Recipes

Postpartum Meals Series: Chop Chop Salad

written by: Lo Mansfield, MSN, RN

I know that a postpartum salad is typically not everyone’s go-to when they think of a comforting postpartum meal or recipes for a new mama. But hang on a second. Because I have been making this salad for postpartum friends (and myself) for years – and if I’m being honest? I have yet to meet someone who does not absolutely love this salad. Seriously. Not one person.

I’m a little bit of a “seasonal meal bringer,” and I do try to honor what feels right based on the weather or the season when mama has that baby. In those darker, cooler months, I definitely love bringing a hot dish or a warm soup (this fagioli is one of my favs). But for those warmer, longer days or postpartum seasons, this salad is truly my go-to. It is FULL of nutrients that mama needs, including tons of veggies and proteins. The homemade dressing is so, so good. And it actually keeps really well in the fridge (if not all tossed together), so I love making a huge portion and hope that mama and fam have (and enjoy) the leftovers.

 bowl of italian chop chop salad

Who is The Labor Mama and Why Am I Here?

Hey friend! I’m Lo – also known around here and social media as The Labor Mama. I’ve spent my nursing career in labor, delivery, and postpartum, have birthed 3 of my own babies, have labored thousands of mamas at the bedside, have taught hundreds of students online, and have even delivered a few speedy little babies with my bare hands (oops).

Here at TLM, I offer online birth classes to empower you the way everyone should be. The education + support I offer gives you experience, evidence, and empathy; you’re getting all of my years of “clinical” RN knowledge, beautifully combined with my real experiences as a mama and a nurse. These are not your hospital birth classes (those won’t do it, I promise), and honestly, birth doesn’t follow a textbook or protocol anyway – you need to know so much more than that.

If you want to connect with me further, head to Instagram. There are hundreds of thousands of us over there learning together daily.

Now, let’s get you to the recipe ⬇️

Nutritious postpartum salad recipe

CHOP CHOP SALAD

Source: My MIL’s Kitchen

Ingredients

For the Italian Vinaigrette:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 C red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 C olive oil

For the Salad:

  • 1 head of lettuce (I prefer chopped romaine)
  • 1 C fresh basil, leaves chopped
  • 1/2 C chickpeas
  • 8 ounces of dry wine salami, diced
  • 8 ounces of plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 C provolone cheese (grated or cubed)
  • 1/2 C mozzarella (I prefer fresh, chopped or small balls)
  • 12 ounces of shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. To prepare vinaigrette: Combine *egg yolk and water in small bowl and whisk well. Cover the bowl with a small plate and microwave on high for 10 seconds, or until mixture starts to expand. Continue to cook 5 seconds longer. Whisk again. Cover and return to microwave for another 5 seconds. Remove, whisk again, and then cover and let sit 1 minute. In a *food processor/small blender, process egg yolk mixture, dijon, garlic, salt, pepper, dry mustard, oregano, sugar, vinegar and lemon juice. Add in olive oil, processing (or blending) until emulsified.
  2. To prepare salad: Combine salad *ingredients in large bowl and top with a few turns of cracked black pepper. I like to grate on some parmesan if it’s available. Toss salad with dressing just before eating.

Recipe Notes

  • Egg yolk for vinaigrette: I have definitely skipped this part in a hurry or when I don’t want to deal with it. I haven’t noticed any difference in flavor, just consistency of dressing (it’s a bit less smooth/creamy).
  • Food processing: I have done this in a food processor and a small blender. Honestly, I don’t see a ton of difference in the outcome (as long as your blender is small enough to do it’s job with this volume).
  • Salad ingredients: Feel free to get creative here. The avocado is an addition my family loves. We also work with whatever Italian-style cheeses we have available, have skipped chicken to make it a bit lighter, etc. No hard and fast rules (just don’t skip that dressing)!
  • Mixing the dressing in: As expected, the salad doesn’t keep well if it is all tossed together. This recipe makes a large salad, so if you don’t think you’ll eat it all in one sitting, only toss the portion you will eat with dressing and keep the salad/dressing leftovers separate.

If you are taking this to a postpartum mama, I would suggest keeping the vinaigrette and salad ingredients separate (don’t toss it all together). I also like to drop it off with the tomato(es) unsliced/separate and the whole avocado and allow the family to portion those in (fresh) when they are ready to eat. Don’t forget some fresh crusty bread and a fresh batch of lactation cookies for dessert (or breakfast 😉).

What do you think? Salad for postpartum, yes or no? Try this one before you decide and then let me know in the comments! xx – Lo

chop chop salad with mozzarella, chicken, avocados, salami and tomatoes

More resources (and freebies!) for you to take a peek at:

A note: This post may include affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission (thank you)! Rest assured, this comes at no additional cost to you. You can read TLM’s full disclosure here.

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About the Author

Lo Mansfield MSN, RNC-OB, is a specialty-certified registered nurse in obstetrics, postpartum, and fetal monitoring who is passionate about families understanding their integral role in their own stories. She is the owner of The Labor Mama and creator of the The Labor Mama online courses. She is also a mama of three, a University of Washington graduate (Go Dawgs), and is currently an expat in Haarlem, Netherlands. 

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