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excite your salads

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #1
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Hey guys,
New here so I'm sorry if this has been asked/ talked about before. Lately, I've been having a lot of salads for lunch since I'm in college/broke. Does anyone have good salad ideas? Usually have just greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers with some oil and vin. but that is getting SOO boring.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
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There's lotsa good stuff you can put in them. Some people like to put seeds or nuts, my dad puts sunflower seeds in his and at school they offer flax seeds at the salad bar. Supposedly they're really good for you and I like the crunch, but seeds and nuts have lots of oil so don't put too many or you'll up the calories more than you'd like, probably :P

There are also lots of different cheeses you can put in, cheddar and feta are two of my favorites. Once again don't overdo those, a little bit goes a long way. You can try different lettuces or spinach instead of plain old iceberg or romaine. Some lettuces are bitter and add some complexity to the salad, if you're into that sort of thing.

As for vegetables, in addition to what you listed, I also like mushrooms, carrots (you can shred them if you want), raw broccoli, string beans, bell peppers, things like that.

As for salad dressing there are tons of lighter options out there for about the same caloric intake you'll get with plain old oil and vinegar. Italian and cesar are two of my favorites. Also, if you want to make your salad more "meal like" you can add some lean protein like chicken or a whole hard boiled egg and that will keep you a bit fuller. Eggs are fairly cheap and you can hardboil a whole bunch at once, they're great for snacks on their own as well.

Salads are great, I have one before dinner on days that I want to eat less and they keep me full so I don't snack late at night. I hope you keep eating them!
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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I'm picky. When I make a salad, I usually put canned or grilled chicken on it, mushrooms, seeds, and cucumbers with vinegar or salt.

Some people like to use fruits such as mandarin oranges and sliced strawberry with nuts. I've found that fruit based vinagrettes taste good with these types of salads.

Another healthy option would be grilled corn, cooked peppers, onions, and black beans. Perhaps add tortilla strips and/or chicken for a filling salad with a mexican feel.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:59 PM   #4
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Use the best quality produce you can afford. The lettuce/greens are very important to me. I like to use romaine. I'll also buy a box of arugula or spinach to throw in. In the past I have bought Napa cabbage and chopped it up to put with my lettuce. I also like to have chopped celery, sugar snap peas, snow peas along with red or green bell peppers and cucumbers.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
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I'm in a rush pretty much every morning. But for the last month, I've been packing a salad in my lunch bag for work along with my other foods for the day. I get a bag of mixed greens, and a bag of mixed vegetables and add a scoop of each to my salad bin. One bag I prefer has broccoli, carrots and snap peas. The other bag of veggies I just finished off has broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. I found a bag of "Almond Accents" and a tablespoon is 40 calories. These add a salty, nutty layer. If I have an extra minute, I thinly slice cucumber across the top of my salad.

Then I use light ranch. It's my go-to at work. At home I use light Italian or Ken's Light Caesar and pour half the oil out of the bottle, leaving just a ton of barely oiled up seasonings at the bottom half of the bottom. Caesar flavor, half the calories and fat.

These are my salads, and I typically pair them with a frozen meal at lunch because the frozen meals don't give me enough fill-me-up feeling. And I still typically pull off lunch for less than 450 calories.

When I make a big dump salad at home, I do all of the above, but love to throw in sliced mushrooms, red onions, bell peppers and cucumbers. I use bacon crumbles, croutons and cheeses sparingly as a topping, not a main ingredient.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #6
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I like to shred carrots into my salads and I love brocoli and spinach too. You can add chicken breast I search high and low for good deals getting a lbs as low as 1.59 and u only need to add about 4 oz. Some like fruit in their salads or sun flower seeds can be good too. I some times add a hard boiled egg and or avocado too.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
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I have to have some form of protein in my salad. I will do grilled chicken, grilled steak, or hardboiled eggs. My salad itself generally consists of of the pre-packaged spring mix or herb mix from the store, and then I'll add different things on different days: avocado (which I will sub in for protein, sometimes), bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes. If I get the salad at the salad bar at the store I like to add olives (only a couple) and artichoke hearts but I don't have those in the fridge at home.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:03 PM   #8
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I discovered banana peppers in salads recently ! it adds a nice crunchy tang and I love it. before that I would chop up pickles.

my salad usually has: lettuce, tomato, a few pulled apart pieces of sandwhich meat such as deli turkey, banana peppers, a few crutons, and I've been using some "olive garden Italian" I found at sams - the serving size is 80 calories in 2 TBS ad I find I only need to use 1 or less. it goes a long way! cant imagine using 2.

If I'm making the salad for dinner I will quickly cook some chicken in a skillet (thighs, boneless skinless) with garlic powder, lemon pepper, a bit of that Italian dressing, season salt & pepper and chop it up in there.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #9
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I like to add things like olives and feta cheese, or if I'm having something with the salad, just get some rocket and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on it. It's peppery so the flavours are a really nice contrast. One thing I want to do that you might consider is growing a few herbs in a box, and sprinkling some on the salad as well as an olive oil / balsamic vinegar mixture
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:22 AM   #10
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I like cottage cheese with hot sauce, red pepper flakes and cracked black pepper as a dressing and it adds protein as well so I rarely need meat or whatever on top. Great with any lettuce and/or spinach and other veggies. PS, try cottage cheese with any vinegar, it is good with red wine and balasmic if you do not like hot sauce.

My personal favorite salad is the Sweet Italian- chopped romaine, crumbled bacon, grated parmesan, shredded provel or mozzerella (any white cheese would work) and homemade sweet italian dressing (dry zesty italian dressing mix with red wine vinegar and splenda or sugar, whichever you'd prefer.) Do not add dressing until ready to eat. Does not do well as leftovers from experience.

Broccoli slaw salad- Dried cranberries, walnuts or pecans and broccoli slaw with mixture of mayo, splenda (or miracle whip) and red wine vinegar. Leave in fridge overnight for flavors to go through. I would not recommend using whole florets for this, seems like a waste to me and hard for the flavors to really get through. The dressing (mayo, splenda and red wine vinegar) would be good for coleslaw too.
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Last edited by amandie : 02-05-2013 at 01:24 AM.
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