Last week I wrote about the unhealthy meals that sustained me through my first year of university (and my first year of living out of home) that resulted in me gaining a whole lot of weight and losing a whole lot of self-confidence.
This week I have another recipe for you that sustained me throughout a year of university. This salad was my go-to meal prep recipe and helped me to lose a substantial amount of weight, and ultimately change my lifestyle for the better – all on a uni student’s budget (that’s not much you guys).
On a Sunday night, I would cut up a pumpkin into cubes and cook it in a frypan, this was because my dorm oven destroyed pretty much everything that went into it. While the pumpkin was cooking, I would cut two chicken breasts into pieces. I’d remove the cooked pumpkin and leave to cool and cook the chicken with a splash of water in the same pan. After the pumpkin and chicken were cooled, I’d place them in a container, ready to be added to a bowl of mixed lettuce leaves and topped with a crumble of Danish feta during the week.
The salad pictured was made with roast chicken instead of breast, a great healthy way to repurpose leftovers. This is still one of my favourite salad recipes that provides a source of lean protein, nutritious vegetables and most importantly, taste!
Try this pumpkin salad recipe as an easy mid-week dinner for the family or as four meal-prep dishes for one.
- Spray olive oil
- 1 large butternut pumpkin (500g), skinned, cut into 3cm cubes
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 3cm pieces
- 1/2 square of Danish feta (120g)
- 1 large bag of pre-washed lettuce mix (200g, about 4 large handfuls)
- 2 Tbsp pepitas
- Spread pumpkin pieces on a baking tray or frypan and spray lightly with oil.
- Roast in oven, or cook pumpkin in a frypan, until the inside of each piece is soft and the outside is crispy.
- Once cooked, remove and leave to cool.
- In the same frypan, add chicken pieces with a splash of water and cook on medium heat until water is evaporated and chicken is cooked through.
- Add more water if it begins to evaporate too quickly before chicken is cooked.
- Remove from pan a leave to cool slightly.
- Arrange lettuce on four plates or bowls and add 1/4 of the chicken and pumpkin to each.
- Top each with crumbled feta and pepitas and serve.
- If you're meal prepping this recipe, store cooled chicken and pumpkin in one container and add lettuce, feta and pepitas just before eating.