How to Make a Delicious 400 Calorie Salad

by Andie Mitchell on December 14, 2011

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So, salad.

I eat it everyday.

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And honest to goodness,

honest to my pug’s delicate, delicatelady ears,

I adore it

always.

I’m often asked, by kindly strangers who notice me with a party-sized bowl of salad at lunchtime, how I find new ways to make it day in and day out. ‘How do you keep from getting bored?’they wonder.

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The truth is, I find that empty bowl to be endless in possibilities. Whatever I’d stuff between two slices of bread and call a sandwich, whatever I’d reheat as leftovers from the night before- I simply add those to a pile of produce. On top of the unlimited flavors I can add to one meal, I’m made happily full from all of the hefty fiber in those vegetables. It also slows me down. The crunch, the volume, it all makes for a longer eating experience, and that,

that I enjoy.

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3 Reasons Why Salad Makes the Best Healthy Lunch Option:

1. Volume. Nothing fills me like a brimming bowl of fresh vegetables with lots of mix-ins. Not sandwiches, not soups, not even cake.*

*I’d be willing to give this one another shot.

And for lunch, when I need to feel ultra-satisfied, yet still light enough to go about my day in as energetic a way as I can (which is to say, not very), salad brings the heft and the nutrients like no other.

2. Variety. Salads to offer a world more variety than other things. I start with a base of every fresh, raw vegetable I know of, and then I layer on my favorite toppings- whatever sings sweetest to me from my fridge on that given day. I’m unlimited in flavors and textures. And remember that volume thing? Yeah.

3. Ease. These buckets of vegetables, they make my life breezier in two ways:

a.) I prep a massive load of salad every Sunday, so that I have the base all ready to simply grab a few handfuls each day, toss them in an over-sized resealable bowl, and then add whatever toppings strike my fancy. The trick to this is to dry the cut vegetables well with a towel (paper or cloth), and to cover the top with a dry paper towel before sealing the whole salad in a closeable container. The dry paper towel will soak up any excess moisture in the bunch and keep your greens from wilting. Replace the paper towel every 1-2 days as needed. This salad lasts me through Friday.

b.) I use up all the leftovers from my dinners throughout the week. Here, I get creative. Stir fry last night? Tomorrow I’d add the saucy chicken and vegetables to a base of greens along with a can of mandarin oranges (should my cupboard be so fancy and well-stocked), and then I’d whisk together a super simple dressing with equal parts soy sauce, peanut butter, and water. Brisket or pulled pork in the fridge? I’ve been known to plop them directly on a bed of greens with some sort of pungent cheese- blue or feta or gorgonzola- and then dress the whole mess in barbecue sauce. Barbecue chicken leftovers? I’m opening a can of black beans, adding in some frozen (defrosted) corn kernels, diced onion, and avocado. This bowlful will get all gussied up in hot salsa and sour cream for a burrito bowl.

I’d try to sound fancier, but honestly, I’ve been known to lay my favorite hot meatballs and marinara on a big bowl of greens.

Get creative. Whatever sounds good together, whatever flavors your craving- that mix will work just fine on top of greens. Show me your fridge and I’ll show you an unlimited salad bar.

Here are a few basic principles I follow when fixing myself a veg fest:

Constructing a Balanced Salad:  400 Calorie Breakdown

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100 calories: vegetables

  • greens: romaine, baby spinach, mixed baby lettuces, arugula, frisee, red or green leaf, butter, bibb
  • carrots (grated, sliced thinly on the diagonal, or shredded with a vegetable peeler)
  • peppers: any color
  • red cabbage (shaved)
  • cucumber (seeds removed, halved and chopped into crescents)

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100-150 calories: protein

  • 3 oz of chicken, beef, pork, tofu, tempeh, or fish
  • ½ cup beans or lentils
  • 2 hard or soft boiled eggs
  • 1 can tuna fish
  • 1/2- ¾ cup cottage cheese (I buy 4% milkfat because the more velvety texture is unmatchable in lighter versions- so creamy, so thick)

sunflower seeds (1)

