Grapefruit, Spinach, and Cilantro Salad

Grapefruit, Spinach, and Cilantro Salad

Grapefruit, Spinach, and Cilantro Salad

So this salad is a testament to the wisdom of occasionally eating foods that you think you don’t like. I’ve never liked grapefruit, but I saw one in the store yesterday and bought it. As I sectioned it to make this salad, I tasted a bit, and – oh heavenly heavens – it was amazing! Suffice it to say, I am quite the grapefruit fan now. Grapefruit, you are welcome at my house anytime!

As always, feel free to adjust ingredients according to your tastes. Just don’t skip the grapefruit! Pair this salad with a sandwich or bowl of soup, and you’ve got a wonderfully refreshing lunch.

Grapefruit, Spinach, and Cilantro Salad

  • 1 c Spinach, baby kale, and arugula mix
  • Handful of fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Small handful shredded Carrot
  • 1/2 c Sugar Snap Peas, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 Ruby Red Grapefruit, sectioned
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled Feta or Mozzarella cheese (I used string cheese because that’s all I had in the house, but feta would be divine in this)
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pile your ingredients onto your plate in the order listed and dig in. Delish!

I’m so excited to eat the other half of my grapefruit tomorrow.

Six Simple Ways to Add Flavor to Your Salad

Six Simple Ways to Add Flavor to your Salad

Looking for ways to make your salad not boring? These simple ingredients are probably things that you already have around the house. Use them to add a little something extra to your salad today and make your tastebuds happy.

The trick with this is to choose more than one. Start with an herb or spice. Then add a fruit, and something salty. The variety of flavors will keep your mouth guessing from bite to bite, making your meal much more enjoyable. Not all flavors taste great together, but don’t let that scare you from trying. What starts as a strange combination, may turn out to be absolutely delicious. You never know until you taste it!

Six Simple Ways to Add Flavor to Your SaladHerbs & Spices – My favorite herb to add to my salad is cilantro. I love, love, love the taste. Plus I can get a bunch of it at the store for less than a dollar. I rip off a big handful from the bunch and chop it over my spinach like it’s another green. It makes my salad taste fresher and more interesting. Don’t like cilantro? Don’t worry. There are plenty of other options – basil, parsley, dill, rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, oregano, chives, tarragon. Just reading this list gets me excited. A salad with mint? That sounds fabulous! I prefer to use fresh herbs in my salad, but if you can’t get your hands on those, try the dried variety, or grow your own!

Six Simple Ways to Add Flavor to Your SaladFruit – One of my favorite flavor combinations is sweet and salty, and so I love adding fruit to my salads. I regularly chop some gala or fuji apple onto my pile of veggies, and the unexpected sweetness mixed in with all the savory makes my mouth really happy. I’ve tried almost every fruit in my kitchen and they’ve all been delicious. Peaches, blueberries, oranges, pears, grapes, strawberries, etc. The only one I haven’t been brave enough to try yet is banana, but I’m sure with the right dressing, even that would be awesome on a salad.

Six Simple Ways to Add Flavor to Your SaladCondiments & Pickles – planning on adding chicken to your salad? Why not mix it with some barbecue sauce first? Or even easier, just drizzle some BBQ sauce on your salad. Other condiments that are great on salads include salsa, pickle relish, mustard, honey, hot sauce, mayo, steak sauce (especially if your salad has steak), soy sauce, etc. If there’s a jar, squeeze bottle, or packet of something in the door of the fridge that you LOVE, put some of it on your salad. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised. Chick-fil-a sauce tastes amazing on a salad, just saying.

Six Simple Ways to Add Flavor to Your SaladNuts, Seeds, & Dried Fruits – Nuts, seeds and dried fruits of all kinds are fantastic on a salad. You don’t have to buy the fancy sugar coated ones at the store either. Just sprinkle on some plain sliced almonds, walnut pieces, cranberries, pumpkin, sunflower or chia seeds, and see what you like. I love putting raisins in my salad (I know, me and my sweet tooth). Like with condiments, these can be high in calories and a little goes a long way. Experiment with them and see what you like. Another benefit of eating nuts and seeds in your salad is that they add some protein and healthy fat.

