailed and sliced thinly

60g watercress or rocket

Toasted almond flakes (28g or 2tbsp)



  1. Brush the chicken breasts with a little oil and dust with the curry powder, keeping back about ½tsp of the curry powder.
  2. Cook the chicken breasts in a large frying pan for around 5-6 minutes each side, until completely cooked through and a slightly golden colour. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
  3. When cool, cut into strips. Whisk together the remaining curry powder, mango chutney, oil and lemon juice.
  4. Take the prepared salad ingredients and place in a bowl with the chicken and pour over the dressing. Toss with your hands then serve, sprinkled with the toasted almonds.


Nutrition: 383 calories 



Written by Bev Walton

Food Writer and Nutritionist, dietician

A chef of over 35 years with experience in all types of cuisine, dietary plans, recipe development, health and nutrition. I have been writing for over 10 years for both magazines, websites and ghostwriting for ebooks, Kindle and fully published books. I have a degree in nutrition and dietetics and work with restaurants and organisations within the healthcare profession. I am also able to take high quality photographs of recipes created. No writing task is too great, and whilst I specialise in the above, I am able to write about any topic you throw at me. Member of the Guild of food writers.

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