100-150 calories: fat

  • 1/4-1/3 of an avocado
  • 2 tablespoons any dressing (all will generally clock in around 150 calories on average)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts/seeds: almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas
  • 3 tablespoons full fat sour cream (excellent topping for a Mexican salad along with salsa)
  • 1 ounce or ¼ cup shredded/grated/crumbled cheese: any kind

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100 calories: fun

  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • handful croutons
  • mandarin oranges and fried wonton sticks (if I’m lucky to have them on hand for an Asian-style salad)
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • sweet beets
  • 2 crisp slices bacon, crumbled

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Dressing:

Now, here’s an interesting part of my salad-making. I don’t often use traditional dressings- bottled or homemade. This is mostly because I’ve gotten accustomed to using thicker, more concentrated flavors in the form of:

  • hummus (¼ cup makes a creamy topper)
  • guacamole (¼ cup)
  • fresh salsa (and often full fat sour cream- this combination becomes creamy sweet with the right amount of acidity)
  • peanut butter (1 tablespoon thinned with equal parts soy sauce and water (1 tbsp each) and a ¼ tsp ground ginger)
  • cottage cheese (½ cup of 4% milkfat- what I find to be the richest, creamiest variety)
  • sweet preserves: jams, cranberry sauce (at Thanksgiving), orange marmalade, apricot preserves, honey
  • ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce (excellent on a meat or veggie burger salad with cheese and all the fixin’s you’d normally find between a bun next to fries)

The beauty of using these thick creams and spreads is that they add much more to the vegetables in terms of mouthfeel. Whereas vinaigrettes and other dressings might be fairly high in calories (for such a small portion) and light in terms of ‘wow’ flavor, these thick creams coat the vegetables in a more pronounced, distinguishable way. They’re saucy rather than just slippery.

BLTizza (4)

So share with all of us What are your favorite salad combinations? Any healthy dressings you love?

{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda December 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Your pictures are so beautiful! After reading this post, I am definitely craving a big salad! :)

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Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner December 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I love this. Lunch is the hardest meal for me because, like you said, it’s important to feel full but still light. The idea of prepping a salad base on Sunday and having it each day for lunch is so appealing. I also really appreciate the calorie breakdown, it’s really helpful!
Cottage cheese used to be my favorite salad topping! For the longest time, my favorite salad was baby spinach with veggies like peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and mushrooms, chickpeas, and cottage cheese. Nowadays I’m really into adding sweet elements, for example yesterday my lunch was a ton of romaine with leftover roasted chicken, diced apple, and pomegranate seeds. There is enough flavor with the savory/sweet combo that I don’t even want dressing.

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Alice December 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm

i love your ideas for a ticker dressing. i’ve been stuck in a rut of using balsamic vinegar, which i used to love but now bores me, making me dread my lunchtime salad. LOVE THIS POST!!!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I never ever EVER get sick of salads. I probably eat one every day and crave one if I don’t eat one. I usually top mine with hummus – lately I have been into a huge bowl of veggies, black beans, avocado, and then hummus/balsamic vinegar. So delicious. However, I’d be willing to try the peanut butter/soy sauce dressing! Sounds good!

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Karla August 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I really appreciate the way you broke down each element of the salad so we can build our own, following your formula. The possibilities are indeed endless! I am very inspired by your blog, and I feel much less scared about my approaching maintenance! Thank you.

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Jennie December 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I like pesto as my “dressing” with spinach, chicken, and sun dried tomatoes.

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Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen December 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I love the idea of hummus as a “dressing.”

I eat the stuff by the tubful, I don’t know why I never thought to put it on a salad :)

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Megly December 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

This is great inspiration- thank you!

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Miranda @ Living One Bite at a Time December 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I really, really liked this post! I love eating salads too. You even gave me a few awesome ideas for the next time I make one! Thanks :)

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Kate December 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I am SO excited about this post! Salads for lunch every weekday is going to be one of my New Year’s resolutions! You have so many good tips!