Six Simple Ways to Add Flavor to Your SaladDitch the Croutonsin favor of something more flavorful. We all love a bit of bread in our salad, but croutons, even the seasoned ones, are so blah. Instead, try Goldfish crackers or Cheez-its for some cheesy crunch. Other interesting options include pretzels, tortilla chips, club crackers, Triscuits, banana chips, sesame sticks, anything really. See how creative you can be. Try to surprise your mouth & discover previously unknown flavor combinations using things you wouldn’t normally put on a salad. I’m going to try raw rolled oats one of these days. And popcorn. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Six Simple Ways to Add Flavor to Your SaladCheese – I know I have to add this here, but I’m not someone who gets excited about cheese on my salad. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cheese. Just not on my salad (the one exception to this is fresh mozzarella, so, so good!). You may love cheese on your salad. If so, then go for it. There are many kinds to choose from. Try feta or parmesan for a salty punch. Blue cheese, gorgonzola, swiss, and goat cheese are all very flavorful choices. There are lots of options, including smoked and herbed cheeses (dill havarti anyone?). Visit the deli cheese section of your grocery store and go with what tastes good to you.

Review – Wendy’s Asian Cashew Chicken Salad

Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad

I don’t normally eat out this much, but events have conspired against me today. Thanks to an unfortunate plumbing issue, my kitchen smells like a sewer. Ain’t no one eating in that mess. So after we were done at the park this morning, the girls and I went to Wendy’s for lunch.*

Wendy’s has quite a few options when it comes to salads. They also seem to have put some effort into creating salads that people actually want to eat, not just as an afterthought to the menu. I got the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad and was pleasantly surprised. I approach fast food salads with very low expectations, so pleasantly surprised means I wouldn’t mind ordering it again.

The Asian Cashew Chicken Salad has a base of spring mix and iceberg lettuces topped with cucumber slices, diced red pepper, “fire-roasted” edamame (yum!), spicy cashews, and a grilled chicken breast. The dressing it comes with is called Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette. It’s a good choice for those who are counting points (10 WW Points+) or calories (380).

First off, it’s very spicy. I don’t do spicy (flavor, yes – heat, no), and so I had to swap out the dressing in order to eat it. Ranch cooled it off enough for me to be able to get past the first forkful. Flavor-wise, it was pretty good – about what you’d expect for an Asian salad, though the cashews were a nice departure from the norm. I also approved of the edamame. It didn’t taste particularly ‘fire-roasted’, but it looked the part at least. The iceberg lettuce was really the only thing that annoyed me. I found it watery and flavorless. I would have preferred all spring mix or a combo of spring mix and spinach instead.

So, to sum-up. If you find yourself stranded in fast-food world, Wendy’s Asian Cashew Chicken Salad is a pretty good bet, both for your tastebuds and your waistline. I also have to complement the staff of my local Wendy’s. They were pretty amazing today – super friendly and helpful. I’m normally a Chick-fil-a customer because their service is so awesome, but Wendy’s has definitely stepped up to the plate. Thanks guys!

*I have to apologize for my picture. I didn’t think to take it until after I’d eaten half the salad, so please forgive my hungry self for eating before photographing. If you want to see a beautiful picture of this salad, you can go to Wendy’s official Asian Cashew Chicken Salad page or see what it really looks like over at Brand Eating.

Making the Most of My Boring Restaurant Salad

So today, the family and I were out and about having fun. We went to the aquarium (Yay fish!) and then to lunch. The restaurant that hubbs picked out was a diner/grill with a typical diner/grill type menu, and my resolve to eat healthy was seriously tested. I had lobbied for Panera (because, hello – Salad!), but was vetoed this time. After getting the babies settled into their seats with their drinks and crayons and appetizers (i.e. goldfish crackers & raisins), I looked at the menu to choose something to eat.

