Featherweights For those with just a few pounds, or trying to lose those last few pounds.

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Old 06-19-2007, 06:57 AM   #1  
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Question Salad sabotage?

I tend to buy a lot of prepared food in summer. Am sticking to salads/ BBQ chicken etc. I buy a lot of "bagged" salads - just the veggies already washed (I hate washing greens - so time-consuming! ) and cut up- and then put a low fat dressing and some additional veggies on the prepared stuff.

I'm seeing a lot of oil, nuts, mayo (probably full fat ) in what we ate last night (hubby picked the salads) - yuck!

Any suggestions for healthier stuff at the salad counter?

Dagmar
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:21 AM   #2  
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I think I'm going to ask at our local grocer. Surely they could make a lower fat potato salad. I do make pasta salad with low fat dressing but potato is a lot of work ... after work.

The only suggestions I have is to eat a very small portion or make your own. I have trouble with that first one
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:11 AM   #3  
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Default no peeling, chopping, mincing

I'm finding potato salad a lot easier now that it's "fashionable" to leave the skins on the potatoes. I'm not so handy with the peeler or a knife.

My DH is a good guy for that part of cooking. He's a whiz with a knife and I leave all the chopping/peeling/mincing to him. Something that would otherwise take me an hour gets done in half the time with him at the cutting board.

And the small portion of potato salad doesn't work for me either

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Old 06-19-2007, 12:30 PM   #4  
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Just the "bagged veggies" salad is very healthy (I'm not talking about the salad "kits" that come with fat-ladened croutons, dressings, cheese, etc.) -- you can have half a bag for less than 50 calories. To make it a refreshing summer meal, toss it in a light vinaigrette with some proteins (chicken, shrimp, steak) & some seasonal fruits and veggies (right now I'm really into strawberries, a little bit of nuts /w a balsamic & olive oil dressing).

I actually found a place that makes a healthy version chicken salad (big hunks of chicken breast meat with only a smidgen of lowfat dressing) so a great way to compromise my tastebuds & calorie-counting mind whenever I crave a "creamy" salad.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:29 PM   #5  
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Cooking Light has a feature on low fat, low calorie potato salads (see Potato Salad Perfected). I made the Farm Stand Potato Salad. (Except my SO doesn't like broccoli, so I subbed fennel. I also cut back a little on the potatoes and increased the snap peas a little.) I came out great and way lower in calories that typical mayo-based potato salad.

I love to put fruit in my salads. My standard is raspberries, but I've also had great success with mango, apricots, and strawberries.

I always put a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper in my salads. I've found that I can use less dressing that way. Even with the low calorie dressings and my ginormous salads (often 7 to 10 oz), I still use only half the recommended serving of dressing. Squeezing a little fresh lemon on the salad is another way to stretch the dressing.

I also love a high-quality, fruit infused balsamic vinegar as salad dressing. I buy Bistro Blends, which I get at my local farmers' market. The fig-infused balsamic vinegar is incredible. When using it as a dressing, I have been known to eat my salad with a spoon to get every last drop of it. If you have to buy it online, a cheaper source that's been recommended to me (but I've never tried) is Cyber Cucina.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:35 PM   #6  
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For the past few months, DH and I have been buying completely prepared salads from Trader Joe's for our lunches. I get the reduced fat varieties, and they say they are about 310 calories, but frankly, I think they lie. I am not going to eat them for the next couple of weeks and instead have cut up veggies (raw) with some fruit for dessert.

I agree with Barbara that lemon juice does stretch the dressing!

When I make salads at home, I buy bagged Romaine and then cut up all the veggies and chicken and add it myself. No one in our family likes the same dressing, so I never buy the bagged salads that have dressing in them (besides, they usually aren't that good for you--too much fat). I make my own dressing, DD likes balsamic vinaigrette and DH and DS like Ranch.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:44 PM   #7  
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I recently bought a small salad spinner and it has made my salad prep so much easier (I try not to buy pre-packaged lettuce for political and environmental reasons). I put the torn lettuce in the large bowl with enough water to swish it around, then move the lettuce to the inner bowl, dump the water out of the large bowl, and give the whole thing a spin. I don't bother washing the spinner, I just rinse it out and throw the two bowls in the dishwasher about once a month or so.