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Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen December 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I am a big salad for lunch girl – not so much dinner. At work my old coworkers used to always comment “YOU EAT SO MUCH!” “How do you eat so much and not gain weight?” Veggies! I always brought a huge container of lettuce and whatever carrots, peppers, tomatoes were around the house and used whatever extras we had lying around. One of my favorites (it sounds kinda weird) is actually leftover pasta. A small, saucy scoop warmed up (not hot, just warm) over mixed greens with about an ounce of goat cheese is a really fun way to switch it up.

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Andrea December 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I LOVE putting warm pasta on a salad! It puts a totally new spin on it! My best friend and I have ‘our salad’: mixed greens, cucumbers, red onions, mushrooms, and any other veggie we have/want, warm macaroni, homemade balsamic, topped with a little cheese and/or sunflower seeds! It’s the best, and now my mouth is watering! We’ll be getting together for a meal soon…I’m sure that salad will be it! =)

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Ashley December 15, 2011 at 12:06 am

I love salads with arugula, pears, apples, gorgonzola, some sort of nut, and a drizzle of aged balsamic :)

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johnny December 15, 2011 at 2:51 am

I tip my hat to you. You make something that seems so mundain sound so fantastic. And those pics would make a die hard meat eater crave one of those salads. How do you do it?! :)

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh December 15, 2011 at 4:29 am

Apparently I needed a tutorial to understand why plain lettuce wasn’t filling me up. I’m bookmarking this for when we shake things up in the new year and I might actually be able to eat a salad and make it until dinner. FYI- it was when you said anything you put between 2 slices of bread made it click for me however peanut butter and jelly won’t be one of my options. ;)

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connie June 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I could actually see some romaine or baby spinach with chopped apple or pear, walnuts, jicama and peanut butter and jelly… it might work… :)

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Kristina December 15, 2011 at 5:46 am

I totally love this post. What a terrifically flexible plan for getting your fill of veggies, without feeling like you’re missing out. Thank you so much for the calorie/content breakdown! This will make throwing lunch together a snap come the new year. Thank you thank you thank you!

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Katie G December 15, 2011 at 6:02 am

Love this post! I am also a fan of the “dump” method. I’ve dumped chili, tuna noodle casserole, even bolognese over a huge bowl of spinach leaves. Whatever works!

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Katie G December 15, 2011 at 6:06 am

Oh, and for extra protein I love to dump a half cup or so of cooked quinoa. It adds an extra heft of bulk to any salad and is so good for you.

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Amy B @ Second City Randomness December 15, 2011 at 6:17 am

I could not agree more about how good it feels after a few days of salads. Something about all the fresh food really gives me a boost! Salads are probably eaten 4 of the 5 days of my work week. And I haven’t gotten bored yet…

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Candace December 15, 2011 at 6:28 am

I eat a salad for lunch almost every day during the week. Your post has given me new ideas and inspiration. Thanks!

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Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic December 15, 2011 at 6:36 am

Thank you so much for this – I recently started using a salad as my side @ lunch instead of say chips, or anything else that is bad for me… Now you’ve inspired me and given me the tools to make salad my FULL meal w/ protein as the side/topping!

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tK December 15, 2011 at 6:48 am

I’m a carrot fanatic, so you’ll ALWAYS find them in my salads. I love to use gruyere cheese — it’s strong enough that you don’t need a lot of it to enjoy the cheesy taste! I also love edamame, chick peas, sunflower seeds, egg whites and slices of that fake crab meat. Mmmm protein!

tK :)

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Tracy December 15, 2011 at 7:08 am

Thank you for posting this! You have inspired me….as usual =)

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TJ December 15, 2011 at 7:28 am

I love the storage tips. Thanks!

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Evita December 15, 2011 at 7:35 am

I need to try new dressings, I think that yours are good!

http://ativevita.blogspot.com

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Mary December 15, 2011 at 7:37 am

I think one of my favourite salads is a salad Nicoise. I make an ‘easy version’ to take to work…I skip the potatoes and just put in green beans, half a can of tuna, about 4 olives sliced in half, cherry tomatoes, two hard boiled eggs (I put in one if I decide to put in avocado – which has nothing to do with a salad nicoise but tastes good), and then spinach and arugula mix. I make a lemon vinaigrette for it too.

I also really like my take on a black bean salsa for lunch: black beans (sometimes I put other beans in), diced tomatoes, some corn, avocado, sometimes some tuna, and just plain old lime juice.

Finally, I have a huge thing for couscous salad…any roasted veggies, mixed in with couscous, some mint, some feta, some pine nuts and a balsamic vinegar dressing. MMMM…

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts December 15, 2011 at 8:37 am

What a great post! I am new to your site, and I am loving it. I love all your ideas for salad toppers – I would never have thought to put so much stuff on a salad. I can see why you never get bored!

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Libby Bouma December 15, 2011 at 9:15 am

Thank you so much for sharing this. A few weeks ago I was hooked on salad for a couple of weeks, then got bored. I also like to be creative with my leftovers, but this is oh so inspriring. You have motivated me to prep what I need on Sunday’s for an easy put together in the mornings.

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Meg December 15, 2011 at 9:42 am

I also see a bed of greens as a blank slate, and I’m a big fan of adding leftovers to round out my salad meals. Sliced leftover steak, chicken, or pork, leftover roasted vegetables (I make a double batch at a time for this very purpose!), sliced hardboiled eggs, olives, crumbled cheeses. And every vegetable in my house!

I’ll be honest. If I’ve got fresh greens and some really flavorful toppers like herb roasted chicken and feta with a variety of other veggies? I rarely even find I “need” dressing. There’s plenty of flavor and texture (though I might add a scoop of cottage cheese or hummus on the side for a bit of extra protein!).

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Karli December 15, 2011 at 10:15 am

Andie. I LOVE your blog! I found you a few days ago through Pinterest & relate so much to you {I know you hear that daily}. My story is long & I’m still working on getting to where I’m comfortable maintaining without sacrificing everything I love.

Anyway, I copied/pasted & gave you credit on my blog today for this post. I LOVE salad & often get bored with it, so your ideas were perfect. Please let me know if you’re uncomfortable wit me linking to your blog & using your post {I gave you credit several times}.

You are an inspiration! Completely amazing story.

Thanks!
Karli Cleaver
http://healthconfessions.com {under confessions tab}

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Karli December 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

Also, why is there a phone in one of your salad bowl pics? (: Just curious.

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andie December 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Just trying to show the size of the salad in comparison to a recognizable item (cell phone) :)

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Sarah@The Flying ONION December 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

I adore this post!

Salads are wonderful. I honestly can’t get enough of them, even when the weather turns chilly. One of my favorite salads is having a combination of dried cranberries, avocado, clementines, and white beans. Or a zesty Mexican type of salad with a black bean burger, salsa, avocado and a cilantro based dressing.

So much flavor in one big bowl. :D

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Ana Hopkins December 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hi Andie!

I love your blog. This post just made me want to get up and have a huge salad for lunch! So great! I’d love to see a something like a food diary or a week in the life of with your food choices for a week. Do you think that’s something you can post someday?

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us and for being an inspiration!

Ana

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Arline December 15, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I’ve never done the eat-a-salad-everyday-at-lunch thing, though my MIL has always sworn by it.

However, I think this post has changed my mind. :D How creative I must become!

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April December 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Hey Andie,

I used to be anorexic, and when I was in the process of gaining the weight back I became accustomed to eating a lot more than normal, so now despite my healthy weight, my appetite is a little out of whack.
The oatmeal recipe you posted the other day along with this one have been amazing at keeping me full much longer than usual, so I just wanted to say thanks a bunch!
My salad today: my base was mixed greens, lettuce, shredded carrots, red pepper, red onion and then I sauteed some tomato and spinach in garlic and added a squeeze of lemon and added it to the salad. I topped it with walnuts, a bit of goat cheese, and homemade hummus. SO good.

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn December 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

ahahah! don’t eat your phone.

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Ashley in NC December 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I just want you to know that I am eating one of the most beautiful, colorful salads of my life and it was inspired by you! I’ve never really given red cabbage a thought, but after researching all of its health benefits, I am absolutely smitten!

