Weight Gain Wednesdays – Healthy Salads For Weight Gain

It’s Weight Gain Wednesday time! If you missed the past 2 weeks of blogs about healthy weight gain using high energy and nutrient dense foods feel free to catch up with top nutrient dense foods to gain healthy weight and how to make healthy smoothies to gain weight.

This week is all about salads! Yup, salads aren’t just a weight loss options, they can be pumped up too for extra nutrition to nourish that growing body of yours to help with weight gain too!

 Typical Basic Salad recipe:

2 cups Romaine lettuce or leafy greens, chopped
Tomato, sliced
¼ cucumber, sliced
Grilled chicken breast, sliced
1 – 2 tbsp vinaigrette

(Kind of like the grilled lemon chicken and romaine salad I posted awhile back)

 Salad Pumper Uppers For Healthy Weight Gain

  • Nuts/seeds – slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, hempseeds, walnuts, pecans, etc – for extra protein and healthy fats
  • Avocado – for extra healthy fats to help that skin look glorious as you grow
  • Olive oil – and lots of it! Healthy fats and extra density that doesn’t take up a lot of room in the belly
  • Beans/lentils – for added protein and fiber
  • Chicken Thighs or Ground chicken  or Salmon or grass fed steak (organic) – for added density and extra protein to encourage muscle growth, or additional protein in general as your requirements will increase
  • Quinoa – for added complex carbohydrates and protein
  • Fruits – for added healthy carbohydrates

*One of the best and easiest ways to add density to a salad is making the base a quinoa/grain or bean option instead of leafy greens and adding in chopped veggies on top.

New Pumped Up Salad Recipe for Weight Gain

1 cup sliced veggies – spinach, cucumber, carrots, peppers, sliced small
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 apple, sliced or 2 tbsp raisins for more compact energy
2 grilled organic chicken thighs, sliced

Nutritious Additions
2-3 tbsp hempseeds
½ – full avocado, sliced
2 tbsp vinaigrette (1  tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar)
Other optional add-ons if you’re not full from this meal yet – 1/2 cup beans/lentils, more quinoa

The theme of these blogs are to outline how to increase the energy/nutrition in the same quantity of the food first and then add in food that will take up more physical space in the stomach.

So with this salad, I reduced the veggies by 1 cup and sliced them really small, and added 1 cup quinoa for added density to replace 1 cup veggie carbs with 1 cup starchy carbs and a bit of protein. I also swapped out the tomato for an apple for some added healthy carbohydrates and density.

The add ons are the hempseeds and avocado, which really don’t add too much actual bulk to the salad but certainly add more caloric and nutrient density. The chicken was also swapped from a breast to chicken thighs which are also more dense and yes, they do have more fat, but did you know the myoglobin from chicken thighs is great for endurance athletes and anyone else who requires oxygen to their muscles? Pretty cool. And definitely helpful for the weight gain community.

This salad won’t make you gain weight just by eating it and as always is suitable for anyone and any goal, it is just a guideline for how to increase density and nutrition for typical recipes and the rest of your day must reflect eating for weight gain as well so please adjust portions to your hunger, and gradually increase as you move along with your weight gain progress but keep the food quality high not just the quantity.

Stay tuned for next wednesdays weight gain blog!

UPDATE: Please enjoy the rest of the series

Weight Gain Wednesday – High Calorie Nutrient Dense foods for healthy weight gain

Weight Gain Wednesday – Smoothies for healthy weight gain

Weight Gain Wednesday – How to decrease gas and bloating when trying to gain healthy weight

Weight Gain Wednesday – Bringing health and nutrition back to the breakfast porridge

About Sarah Maughan

Sarah Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, ON and has been consulting since 2009. Her website aims to educate you, make you laugh, help you live and inspire you to eat whole food! To stay up to date sign up for free blog and recipe updates! In the meantime, empower your body with food!
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