It. Was. Awful.

After ruling out the burgers, chicken tenders, patty melt, reuben, and pretty much everything on the menu, my only options were the grilled chicken salad and the steak salad. Obviously, they only served one salad (the typical boring restaurant kind) and my option was to choose which meat I wanted on top. I sighed as I ordered the grilled chicken salad with honey dijon dressing. The waitress asked if I wanted to add cheese, bacon, or mushrooms. Um, no. This isn’t a burger, remember? Mushrooms?!?

The salad I got was just like every other grilled chicken salad I’ve ever gotten at a not-too-fancy restaurant. It was a pile of romaine lettuce, topped with shredded purple cabbage and carrots, three cherry tomatoes, a few red onion rings, and a big slab of grilled chicken sliced into long spears. The dressing was in a plastic cup on the side. That was it folks. It was incredibly sad.

“THIS,” I thought, “THIS is what gives salad a bad name.”

I had to do something. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a ton of options, but here’s what I did.

  1. I got rid of the onions. I just don’t like them on my salad, especially in rings. They’re impossible to eat like that.
  2. I cut up the tomatoes and chicken so that they were bite-sized. (I don’t understand why this didn’t happen in the kitchen. I mean, who likes eating salad with a knife in hand?)
  3. I stole a dill pickle spear from my kids’ lunch & chopped it in. They weren’t going to eat it anyway and it added some flavor to this totally flavorless meal.
  4. Added about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the dressing (they gave me almost half a cup of the stuff, it was ridiculous) and tossed the salad on my plate.
  5. Crumbled a couple of club crackers on the top for crunch & a bit of saltiness.

By the time I finished doing this, everyone at the table was done eating. *Sigh* However, because of my ministrations, the salad was passible. Not terribly exciting, but good enough to make me glad that I had chosen it instead of the patty melt. I count that as a salad success.

Did you have a salad success today? Share yours in the comments!

Super Easy Avocado Tuna Salad

Green Tuna Salad Pic

I didn’t feel like eating my normal salad today. Shocking, I know. So I made this instead. It’s still a salad, and it was very tasty. Enjoy!

Super Easy Avocado Tuna Salad

  • 1/2 ripe avocado (you have to be able to smash it really well, otherwise this won’t work)
  • 1 can tuna, drained (I used chunk light tuna packed in water)
  • cilantro, chopped
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • green pepper, chopped
  • english muffin, toasted
  • 1 Tbsp ranch yogurt dressing (find it in the refrigerated dressings section of the produce aisle or make your own)

Mix the tuna with 1/4 avocado, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to taste. Once the tuna and avocado are well incorporated, add in a handful of chopped cilantro and some green pepper. Mix it up. Slice the other 1/4 avocado onto each side of your toasted english muffin. Top each half with a scoop of the tuna mixture and drizzle with yogurt ranch dressing. Delish!

Feel free to sub in your favorite herbs, veggies, or dressing. Fresh basil, dill or parsley would work well in this, as would tomatoes, carrots, onions, cucumbers, corn, etc.

12 WW Points+ (you could save some points by leaving out the 1/4 avocado and english muffin, or saving half for later 🙂 )

Salad – Tasty or Tedious? Plus, 5 Time-Saving Tricks

Peach & Arugula Salad

Have you made the commitment to eat a salad every day? I have. We all know we should be eating it. It’s packed with nutrients and fiber (who doesn’t need more fiber?) and it can be a great choice for someone who needs to lose weight. It’s also delicious and so easy to prepare, right? Ahem… right? Hello?

Okay fine, maybe salads aren’t always delicious. I’ve ordered plenty of salads from restaurants that made me sad I chose to eat out. Honestly, can’t anyone come up with something better than the lettuce, tomato, chicken and carrot combo? Some way to add flavor that doesn’t involve cheddar cheese or high-calorie dressings? It’s pretty hard to find, but I’ve discovered that it’s not that hard to do.

