3 delicious restaurant salads that won’t make you fat
By Brittany Anas
Summer is the season of salads. We’re loving beds of lettuce that are topped with fruits and veggies that are just as colorful as they are flavorful.
While salads can surely be a healthy staple, they can also be major calorie bombs. We’re talking about restaurant salads that are upwards of 1,500 calories. You know the ones: The lettuce is hiding underneath bacon, blue cheese crumbles, loads of croutons, fried onions and creamy dressing. We’ve even spotted a salad that has an entire quesadilla atop it. And, the sodium! Oh my?!
So, what’s a healthy eater to do when she’s ready to order a nutritious option but the salads on the menu are just as caloric as a cheeseburger? We’ve got a few tips and have found some delicious salads that really are healthy.
First, a few tips:
- Consider packing your own dressing. You can find tiny ramekins at The Container Store and bring your own non-fat or low-fat dressing. (We like these Dip n’ Dunk containers)
- Ask for the dressing on the side. That way, you can dip your fork in it before each bite, but won’t have a salad soaked in calories.
- Plan ahead! Before you head to the restaurant, look up the nutritional information of salads.
- Order a half-size salad or box up half of it to take home. (If you box it up before you dig in, you’ll have a little more self-control!)
- If you love a salad before dinner, eat it at home. You’ll have more control over what you put on your salad and won’t have an empty stomach when you get to dinner.
Three great restaurant salads that won’t make you fat:
- Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad from Panera Bread: Fruit salad meets greens. This 350-calories seasonal salad is bursting with the juices from strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges and pineapple atop a bed of romaine lettuce. It’s topped with fat-free (yes!) poppyseed dressing. Antibiotic-free chicken rubbed in spices and citrus tops the salad. Pecans (which have heart-healthy fats) are sprinkled in. Apparently, Panera gets pleas from customers to offer the salad year round, but they only have it in the summer when they can make sure the ingredients are at their best. (Nutritional information: 350 calories; 13 grams of fat; 6 grams of fiber; 21 grams of sugar; 29 grams of protein)
- Grilled Market Salad from Chick-fil-A: Those days happen. Whether you forgot your lunch or are short on time, you’ll sometimes end up in a drive-through line. The good news is you can still make healthy choices. This salad comes with sliced grilled chicken, chopped romaine lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, apples, strawberries, blueberries and a little bit of crumbled blue cheese. (Nutritional information: 180 calories, 4 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein). You have the option to add roasted nuts and granola for a crunch.
- Roasted Veggie Salad from California Pizza Kitchen (half size): The pizza joint isn’t just a carb-lover’s trap. They’ve got some healthy salad options, like the veggie salad with artichoke hearts, asparagus, red and yellow peppers, corn and sun-dried tomatoes. The half salad is plenty. (Nutritional information: 300 calories; 20 grams of fat; 8 grams of fiber; 5 grams of protein; 11 grams of sugar).
Other articles you might also like: