Salads...surprisingly i end up eating all my calories with salads?!! :(

xnewbeginningsx
xnewbeginningsx Posts: 8 Member
Hi
I am back on this site after a gap of almost 1 year.

I also want to start off by saying I can't cook at all :(

So, for last few months...I have been trying to eat lot of salads. As buying salads at subway store etc can get quite expensive for me, I saw these Cesar salad kits at Aldi. As I haven't paid much attention to calories (was off this site) for past few months...I didn't realize I was eating 480 calories per packet of salad. And usually I would eat 2 of them as a side in a day...thinking oh it's healthy.

Now that I starting logging since yesterday, I am so shocked that this salad was so unhealthy for me...with so much fat in them.

So, please help! I need some salad recipes that I can put together myself and are not too high in calories. I tend to like creamy dressings like Cesar or ranch. Are they out if my reach if I want low calorie salads?

Thanks in advance!

Replies

  • Xxlune
    Xxlune Posts: 34 Member
    Honestly I don't think its the salad dressing thats killing that salad. Those salad packages have the croutons right? and the egg, then often some kind of pasta or potatoes.. those are the things adding up. The egg alone is around 100, and the potatoes or the pasta are also killing.

    You can eat salad, just make it yourself. Weigh out the dressing in a separate container (I use one of the little bottles that come in those travel packages, you know, with the see through bags? They are meant to carry cosmetics but they are perfect for dressing) and then compile the salad. You never really know how many calories you are saving by just throwing out random parts of the compiled salad, as it only mentions calories as a whole.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,270 Member
    Fat isn't unhealthy. Salads aren't unhealthy. That said, you need to figure out how to make those yummy salads fit your calories. What do you put in/on a typical salad? What are the high calorie ingredients other than the dressing?
  • shinycrazy
    shinycrazy Posts: 1,081 Member
    I'm loving Bolthouse's line of yogurt blend dressings. The Ranch and Caesar Parmigiano flavors are my favorites. About 45 calories per 2 tbsp or 30g. I put my salad on my food scale, hit the tare button to zero it out and then pour on my dressing so I know how much I'm using to the gram. For 45 calories you could even double the serving on a huge salad and not hurt it much. Added some 3 or 4 ounces of diced seared chicken thighs(so much tastier than the oversized chicken breasts on the market), sauteed mushrooms and you have a substantial and tasty salad for under 300 calories! The dressings are in the cold produce section of the grocery, as they are yogurt based. They can be pricey compared to shelf stable stuff, but worth it I think. Just tried the Salsa Verde Avocado and it's decent too. I think it'll be good on a baked potato. The Cilantro Avocado flavor is good if you like strong cilantro. Good luck!
  • girlgroves
    girlgroves Posts: 235 Member
    I've only recently turned to eating salads for lunch (since the weather turned a bit warmer!), but you are right - so many 'supposedly healthy' salads contain higher calories than I would ever have thought!

    I've taken to getting a ready-made container of salad from Tesco's - tuna, sweetcorn and pasta, with a lemon and black pepper dressing. It's from their healthy living range - so only 251 calories (which as a lunch fits really nicely into my calories for the day!). Whilst at £2.80 it could run into being quite expensive every day, I'm thinking I could put a similar salad together for myself if I used a similar sized container, and weighed out the ingredients appropriately. It's only tuna, sweetcorn, pasta, red onion, cucumber, lettuce, cherry tomatoes - I just need to find a nice low-cal lemon and black pepper dressing - which is the tastiest bit! I've googled and Asda does one that's 7cals per serving so I'm going to try that.

    Good luck!
  • dramaqueen45
    dramaqueen45 Posts: 1,008 Member
    If you go all veggies and a light dressing salads can be very low calories- cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, celery, mushrooms, bell peppers- all very low calories and high fiber to fill you up. But if you're like me, you love a salad with cheese, raisins, nuts, avocado, egg, sunflower seeds, croutons, etc- I have made many 450+ calorie salads and still lost weight. I just put my salad bowl on the scale and weigh and tare between every ingredient. Now I will say that the salad is usually the main course- I might eat a yogurt with it but not usually. You can lose weight with eating salads- you just have to log the ingredients and fit it into your day- yummy and good for you too!
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,490 Member
    Salads can be calorie killers, no doubt about that. But I like to add protein to mine so I may add grilled chicken and even a hard boiled egg. I use light dressings not the fat free dressings. light is always lesser calories and I am ok with the fat.

