Keep Your Salads Healthy

Even healthy foods can pack in a lot of extra calories and make you gain weight.

Salads particularly can be deceiving. It appears they are healthy but some can be higher calories and fat than a Big Mac.

To keep your salads healthy, resist highcalorie extras such as cheese, nuts, bacon, and full-fat dressing.

file000847168568Take a look at the nutrition content of my client’s chicken salad and whole grain roll lunch compared to a Big Mac. Her salad has more calories and more fat. All because of the dressing.

Organic Mixed Garden Greens,4 oz 20 4 0 4 70 0
Cilantro Lime Dressing, 3 tbsp 356 3 39 0 381 2
Chicken  Breast, meat only, cooked, roasted, 3 oz(s) 140 0 3 26 63 0
Beans – Black, cooked, boiled, with salt, 1 tbsp(s) 14 3 0 1 25 0
Brussel Sprouts – Oven Roasted (Sliced), 0.0 cup cooked 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sunflower seed kernels, dry roasted, without salt, 1 oz 165 7 14 5 1 1
Multi-Grain Artisan Roll, 1 roll 230 21 2 4 200 2
Chicken Salad with Roll = 925 calories 38 Carbs 58 Fat 40 Protein 740 Sodium 5


Big Mac =

530 calories 47 Carbs 27 fat 24





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Pomegranate Tabouli Salad

Quinoa can be substituted for the freekeh cracked wheat.

Pomegranate Nutrition

Not only delicious, pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods you can eat! They are high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fiber, and low in calories.
Like blueberries, cranberries and green tea, pomegranates are thought to be healthy because they are loaded with antioxidants, which protect cells from damage by compounds called free radicals.

Pomegranate juice is high in three different types of polyphenols, a potent form of antioxidants. The three types – tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid – are present in many fruits, but fresh pomegranate juice contains particularly high amounts of all three.

Pomegranates in the store have been picked when ripe, so they are ready to enjoy as soon as you buy them. A good, ripe pomegranate should feel heavy. Surface abrasions do not affect the quality of the fruit.

Whole pomegranates keep well at room temperature and away from sunlight for several days and up to 2 months when refrigerated in plastic bags. In October when the fresh crop arrives buy several and store them in the refrigerator.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Cracked Wheat

Tabouli is traditionally made from bulgur which is cracked wheat. Bulgur wheat provides various nutrients and is an especially good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and fiber. I like to use freekeh. I link to the bradn I buy on amazon. It is wheat but it is harvested when it is young and then roasted. The flavor is delicious smoky and nutty. If I don’t happen to have any, I also us regular bulgur and have even used quinoa.


The herb parsley is loaded with nutrition: Lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and is the richest source of Vitamin K which is essential for bone health. 1 cup chopped parsley only has 22 calories so using parsley in this salad reduced the caloric density.


Cook’s Note: Wash your parsley (and other produce) in a clean pan in the sink. Your sink provides a place for bacteria to thrive. Food particles in the sink serve as a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. To prevent food illness bleach your sink every night.






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NOTE: Another option to the freekeh is to use quinoa instead of freekeh. I  used 4 1/2 c. cooked quinoa in this recipe recently and it was wonderful.  

1.5 cups raw freekeh + 3 cups water equals 4 cups cooked (Freekeh is Cracked wheat) I buy Freekeh at amazon or if you want to use Quinoa buy it here on Amazon
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil I like this olive oil because it is packaged in glass. Plastic can contain obesogens
5-6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups (about one large bunch) Italian parsley, washed, spun and chopped. Use more if omitting the mint.
¼ cup mint leaves, washed, spun and chopped –optional. I=
3 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup (or all the seeds from one pomegranate) pomegranate seeds*
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sliced toasted almonds

Cook the freekeh, bulgur or quinoa according to package directions and place in the refrigerator to cool.

To make the dressing combine and whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a bowl and whisk. I love my mini whisk for this purpose.

When freekeh or quinoa is cool, add chopped parsley, mint leaves, scallions and pomegranate seeds and dressing. Stir gently to mix ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.

Top with toasted pumpkin seeds when serving.

*How to remove the seeds from the pomegranate. To seed a pomegranate, cut the skin vertically in quarters, then pull it apart. Hold it in a bowl of water and gently pull the white structures apart, dropping the seeds in the bowl. Skim the white bits out. Drain and pat dry to use. To view a video demonstrating how to seed a pomegranate.

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Brown Rice, Kale, Garbanzo Bean, Squash Salad

Thanks to Joetta for sharing her favorite salad. She says, “I can usually get four lunches out of this recipe and I never get tired of it.  You can also put roast carrots instead of the squash which is just as yummy.”

Go to Trader Joes and buy:

• Bag of kale
• Box of frozen brown rice
• 2 cans of garbanzo beans
• One packet of peeled butternut squash
• Walnut pieces

You’ll also need:
• olive oil
• lime juice
• Napa Valley Naturals Cherry Wood aged balsamic vinegar aged 18 years from PCC.  No other vinegar will taste as good.

1. Toss the squash with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast in a 375 oven for about 20-25 min.  Let cool.
2. Bring a huge pot of water to boil, add the kale, boil for about two minutes and then drain.  Rinse with cold water to keep the kale from cooking.  Then squeeze out as much water as you can from the kale using your hands.  Sprinkle a little bit of lime juice on the kale.
3. Cook one bag of rice (or cook one cup of brown rice) and add it to a salad bowl.
4. Drain/rinse the beans and add them to the bowl with the rice.
5. Measure out about 1/3 cup of walnut pieces and add to the bowl.
6. Add cooled squash to the bowl
7. Add the kale to the bowl
8. Mix it all up and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over it to taste.  It’s very thick and flavorful, you don’t need a whole lot.

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