All salads are not created equal. We see the word salad on a menu and automatically assume that it must be the healthy option. Salad is good right? Wrong!
Some salads have more kilojoules and fat than anything else on the menu. And with the summer weather here in Western Australia fast approaching, which generally means more regular consumption of salads, its good to understand how it all adds up.
Lets start by looking at some popular menu item salads then we will talk about building your own at home.
SUMO SALAD BAR
Crumbed Chicken Caesar Salad (large)
38 Total fat
10.3 Sat fat
Warm Chicken Salad
11.7 Total fat
1.7 Sat fat
Chicken Caesar Salad
34.1 Total fat
9.6 Sat fat
THE COFFEE CLUB
The Greek Salad
21 Total fat
14 Sat fat
It’s often the extras that increase the KJ count in your salad. Croutons, cheese, bacon bits and dressings. How about asking for the salad without some of these additions.
There are many ‘salad’ occasions. Eaten as a complete meal, as a side, or as a contribution when you go to a party. Or probably most often the one you take to work for your lunch.
A good salad should contain 3 components
- GOOD FATS
When choosing your protein element, try and get the best quality you can afford. Chicken breast for example at the cheap end is pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. If you can, buy organic. And opt for grass fed beef for the same reasons. Whilst its pricey to buy in the supermarket, there are many other suppliers around now who are doing it at fairly decent prices. Remember, whatever the animal eats is also going in your body.
Try and choose protein in its natural state. For instance a grass fed steak is good, but a processed beef sausage is not so good (some are much better than others though, so read the labels). Here are some good proteins –
-Skinless chicken breast
-Skinless turkey breast
-Lean cuts of beef
-Lean cuts of pork
-Lean cuts of lamb
Try to avoid cheap sausages, processed deli meats, and fake meat vegetarian alternative products.
This is where you can add bulk and color. Try and get creative. There are literally hundreds of combinations here. Pick ingredients that you haven’t used before. If possible buy organic, but if you cant do this then make sure you thoroughly wash them before consumption. Australia uses a lot of pesticides on its crops and that’s what you will consume if you don’t wash the veggies. Here are some ideas for you.
Bok choy / Red Cabbage / White cabbage / Cauliflower / Fennel / Kale / capsicum / spinach / tomatoes / watercress / artichokes / broccoli / celery / cucumber / green beans / lettuce / onions / radicchio / salad greens / squash / zucchini / asparagus / eggplant / mushrooms / herbs / radishes / bamboo shoots / carrots / swiss chard / endive / peas / snow peas / sugar snaps / rocket / spring onions / baby corn
Fat is not a swear word. Some fats are actually good for us and we should aim to include them everyday into our diets. Try and add one of these to your salad
To spice things up a bit and add some flavor, again you need to get creative and try out some different combinations.
-fresh red chili
If you are still stuck for ideas, why not give one of these combinations a go –
Rocket / broccolini / bok choy / green cabbage / yellow capsicum / radish / asparagus / raw peas / olives / feta / grapes / cashew nuts / seeds
Pumpkin / walnut / salad leaves / halloumi cheese / olives
Chicken / celery / apple / walnut
Green beans / tuna / olives / cucumber / cherry tomatoes / red onion / lemon juice / olive oil
And lastly, try and mix things up and try a different combination every time. Have fun in the kitchen. And even if a combination seems weird, give it a go anyway, you may be surprised.