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Lindsey December 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Andie, you have been such an inspiration to me! I have read your blog through and through and love all of your tips. This post was SO amazingly helpful. I was in a salad rut and got to the point that I would rather starve than eat another spinach leaf. This makes me so excited to start eating a healthy salad again! Hummus as a dressing….why didn’t I think of that? Hummus will beat that low cal dressing any day! Thanks again!!

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic December 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I also love topping my salads with either salsa, hummus, or cottage cheese (even all together). I mke tofu “croutons” for extra protein too.

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Monica December 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I made the BESSSSSSSST salad EVER a few weeks ago:
Trader Joe’s Cilantro salad dressing………….Oh My God…….YUM!
mango
avacado
spring mix
persian pickles
cherry tomato

so incredible!

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Samantha December 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Oh, wow! This is just what I needed! Great ideas!

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Missy December 16, 2011 at 7:23 am

Wow, great post!!! I got bored of salad a long time ago, I like your ideas though (epsecially about making Mount Salad at the beginning of the week, and topping with meat leftovers throughout the work week – brilliant. I will try and make peace with salad again!!

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colette December 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

Such awesome ideas, thank you! Can’t wait to try the PB&soy sauce combo! Also love the idea of prepping everything on Sunday so it’s easy to make each day for lunch. A dressing I love with a “taco-ish” salad is 1 part olive oil, 2 parts lime juice and some lime zest and cilantro. On a salad with fajita chicken and avocado, it’s delicious!

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Linda December 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

I love salad with all my heart. My Croatian mama made a plain salad with dinner EVERY day gowing up (and still)with just greens and olive oil and vinegar. I’ve grown into an avid salad eater and am a little more elaborate with my fixin’s. I love adding a warm element, like a warm dressing or boiled baby potatoes. And nut oils are fantastic in dressings; olive and walnut oil with shallot, dijon and lemon juice – so good! To my balsamic dressing I throw in a chunk of garlic (usually half) and until lunch it steeps the dressing without giving you too much garlic breath. Mmmm…I know what I’m having for lunch now! :)

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Megan (Braise The Roof) December 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

I’m so happy that I have a salad planned for my lunch today. You make ‘em look good, kid. ;)

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Gina December 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

I do a similar thing by adding whatever left-overs I have to a bed of spinach for lunch the next day! My favorite salad combo at the moment is spinach, chickpeas, tomatoes, hummus and feta with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper…yum!

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Nicole from Loving Simple Moments December 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I LOVED this! I’m going to be honest here… I don’t usually like salad. And I think it’s because I tend to let them become boring bowls of lettuce. You’ve inspired me to be creative and to let it be as crazy and delicious as I want it to be. Thank you SO much for this post!

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Cass from My Food-Infused Life December 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Thanks for the helpful post, Andie!

It’s crazy how easy it is for a salad to get out of control health-wise, and even scarier how much fat can be packed into them at restaurants.

I love putting whatever veggies I have on-hand in mine. I’m a big arugula fan, too. I usually use a store-bought dressing that is very low in fat or fat free.

Some of my favorite dressings are:

Cardini’s Light Caesar Vinaigrette
Cardini’s Fat Free Caesar (has a nice acidic and peppery kick to it)
Trader Joe’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette (Fat Free)
Wegman’s Fat Free Roasted Red Pepper

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Casey December 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I loved this post. Im a stay ay home mom and am so lazy when it comes to making lunch. I live the idea of prepping them on Sunday. I just got back from Market basket (fellow New Englander) with salad fixins. I would love some more salad posts. Or better yet, since your in town, could you deliver a week of salads to Haverhill?:)

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Aggie December 17, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I just found your site…on Pinterest! And I’m so happy I did. I love this post, I love salad, but I’ve been in a HUGE salad rut the last few months which has not been good. Your delicious pictures have totally inspired me!! Can’t wait to explore the rest of your site! :)

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Biz December 18, 2011 at 8:20 am

Taco salads are my favorite – I mix 1/4 cup of salsa with 2 tablespoons light ranch dressing, with leftover taco meat, black beans, corn, avocado – so filling and delicious!

