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Let's Talk Salads!

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Old 03-26-2010, 11:51 PM   #1
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OK, so salads kind of get a bad rap. On one end of the spectrum, you have the stigma of 'rabbit food' and on the other end you have salads that rival Big Macs for calorie and fat content. But salads are one of my favorite ways to get a lot of volume for not a lot of calories. And I'm looking for more ideas! What are some of your favorite, healthy and oh-so-delicious salads?

Here are a couple of mine:

Take some baby greens, slice some fresh strawberries, toss in some low-fat feta cheese and a couple tablespoons of toasted walnuts, sprinkle with some raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette. It's like summer in a bowl!

Grill a chicken breast and baste with a tablespoon of basil pesto. Take some baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and sliced mushrooms and toss with some Italian-style dressing. Cut up the chicken and place on the salad. So filling and so good! I usually have this for lunch with leftover chicken from supper the night before.

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Old 03-27-2010, 12:45 AM   #2
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I have romaine, grape or cherry tomatoes, and various other vegetables. Then I add a few kidney beans, baked chicken, or hard boiled egg. I always add a tablespoon of sunflower or pumpkin seeds and some dried cranberries. I'm not a big dressing fan, so I put my dressing on the side and fork-dip.

It's so tasty, and filling, versatile, and not too expensive in terms of calories - one of my faves.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:01 AM   #3
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I love fresh baby spinach tossed with cucumbers, green peppers, and kidney beans. To keep it from being dry I'll top it with 1/2 a serving of cottage cheese. If I'm riding a protein wave I'll add 1/2-1 can of tuna into the mix.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:10 AM   #4
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I just posted about my salad in another thread. I have leaf lettuce or mixed baby lettuce with carrots, cucumber, onions, radish and chicken, hardboiled egg and avocado. I use dressing (light/low fat) and Bacos. I add pasta or rice or potato or I have a whole wheat pita - having the grain or starch is what really gives it staying power for me, I generally eat lunch around noon (although it can take me 30 minutes or more to eat) and then nothing else until supper around 7 pm.

I have the same salad every day, because these are all the things I like on a salad, so if I ever think about skipping something to changes things up, I always decide why skip something I like! I'm one of those people who can eat the same thing every day and I look forward to my salad every day. I do have something different once or twice a month, and that seems to be enough of a break for me to not get bored.

My lunch is typically 650-750 calories, depending on just how much of everything I use - I weigh and measure each morning, so I can adjust based on whether I'm having 2 or 2.5 oz of avocado, etc. This is my main meal of the day, and I found that I was happier and more satisfied with my great big salad rather than having a smaller salad and then a snack later on in the day. However, I like the flexibility to cut back on the portions if I'm going out to a restaurant for supper or something like that.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:34 AM   #5
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Taco salads are my favorites as they are quick and easy to make. You can use the meat of your choice but are always oh so delish!
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:45 AM   #6
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I eat a pretty simple salad and it doesn't vary much... I am in love with Dole's bagged "Field Greens" salad. I don't even know exactly what everything in it is, but it's very yummy! I add tomato and a few crushed croutons.

I will not give up ranch dressing as I hate every other kind. I found a wonderful light ranch though and use it in moderation. I was struggling with not overdoing it on dressing so I started using a salad shaker and that's been great!

If anyone else feels slighted on dressing, give the shaker method a shot... Any container with a lid will work - just put in your salad and a serving of dressing, close and shake. It's shocking how far a little dressing goes when you do this!
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:29 AM   #7
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I love "salad crunchies" on my salad. It's a mix of seeds and the added crunch helps me forget about my first love (croutons)
I also like a sprinkling of cranberries on top!
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:02 AM   #8
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If anyone else feels slighted on dressing, give the shaker method a shot... Any container with a lid will work - just put in your salad and a serving of dressing, close and shake. It's shocking how far a little dressing goes when you do this!
I second this idea. I started shaking when I bought a take-out chicken Caesar salad, and on a whim shook the plastic container to distribute the dressing. I take my lunch in a Fit and Fresh container, so my salad is either in the main compartment (if it's the main part of my meal) or one of the smaller containers (holds a snug cup and a half). Easy to close and shake to distribute dressing.

I keep bagged washed greens on hand, and broccoli slaw. Sometimes I add tomatoes or peppers (depending on what's on sale), and sometimes a few crumbles of blue cheese. I don't usually like fruit in my green salads, but I will occasionally throw some cranberries in the mix. I have to be in the mood, however. When it's my main dish, I add nuts to the salad, too.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:26 AM   #9
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Ok, this is probably not that healthy, but I made it for guests not too long ago and it was really good! As long as you don't go too overboard on the add-ins it shouldn't be too bad. It's like an antipasto salad I guess.

romaine lettuce
sliced black olives
sliced green olives
romano cheese & shredded mozzarella
sliced salami or italian style cold-cuts
tomatoes
red onions

and tossed with an Italian dressing -- you could make your own vinaigrette or just use a bottled dressing.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:51 AM   #10
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Curly endive, an orange cut into thin round slices. a few oil cured black olives.
Wine vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:02 PM   #11
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A friend of mine introduced me to balsamic vinegar. I couldn't believe she would sprinkle that alone as a dressing over her salads! Balsamnic vinegar, to my surprise, is delicious and you can use it alone as a dressing!!!

My favorite salad is a bed of mixed spring greens (or weeds as my family likes to call it ), diced fresh pear, tablespoon of gorgonzola, tablespoon of finely chopped walnuts and balsamic vinegar sprinkled all over the top. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

With the bulk of the calories coming from the pear, cheese and nuts, it still comes in at apprx. 150 calories. It's very filling and quite tasty. I like using cheese crumbles and finely diced nuts so that I get a small taste in every bite without alot of extra calories.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:51 PM   #12
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I love salads. My favorite is fat free ceasar dressing on mixed green and a chicken strips cooked in hot sauce. Yummy!

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Old 03-28-2010, 10:17 PM   #13
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A friend of mine introduced me to balsamic vinegar. I couldn't believe she would sprinkle that alone as a dressing over her salads! Balsamnic vinegar, to my surprise, is delicious and you can use it alone as a dressing!!!
I tried that tonight with some spring mix greens and it was yummy! I didn't even add oil, so cut out those extra calories. I may have to explore different vinegar options now. Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:15 PM   #14
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If anyone else feels slighted on dressing, give the shaker method a shot... Any container with a lid will work - just put in your salad and a serving of dressing, close and shake. It's shocking how far a little dressing goes when you do this!
This is a great ideas. I never heard of a salad shaker.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:25 PM   #15
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I'm another balsamic and red wine vinegar fan.


A simple "go to" salad is 1 can black bean, rinsed and drained, 1 can corn, rinsed and drained, 1 can italian or mexican stewed tomato. Mix it all into a bowl. If hand, snip some basil, cilantro, or green onion into it. It's saved me many times at potlucks!


I just made this pasta salad....

1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 pint grape or cherry tomato.
1/2 lb sugar snap peas
1 box rotini pasta

Make the pasta, blanch the peas at the last stages of pasta cooking, drain and rinse in colander. Put in bowl with corn and tomatoes.

In blender, whiz

2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 pouch (about 3 oz) of fresh basil. (Take leaves off the stem, rinse first)

Pour the dressing over salad and combine. I sometimes use a tupperware type thing so I can just shake.

This also has saved me at many a pot luck!

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