    Make a cobb salad, grilled chicken salad, house salad, tuna salad, ceasar salad, greek salad you can put anything on lettuce or romaine, etc.. The options are endless, but you need to play up to your tastes and textures you want from the salad.

    I load it up with lettuce and veggies and I do add Won ton strips or crispy onions for extra crunch and I just deal with those calories, but I now leave off the cheese because it gets buried in the salad and does not do too much for added flavor.

    I want and need alot of protein, so I choose a meat first and build it from there.
  • Jams009
    Jams009 Posts: 365 Member
    Making your own salads doesn't require much (if any) cooking skill and would be much cheaper. You can easily prepare them in advance and take them with you. I just had a quick salad for lunch/snack and it was 138cal.
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,072 Member
    Yup, just make your own. Stay away from croutons, kalamata olives, cheese, etc. Mine usually has lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, banana pepper, shrimp, homemade salad dressing. I've been loving a creamy Italian lately. Take an ounce of Fage 0% Greek yogurt, 1/4 packet of Italian dressing mix and add apple cider vinegar until right consistency. Super yummy and low calorie.
  • queenliz99
    queenliz99 Posts: 15,317 Member
    Yup, just make your own. Stay away from croutons, kalamata olives, cheese, etc. Mine usually has lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, banana pepper, shrimp, homemade salad dressing. I've been loving a creamy Italian lately. Take an ounce of Fage 0% Greek yogurt, 1/4 packet of Italian dressing mix and add apple cider vinegar until right consistency. Super yummy and low calorie.

    Yes, love this idea!! Thank you!!
  • treegirl97
    treegirl97 Posts: 70 Member
    I love Ranch dressing and have been making my own for a while now.

    1 3/4 cups buttermilk
    1/2 cup light mayonnaise
    1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix

    I put it in a large mason jar, give it a good shake and let chill for 30 mins.

    Pretty low in calories and tastes delicious.
  • SomeNights246
    SomeNights246 Posts: 807 Member
    It is so easy to make them at home. I eat salads all the time, and can easily keep them less than 500 calories for a HUGE salad. I'm not talking a small salad the size of a pre-packaged one here. A smaller salad made by me at home is usually between 200-300 calories, depending on the dressing that I use.

    Just use lower calorie things. I tend to like tuna in my salads as the protein source - which tends to be low in calories. Chicken can be, too. Tuna, chicken, beans, and/or eggs are my go-to for protein. I like a salad with protein as they do tend to be more filling, and keep me satisfied longer. I usually skip the cheese, as that can add calories quickly if you love cheese as much as I do.

    Vegetables are the easy part, as most of them are on the lower side. I typically use lettuce, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and jalepeno peppers (I love the spicier salads). Toppings like croutons can put you over fast if you're not careful. So, if you're trying to stay around that 480 you'd be consuming if you ate only one of those salads, either avoid them or use them sparingly.

    As for dressing, they have lighter creamy dressings. They taste just as good to me (some of them better, as I don't like the non-light ranch at all). Or, you could do a homemade dressing. Another option is measuring out dressing until you get good enough to eyeball servings (which I can pretty much do now).
  • Pinkylee77
    Pinkylee77 Posts: 432 Member
    Look at Pinterest or online for mason jar salads. They are easy to make in advance and you can add what hits your fancy. Good luck
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,270 Member
    edited May 2016
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    Salads can be calorie killers, no doubt about that. But I like to add protein to mine so I may add grilled chicken and even a hard boiled egg. I use light dressings not the fat free dressings. light is always lesser calories and I am ok with the fat.

    Make a cobb salad, grilled chicken salad, house salad, tuna salad, ceasar salad, greek salad you can put anything on lettuce or romaine, etc.. The options are endless, but you need to play up to your tastes and textures you want from the salad.

    I load it up with lettuce and veggies and I do add Won ton strips or crispy onions for extra crunch and I just deal with those calories, but I now leave off the cheese because it gets buried in the salad and does not do too much for added flavor.

    I want and need alot of protein, so I choose a meat first and build it from there.

    I kinda do that too. If I'm at work, I buy a simple kale and chickpea salad and throw a can of sardines on it.
    If we eat out my "go to" meal in all restaurants is caesar salad, no croutons with either salmon, chicken, or shrimp on it. We eat out OFTEN and I enjoy wine with dinner, so I can't treat dinners out as "special". They are just dinners away from home. Caesar salads!