I’ve been making salad for lunch for the past (almost) year. In that year, I’ve discovered some tricks to preparing them that make prepping (and cleaning up from) a salad as easy as putting together a sandwich. I’ve also found ways to add flavor, so that eating salad no longer feels like a chore. There have even been times that a temptation to go to the drive thru was thwarted by the thought of eating my favorite salad instead. Yes, salad can be THAT good.

So do you want to love salad? Do you want to make it fast? Here’s what I’ve learned.

My 5 best tricks for prepping (and cleaning up) salad fast

1. Ditch the cutting board

Learn to cut things while holding them. I learned this one from my mom (thanks Mom!!). You want some green pepper on your salad? Instead of washing, coring, and cutting up the whole pepper, just cut off the piece of the pepper you want to eat. Put the rest of the pepper into a ziplock baggie for tomorrow’s salad. Take the piece you’ve cut off, wash it, slice it lengthwise and then chop into bite-sized pieces over your salad. Voila! You’re done with the pepper and the only thing you’ve gotten dirty is a knife. You can chop almost anything you want for your salad this way. Obviously, don’t cut yourself. This may be harder if you have extremely sharp knives. Also carrots are hard to chop without cutting yourself, which leads to my next point.

2. Buy some stuff pre-cut

I choose to buy some things pre-cut. For me, this includes spinach/lettuce, frozen cut corn, and shredded carrots. I like carrots on my salad. I like them to be shredded. I’m not going to take the time to shred carrot on my salad (and wash the shredder) when I can buy a bag of shredded carrots for $1.25 at the store. ‘Nuff said.

3. Keep your salad stuff together

I keep all my salad veggies and fruits together in the fridge. That way when I go to make my salad, I open the fridge, grab everything at once and plonk it down on the counter. When I’m done, I gather it all up and stuff it back in the fridge. Easy peasy.

4. Don’t measure

It’s a salad not a science experiment. Anyone who says you need to measure out 2 tablespoons of chopped green onion has way too much time on their hands. Plus, this salad is for you. How many grape tomatoes do you want to eat today? Then that’s how many you should put on your salad. (Did you say zero? You did, didn’t you? That’s perfectly okay. It’s YOUR salad.) Grab a handful of lettuce and plop it on your plate. Follow that with a sprinkling of carrots. Chop in some cucumber until it looks right to you. Add ingredients according to what and how much you want to eat. If things don’t taste exactly the way you want, tweak it tomorrow. The exception to this rule is dressing, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Measure your dressing (and any other high-calorie ingredients – nuts, seeds, dried fruits, croutons, cheeses, etc.).

5. Stick with a basic recipe

Work out a basic salad that you love using only ingredients that you enjoy eating (more on this topic later). For me, it’s spinach, carrots, frozen corn (yes, frozen), red bell pepper, apple, avocado, cilantro, yogurt ranch dressing, and goldfish crackers. It’s my go to. I always make sure I have the ingredients on hand to make this salad. When I have other ingredients, I start experimenting. For example, today’s salad (that’s a picture of it up above) had some glorious peaches I got at the farmer’s market. It’s still a variation of my favorite salad. I left out some of the ingredients I normally use (apple, avocado, corn, cilantro, goldfish crackers), added some I don’t always use (arugula, grape tomatoes) and switched out the dressing (feta dill yogurt dressing, yum!). The point is, know what you like and use it as a stepping off point. It’ll make things go a lot faster if you don’t have to choose a salad recipe each day. Shopping for your salad gets a lot easier too.

One trick I know of that I don’t use is to prep a bunch of salad in the beginning of the week and then eat that salad all week long. For one thing, I hate feeling like I HAVE to eat something, and if there’s a huge bowl of salad going bad in the fridge, then I have to eat it. Poof! The salad love has disappeared. Plus fruits and veggies go bad faster once you cut them up. I like my salad to be as fresh as possible, so I don’t cut things up until I’m ready to use them. The exception being, of course, those things I’ve bought pre-chopped.

Those are my 5 time-saving tricks. I’m sure there are more out there. Comment below if you know of others!