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Rachel December 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I made up my big bowl of salad yesterday when I got home from the grocery store, and tonight while my kids had tacos, I had a big salad loaded with veggies, some taco meat, sour cream, and salsa. It was DELICOUS! And only about 350 calories. Thanks for getting me started on salads again!!

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Jen December 19, 2011 at 7:22 am

I found your blog last week from Chris Loves Julia and I’m such a fan! I love this salad strategy, but I think I need a little help with the veggies. I spent some time on a calorie counting website, figured out a shopping list of veggies that totaled about 500 calories (100 per day), then bought and prepped it all last night. Um, I think I might have gone a little overboard or miscalculated somewhere. This is a TON of veggies. Would you mind sharing the rough quantities of vegetables that you purchase for your salad each week? For example, how many heads or bunches of greens would be a huge help. Thanks!!

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sara March 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

Can’t people figure this stuff out on their own or do they need their hand constantly held? Geez!

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Jenn April 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm

THANK YOU!!! I am so sick of these questions.

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Danielle December 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Thank you thank you thank you! You’ve saved me from lunch time boredom!

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Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn December 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Bookmarked!
Thank you for writing such an inspiring and informative post, I’m going to put this very much to use when I get back to uni.
Your writing is so wonderful and as usual your photos are stunning.
I first read your blog about 6 months ago and I loved it, and I just adore it the more I read!

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Cooking Rookie December 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Great post – I love your “analytical” approach of breaking down the salad by veggies, proteins, fats and fun :-) And so many super appetizing pics!

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Megan December 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I love salad so much and I too eat it every single day for lunch. I love it so much I even sing a song about it as I make it, my kids even cringe when they see me making my salad and start yelling, “Don’t sing the salad song!”

So yes, salad, it keeps me happy, healthy, satisfied and full until my next meal.

Salad helped me overcome food addiction and lost 67lbs. and counting! Thank you salad!

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Deanna December 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

Thank you so much for posting this blog. I weigh 220 and am 5’7″. I don’t know how I got to this point, though if I really sat down and thought about it i’m sure I could figure it out. I need a change, bad, and You are so inspiring. Thank you!

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Ria December 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Love this site…Thank you for healthy meals..

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count December 31, 2011 at 7:51 am

I am also a volume eater and salad is my savior! I’ve been doing it for years. I have a Big Purple Bowl that I got at a rummage sale for 50 cents. It is my vessel of choice. I fill it with everything imaginable. When I was working I would also prepare on Sunday and have it ready throughout the week for lunch. My friends always used to marvel at how good my salads looked. I never thought of the paper towel on top of the already chopped veggies. That’s a great idea. Thanks!

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Charlene January 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I put a few paper towels in bottom of bowl under the salad also. Never thought about removing the seeds from the cucumbers to keep them from becoming soggy.

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Jenny January 4, 2012 at 10:15 am

i love this!! my new eating plan has this as its base!! i’m excited. Today i’m eating a huge salad with tons of leafy greens, the chili i made last night, sharp cheddar and some blue cheese dressing to top it off! so good.

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Kim Harris January 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I have done this every work day since I read it. I have to say that I feel better in the afternoon, I don’t have my 2:00 slump. THANK YOU ANDIE!

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Hannah January 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

This has already helped me out loads. I had been eating the same salad for four months and this helped me switch it up.

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Annet January 25, 2012 at 1:46 am

Wrote a post about salads today because of you! Thanks for the inspiration. My salad rut was getting quite boring (standard greek salad fare). Yesterday my salad was 1/2 avocado, 2 boiled eggs, a cucumber (though I kept the seeds in), a clove of garlic (luckily I have my own office to stink out), some red/spanish onion, some spring onion, baby spinach and a pink lady apple. The apple made it light and refreshing instead of being heavy. A revelation. Dressing was seeded mustard, balsamic and bit of oil mixed. Today’s was much the same except minus the avocado, since i was out. My lunches have gone to a new level, thanks!!

