Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Salad Daze

January 12, 2011


We made it through the holidays, and “eating season” is officially over. For many of us, it’s “out with the bad and in with the good” habits time.

Many of us will opt out of what we know will be a fattening meal choice, and select what we think will be more virtuous; a salad!

Inspired by David Zincenko’s “Eat This, Not That” blog post, I researched some salads at popular chain restaurants, with shocking results.

Cosi’s Signature Salad, features red grapes, pears, pistachio nuts, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese, and sherry shallot vinaigrette. It comes with warm baked- on- the premises flatbread.

It also features 825 calories, and 67% of your daily fat intake.

Opt for the lighter version, which has a low fat dressing and ½ the cheese and is only 371 calories. Leave the flatbread at the counter to avoid temptation and another 214 calories.

California Pizza Kitchen has some of the highest calorie items around. How could a seemingly benign Field Greens Salad pack 998 calories? And that is without the addition of Gorgonzola cheese, shrimp, or salmon! There must be something in the dressing, because the greens and pears don’t add up. The candied walnuts are a bit of a clue, but you would need quite a few to get that number. Not the best choice, since it lacks protein, other than the sugar coated nuts.

Look into a half portion of the Classic Caesar with Shrimp for 372 calories, or the half order of Chinese Chicken Salad, for 376 calories.

Going to a made to order salad bar? Avoid the fat traps and make a healthy, filling and delicious salad.

Pile on the greens and any vegetables that are not grilled, marinated or otherwise swimming in oil. That includes tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, roasted beets, asparagus, green beans and many others. Avocado is a great source of healthy fat; but beware that each one contains over 300 calories. A cup of lettuce is only 8 calories!

Add some protein. Egg whites at 17 calories each are a great choice, as is plain chicken breast (100 calories), or steamed shrimp (5 each). Anything breaded or drenched in oil is to be avoided. Beans, such as chickpeas, kidney or cannellini beans are also great sources of protein for about 100 calories per ½ cup.  The addition of protein will help you feel full longer, keep your blood sugar in check, and help you build muscle if you are working out.

Nuts are high in protein and very good for you, but also pack about 170 calories per handful.  Eat them judiciously.

Go easy on the cheese. The sprinkling of blue cheese adds about 119 calories to the equation. Bacon bits are a huge fat and calorie trap at about 145 calories per serving, and sugar packed items such as dried fruit and candied nuts are also bad choices, adding 100 and 260 calories respectively. A crouton is only about 6 calories each, but really, who eats one crouton?

If the dressing is thick and creamy, pass it by.

Opt for a little vinaigrette, or a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Start making your own dressing, with only one tablespoon of olive oil, to 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice. A little Dijon mustard adds zing. Olive oil packs about 120 calories per tablespoon, so use it sparingly.

Remember, that the freshest, best quality ingredients need very little to enhance their flavor. Step away from the box, and enjoy more produce and non-processed foods. Your waistline (and your digestive system) will thank you for it.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week

November 10, 2010


This salad is delicious and beautiful to look at.  It is a great accompaniment to a holiday meal!

Chopped Endive Salad with Avocado and Gruyere

Thinly slice 3 endives

Chop 1 green apple

Dice about 1/3 cup of Gruyere cheese and 1 avocado

Add corn kernals.

Toss with the juice of 1 lemon and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.

Top with pomegranate seeds.


Note: The lemon juice keeps the avocado and the apple from turning brown. Be sure to mix it immediately!

Unrecipe of the Week: Thanksgiving Edition:

November 21, 2009

Looking for a light way to start off your Thanksgiving dinner? Here is a great salad that is tasty, festive and healthy! It’s the perfect foil for the all the heavy food to come!

Fennel, Radicchio and Arugula Salad with Dried Cranberries:

(serves about 10 people)

Toast about ½ cup of pecans until golden and set aside.

Mix 1 thinly sliced fennel bulb, 1 head of radicchio and a bunch of arugula in a salad bowl.

For the dressing, combine 1/8 cup each of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar with ½ cup olive oil.

Add in a finely diced garlic clove, ¾ teaspoons salt, and ¼ cup of chopped, dried cranberries and whisk until well mixed, and slightly emulsified.

Add the pecans and a handful of dried cranberries to the salad greens, and toss with the dressing.


Indigo Jones salad making tips:
When cooking for a crowd, we wash and spin the salad greens and put them in a clean, white pillowcase in the refrigerator until ready to use. The cotton absorbs any excess moisture and its shape shifting ability makes it easy to store.

How much is enough?  A healthy handful of greens per person should the right amount for a pre-dinner salad.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe Of The Week

July 22, 2009

Picture 4

With summer finally here, I have been obsessed with tomatoes. The markets are filled with a vast selection of rich ripe tomatoes, from the traditional beefsteak and plum varieties, to the more unique heirloom tomatoes that grow in beautiful colors of red, yellow, green, orange and purple. Try this simple “unrecipe” for a great salad, or as a topping for fish, chicken or pasta.

Select a variety of tomatoes, and cut them into chunks.

Drizzle with olive oil and a little lemon juice.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Sprinkle with fresh basil cut in thin strips.


photo: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Assignment

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