I've even started using it to wash fresh herbs and other veggies, like beans. It has quickly become my second most-used kitchen gadget (my food scale being number #1, of course).
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:32 PM   #8  
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Default small spinner

That looks like a good one! I have an older model (came with DH) that has a small knob you grip on the lid. You have to manually crank it around and around to make it spin. The greens are usually quite soggy the first time they're spun so I have to stop, dump out water, and spin again . There is also a tendency for the lid to come off and then I have greens all over the kitchen!

I'll have to go to the "good" kitchen store in our area and see if they have the pump type for which you provided the link. So handy to see it online first. Thanks!

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Old 06-19-2007, 10:17 PM   #9  
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Dagmar, I also like this spinner because it is smaller than most of them. I hate big unwieldy kitchen appliances. This is just the right size for the two-serving salads I make for my SO and I. And it does do a great job getting the water off. I pump it a lot, but I'm probably a little over enthusiastic with it. It spins for a while after even just one pump (it spins so long it actually has a little button to press to get it to stop spinning).
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:59 PM   #10  
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I like grocery salad bars. If there's a grocery that has one in your area, they are great (but booby trapped, with not so great options, so you do have to be careful). We are even lucky to have a health food store with a salad bar. We usually take the styrofoam box and fill with all the healthy, lower fat options and add our own dressing at home. Or, if we're going to take it to the park for a picnic lunch. We each fill our own box, and I will either get a low fat packet of dressing or take a very small amount of pasta or artichokes n a vinaigrette dressing on top of my lettuce, onions, cauliflower, edamame, beats. broccoli, spinache, snap peas...... After I close the box, our grocery wraps them tightly in saran wrap, and then at the park, I shake the box to distribute the dressing through the whole salad. Since it's a very small amount, I have to shake pretty hard or most of the salad remains dry.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:57 AM   #11  
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[QUOTE=kaplods;1739844]We usually take the styrofoam box and fill with all the healthy, lower fat options and add our own dressing at home. Or, if we're going to take it to the park for a picnic lunch. We each fill our own box, and I will either get a low fat packet of dressing or take a very small amount of pasta or artichokes n a vinaigrette dressing on top of my lettuce, onions, cauliflower, edamame, beats. broccoli, spinache, snap peas...... After I close the box, our grocery wraps them tightly in saran wrap, and then at the park, I shake the box to distribute the dressing through the whole salad. QUOTE]

What a great (and healthy) idea! I've never seen this in my area of Toronto's east end. We just point to the salad that we want behind the counter and the clerk puts it into one of 3 sizes of container they have. To be able to fill your own box with selections would be wonderful, never mind put your own dressing on.

Dagmar
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:41 AM   #12  
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I have a salad spinner which I use when I do buy whole heads of lettuce. If I go to Costco and buy their pack of Romaine you get about 8 heads. Sometimes I will tear and wash 3 or 4 of them and spin them dry and put them in ziplock bags to save for the week. That way I can treat them just like the pre-bagged stuff and I tend to make more salads that way. If I have to wash and spin the lettuce each day, I'm more apt to NOT make a salad. I know. I'm weird! The same goes for my berries. I'll buy blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and sometimes blackberries and come home and wash and dry them, cut the strawberries, and then divide them all up into 5 or 6 tupperware containers. That way, I can just grab one and eat it when I want. If I am hungry and actually had to wash the fruit and cut the strawberries, I'd be more apt to close the fridge, walk to the pantry and eat nuts or crackers. I guess it's the convenience that I like. I don't mind doing a lot of prep at once for the convenience later.
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:48 AM   #13  
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Hi Mudpie - I live in Hamilton ON. Do you guys have the Barn out in your area? We have a couple here and they have great salad bars. Otherwise Zehrs/Fortinos/Longos (they're all the same store, but different names in different areas) makes great packaged salads that you can choose your type of dressing for.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:10 AM   #14  
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i don't buy the bagged salads. Haven't they been found to have ecoli and other bacteria growing in them? Besides, they seem to turn brown and slimy alot faster than non-packaged veggies.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:32 AM   #15  
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thinnythighs: I notice every time I buy bagged salad it DOES get slimy pretty quick. I just gave up on it. I am the only one in my house that will eat it anyway...makes it hard to buy something that only I eat! I'm going to check out a new local farm that is selling by the roadside....hopefully they have some blackberries!
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