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ASuburbanLife May 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

After months of looking at your salad photos and thinking “why would I make that when I could make Chewy Double Chocolate Coconut Blondies or Chocolate Toffee Almond Bars?”, I finally tried one. Lordy, now I’m hooked on colorful chopped salads with homemade dressing. Yum!

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Jennifer May 4, 2012 at 12:07 am

I love this post – I constantly reference back to it! And your “what does x-hundred calories look like” is an amazing series!

I look forward to your blog every day!

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Linda May 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

This is a wonderful post. I have bookmarked it, because it is full of wonderful ideas. I LOVE your blog!!

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Julie May 8, 2012 at 4:24 am

Wow, glad I found this post. Makes me want to run to the store and stock up on the “fun” stuff. My favorite protein topper is a fried egg where the yolk is still just soft enough to kind of melt over everything. Some people gag when they see it but I promise, if you like eggs, it’s awesome!

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Linda May 9, 2012 at 9:24 am

I wanted to come back and say thank you for this post. I read it back when you posted in December, and I’ve been eating a giant salad everyday ever since. Before, I was having leftovers or other heavy foods, and it was leaving me feeling sluggish and sleepy at my desk job. Eating salad everyday has not only helped my energy level, it’s made me feel healthier. I crave greens and vegetables now when I don’t have a salad. Thank you so much, Andie!

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mary May 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

To the lady who said peanut butter & jelly wouldn’t be on her list–I actually think pb&j whisked together would be delicious over some micro-greens, golden apples, walnuts & raisins!

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Earma Brown May 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I’ve never eaten a lot of salads. But lately found myself wanting a salad. I could only think of the old boring way. I loved your post. I now see my path to healthy, delicious salads. Can’t wait to do my first one. The dressings sound yummy too.

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Katie June 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

You are so wonderful, even though I know this stuff in my heart, its soooooo good to hear it from others sometimes. I just got excited about making lunch tomorrow instead of pissed. One thing I love on my salads is tuna with mayonaise and celery on a bed of lettuce….MMMMMM MMMM MMMMM

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Alice July 12, 2012 at 5:35 am

Omg Andie I’m going to have to marry you a little bit because tucking into my AWESOME Super Salad Lunch I am so grateful you showed me the way to get my thinking out of the box about homemade salads. Today we have greens and veggies galore topped by organic feta cheese and fresh salsa. It is so yummy. Thank you, sincerely.

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Diane July 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

Will you be my new best friend? LOL!
My husband owns a wholesale produce company and is Greek so we eat a lot of salads…I just called him with a big list of things to bring home! I’m thinking of salad for breakfast right now!

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Roberta July 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

I love to eat salads, but generally struggle on how to make it filling, flavorful and fun. Thanks for the great suggestions!

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Carly July 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm

This post is so awesome! I love making new salad creations and you definitely sparked my interest with a few of your combinations. I was just wondering what usually went on a salad that you put preserves or honey on? I’ve been experimenting with sweet salads lately (chopped apples, berries, etc) and wondering what you had thought of.

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admin August 16, 2012 at 5:21 am

Hi Carly! I usually put the preserves on a salad with chicken or turkey breast. Especially in the fall, I’ll buy a great cranberry sauce or cranberry relish and then use that on a salad with roasted turkey meat (like Thanksgiving in a bowl). Also, raspberry preserves with roasted chicken is a great combo, especially with a tangy cheese like feta or goat. Hope this helps :)
Andie

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Carly July 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I just commented again so that I could do the whole “notify me of follow-up comments” thing to see your response haha.

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Lynn September 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Hi Andie! My absolute favorite salad – heck, one of my favorite meals, period – is a combo of baby spinach, grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, a bit of avocado, and these homemade super thin carmelized onion rings that resemble those canned fried onion strings, but are more tasty, of course, with balsamic dressing. Local restaurant salad, and it’s the total B O M B!!! I’m madly, truly, decidedly in love with your blog and cannot wait to pre-order your books. Go Andieeee! – L

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Sue Carames September 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

Andie, I’ve been making Salads in a Jar for just over a month now, even selling them to friends for lunches. I was trying to find some different ideas and found your site. Wonderful ideas from you and your fans! This week my friends are going to be surprised at what they’re getting! Thanks

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Parisian Girl November 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Hey,

Found your blog yesterday and read it all (or almost :p); i loved it for all these little things, so true, that people talking about “going healty” usually choose to omit, and that you mention with honesty and humour.

