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Greenville, SC

Trimarni is place where athletes and fitness enthusiasts receive motivation, inspiration, education, counseling and coaching in the areas of nutrition, fitness, health, sport nutrition, training and life.

We emphasize a real food diet and our coaching philosophy is simple: Train hard, recover harder. No junk miles but instead, respect for your amazing body. Every time you move your body you do so with a purpose. Our services are designed with your goals in mind so that you can live an active and healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Trimarni Blog

A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life

Chicken Taco Salad

Marni Sumbal

Salads are an easy pick when trying to add more vitamins and minerals to your diet. You probably order fat-free dressing or dressing on the side in order to save calories. But some salads at fast-food and restaurants have the healthy ingredients in the inside but the killer calories come from the outside. Yes, I'm talking about the Taco Salad.
Before I turned "healthy" (circa 2000), I always struggled finding food when on the road. I traveled a lot for swim meets or my brothers gymnastics meets and I wasn't a big fan of salads. Now I don't like fast food salads because they are expensive and all I get are a few shredded carrots and tomatoes on a bed of browning ice burg lettuce. Then, however, I wanted cheese, cheese and more cheese and that wasn't found in salad. I've been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old and for the first 8 years of my "meat-free life" I ate a lot of pasta, cheese, pizza and well, more cheese. Luckily, my outside's looked ok because I swam around 8000-10,000 yards 5 days a week(competitive swimming in HS and college), however, I could only imagine what all those frozen bagel bites (remember those?) and extra cheese slices of Papa John's did to my insides. When I was younger I would always order taco salads because well, they were so filling. I got my yummy cheese in the inside and I loved the crunch of the outside. Now, I know better. Thank goodness for a self-desire at the age of 20 to become a healthy vegetarian athlete.
Think twice (or 3 times) next time you order a taco salad (fast food or restaurant) for a healthy lunch/dinner...
Hardee's Taco Salad:
Calories - 1090
Fat - 80g
Saturated fat - 19g
Sodium - 1950mg

Taco Bell Taco Salad:
Calories - 850
Fat - 52g
Sodium - 2250mg

Comparison at Dunkin donuts:
3 Chocolate Kreme filled - 930 calories
25 Cinnamon Cake Munchkins - 75 grams fat

So, if you are in the mood for a taco salad, I created one just for you!

Chicken Taco Salad
Chicken breast
1/2 can chickpeas (you can use any type of bean)
1 cup corn
1/3 cup purple onion (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
Romaine lettuce
1 tbsp olive oil
Cayenne/pepper/chili flakes
Shredded cheese (taco, mexican)

1. Cook chicken breast to your liking. I used olive oil and lemon pepper. After cooking, remove from pan. If you have a vegetarian in the house, cook meat on another pan than veggies.
2. On a non-stick skillet, heat to medium high. Pour olive oil on pan.
3. Cook chickpeas, onions, corn and garlic until golden brown. Season with cayenne/pepper/chili flakes.
4. On a bed of lettuce, scoop a few spoonfuls veggie mixture on top.
5. Top with chicken. You can either cut the chicken into pieces or use strips of chicken.
6. Take your favorite chip/cracker (ex. garlic wheat thins or baked chips) and crumble a small handful chips on top.
7. Finish with a few spoonfuls salsa and shredded cheese (not pictured in my picture).

Vegetarian version:
Substitute veggie burger and 2 egg whites for the chicken.

*Chips/crackers aren't part of our staple diet but because Karel brought them home the other day when Native Sun catered the WOW Trek Sale on sat, I decided to incorporate them in a meal. No sense wasting them. I love using new ingredients/foods in recipes!