Salads are tricky.
Most hear the word “salad” and immediately think, “Oh, I’m eating healthy!!”.
Wellllll…. that is not exactly the case. Between the dressing, vast amount of dried fruits, croutons, cheese, and nuts, your “healthy” lunch just crashed your healthy eating regime. Most salads at restaurants can range from 400-1000 calories. FOR ONE SALAD. I mean, you might as well get the burger by that point.
This is why I wanted to give you guys a guide on How to Build a Healthy Salad. That way, the next time you are ordering out at a restaurant, at a salad bar, or building a salad at home, you can use this as a reference.
Below you will find all of my steps, plus the recipe to one of my favorite lunch salads!
The first step is to pick a dark leafy green. I chose Kale!
Pick one serving of fruit. This particular recipe calls for 1/2 of a grapefruit.
The reason you only choose one serving of fruit is because while fruit is indeed healthy, they are also sugar and calorie packed.
Add on 2-3 servings of vegetables. For this salad particular, I only chose red onion because it’s what I had in my fridge. But I love to add zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cucumbers & more!
Vegetables are packed with nutrients, are low in calories and high in fiber. So load your salad up with as much as you want.
Next pick a type grain, nut, or seed to add to your salad! My favorites are either couscous, hemp seeds, or almond slices! For this recipe I chose hemp seeds.
For every salad, pick one lean protein to add to your salad. This is what will keep you full and help aid your body in muscle loss.
I chose 3oz of chicken
Lastly, pick one serving of an “extra”. For example, parmesan, mozzarella, goat cheese, or avocado. But go light on these. They are usually fat and calories packed, yet do add the most amazing flavor to finish off the salad!
I suggest only 1 TBSP of each.
Last but not least, say no to dressing! I like to add one 1tsp of extra virgin olive oil, and then squeeze either fresh lemon, or fresh grape fruit juice on top and then sprinkle on pepper.
&&& that’s it!
This system is great for salad bars, when picking salads at restaurants, and when building any salad at home!
How to build a healthy salad
- Pick a dark leafy green (Spinach, Arugula, or Kale)
- Pick 1 lean protein (3 oz Chicken, Salmon, Shrimp, or Tofu)
- Pick 1 serving of fruit.
- Load on the vegetables!
- Pick one serving of your grain, seed, or nut of choice.
- Pick one extra flavor (Goat cheese, feta, mozzarella, avocado)
- Add pepper to taste
- Say no to dressing, opt for tsp of olive oil and fresh juice (lemon or grapefruit)
- Say no to table salt. Instead try Himalayan Salt and Pepper
A few extras to keep out of your salads include: cheddar cheese, croutons, bread crumbs, bacon, hard boiled eggs. When eating out, you can easily tell the waiter that you would not like these items on your salad. By doing this, you can save up to 300 calories on your salad. Even more if you decide not to add the dressing!
Kale & Grapefruit Salad
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1/2 grapefruit
- 1 oz chopped red onion
- 3 0z chicken breast
- 1 TBSP parmesan
- 1 TBSP hemp seeds
- Juice from 1/2 of a grapefruit
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
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