Really liked this article, cauz i’m a salad addict, so lovin’ the concept :D
Do you mind me translating it to put it on my blog? http://2juriartistesparisiennes.eklablog.com/
mentionning of course that it came from you.

Thanks for the “happy mood” of your writting and the recipes ideas :D

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Shannon December 6, 2012 at 11:43 am

Andie, Thank you so much for this breakdown – I have recently decided that this is the best way for me to tackle lunch, but wasn’t sure about the ratio. The other day I literally dumped half a bag of mixed greens into a large mixing bowl (for reals) and chopped up some turkey and threw on some dressing, and ultimately hoped for the best. This makes total sense and is actually a stress reliever. Thank you!

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Jack December 6, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I usually cut my cell phone into quarters before adding it to my salad. To each his own, I guess…

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admin December 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm

No, no, no. Whole cell phone always tastes best.

Andie

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lily February 15, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I love the way you actually listed the protein, fat…that way I can make up my own salad, I have had nutrition issues in the past and are hoping to love the vegetables that give me so much more than other things, I also became a vegetarian which is hard because you have to figure out what to eat and modify everything….salad for lunch is perfect! And maybe I can add some soup or rice and fruit juices..no bad nutrition for me anymore.

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Jamie March 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

My favorite salad is a greens-free salad. Tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, grilled corn (cut off the cob), and avocado with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. SO delicious and satisfying.

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lettuce eat June 17, 2013 at 2:16 am

I thought you were putting the cell phone in the salad to indicate that you literally will throw everything onto a bed of greens! Haha. I am JUST now becoming a salad fanatic after realizing I’ve been doing it wrong for years. Trying to force myself to eat a bowl of just veggies was painful and basically everything would go bad! (though tasty, not something I am willing to do everyday). The BEST thing I ever bought myself was a salad spinner. I am LOVING throwing my leftovers onto lettuce for a fresh, filling lunch. Whole wheat pasta – another favorite to bulk up my lunch… i’m actually looking forward to my lunch tomorrow! Thanks for all the fun ideas :)

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Linda Nielsen June 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thank you for part 2- I love salads! Now trying to keep it at 400 calories will be the trick.

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Linda June 25, 2013 at 11:23 am

FYI Andie….I use glass food storage bowls to store my lettuce in. I line the bottom with paper towels and I change the towel twice a week. Sometimes I get 2 weeks out of my lettuce!! Not that it lasts me that long, but I once went on vacation; came back to very fresh lettuce!

I, too eat a salad everyday. I love the ideas of what you add!

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Tracy July 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE my SALADS! I am the exact same way! But I always find it hard for the dressings! You have just inspired me to once again restart our salads!! Thank you! Thank you for your inspirational site! You are beautiful!

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Arika October 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Andie, I actually really hate salads. And vegetables, except for the starchy ones, of course. However, I am trying to do better and have eaten two salads for lunch this week. I love all of your great suggestions. I will try them out and hopefully be able to eat more greens!

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Brendon March 31, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Hey Andie,

Thanks for the suggestions. I started the T25 diet and am looking to spice up my repertoire of foods I can eat under 400 calories. Im really a stickler for details bc I want to be able to lose the weight, so what would be your portion(s) for the Vegetables section (eg the lettuce, spinach, etc.)? I know it probably doesnt make that big of a deal, but again, I REALLY WANT TO DROP THE WEIGHT!

Thanks, and Id love to make you my World Famous Pulled Pork if you make room for a cheat day!
Brendon

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john July 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Hi!

Those salads look so tasty! I’m currently trying to loose weight so I’m trying to eat alot more veg. I’m kind of lucky in the fact Ilove veg so I really need to try this! thankyou. :)

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