Friday, March 13, 2009


After a few meals at the fabulous Ruby Tuesday salad bar, we decided to make fancier salads at home.  The trick is to watch the amounts of the higher calorie items and dressings that go into your composition.

Greens:  We grow our own mixed lettuces in the spring and summer, but the rest of the year we puchase the bags of mixed baby greens.  You can also use leaf lettuce, romaine, spinach, or your favorite greens.  Remember, the deeper green colors have more good nutrition.  (We hate head lettuce -yuk!)

Other low calorie stuff - USE LOTS:  Tomatoes, cucumber slices, carrots, onion, shredded cabbage, salsa, cauliflower, broccoli, celery. 

Medium calorie stuff - USE SOME to make your salad interesting:  beets, grapes, craisins, dried apricot pieces, dried cherries, edamame beans (shown in picture*), kidney beans, chickpeas, peas, corn.

* Edamame beans are soy beans, can be purchased frozen in the pod.  You thaw them, use the beans, but throw away the pods.  Edamame is delicious!

Higher calorie stuff - WATCH THE AMOUNTS YOU USE: Hard boiled egg, cheese, Chinese rice noodles (from a can - for a touch of crispy), croutons, sunflower seeds, almond slices, pecans, walnuts, pignoli (pine nuts), olives, meats, salad dressings. 

Dressings: Our current favorite dressing is Kraft Light Raspberry Vinaigrette which shows 60 calories for 2 tablespoons.  Salsa is another wonderful alternative.  Read the labels on your dressings!  Sometimes you can cut the calorie count by mixing equally with low fat yogurt (like ranch dressing).  Whatever you choose, be careful, as you can really load up the calories with the wrong choice of dressing.

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