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Old 05-14-2014, 02:00 PM   #1
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Rate my Salad!

I've never really liked salads, but in trying to turn to a healthier eating style I've took it upon myself to eat a salad for lunch just about every day. That being said I'm fairly picky, and have found a go-to salad build that I am thoroughly enjoying. I'd like you to grade how healthy my salad is anywhere from an A to an F overall, and your suggestions on what you'd add or take away.

My work cafeteria offers an amazing salad bar, so just about every vegetable and topping is available. I start with a generous layer of green leaf spinach, and then add a generous layer of green leaf lettuce. I then add about 2 tablespoons of egg crumble, 1/4 cup of diced raw red onions, 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds, 4-5 small strips of grilled chicken breast, and then for my dressing I add 1 tablespoon of light fat free ranch and 1 tablespoon of light fat free french.

So right off the bat I realize there are better dressing choices, but honestly I can't find anything I like. I feel that oils and vinegars are completely overpowering and ruins the taste for me. I've tried raspberry and other berry based dressings, but the sweetness does not pair well with salads in my opinion. I love the savory and creamy flavors that french/ranch brings, and while I know they are not the ideal choice I do opt for light fat free to avoid high calories and 0 fat.

Please grade away! I'd love some advice.

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Old 05-14-2014, 02:11 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome to DC.

If you really like this salad, relax and enjoy it. You've already tried or considered alternatives and decided you don't like them. What others think is immaterial. Overall, it's a good lunch.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome! I do thoroughly enjoy this salad, but I am always open to other suggestions, maybe something I haven't thought of yet.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:28 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC! I agree with Andy. And French and Ranch are my favorites too. I also like cottage cheese and baby peas on my salads.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:00 PM   #5
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I can hardly eat a salad if there are no cucumbers! I'm a huge fan I also like some color on my salads, so I usually add either tomatoes or roasted red peppers.

You're using so little dressing, and it's low fat, that I don't think it's an issue at all. Enjoy!
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:27 PM   #6
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Just so you know... most fat free products have more sugar than their full fat counterparts.

A serving of fat free Kraft Ranch has 3 times more sugar than their full fat dressing. Corn syrup is the second ingredient listed.

Also, some scientists claim that "In order to get more from eating fruits and vegetables, they need to be paired correctly with fat-based dressings. While a salad with fat-free dressing is lower in calories, the absence of fat causes the loss of some of the benefits of eating vegetables."

For Best Results, Don't Eat Your Salad with a Fat-Free Dressing - Beth Fontenot - The Atlantic

Tasty and healthy dressings are very easy to make at home and take to work.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:38 PM   #7
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Interesting, jennyema.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomFirefly View Post
I feel that oils and vinegars are completely overpowering and ruins the taste for me.
Try rice vinegar + oil; rice vinegar doesn't have as much "bite" but is full of flavor. (I'm also a big fan of good sherry vinegar.) You can also add a splash of honey or maple syrup to your vinaigrette - not to make it sweet - but to mellow out the acidity.

You can make a killer honey mustard dressing with just those two ingredients and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Use a 5/3/2 ratio: 5 = honey, 3 = mustard, 2 = rice wine vinegar. Use a teaspoon or tablespoon for measurement, depending on how much you need.

A good vinaigrette shouldn't overpower your salad or your tastebuds, it should just complement the food it's dressing. =)
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:21 PM   #9
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I'm no expert but it looks healthy to me, and like others have said if you enjoy it you need no approval really.
GG's passion for cucumbers is like mine about pickled beets on my salad that I make at home. I open a can of sliced pickled beets (too lazy to can them myself) and keep them in a jar in the fridge. I love cutting up a few slices into strips for each and every salad I make at home. I doubt they have them in your salad bar, but they may have the non pickled kind.
If you like red in your salad GG, like I do, you might give them a try. They're especially nice when tomatoes are out of season and tasteless.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Just so you know... most fat free products have more sugar than their full fat counterparts.

A serving of fat free Kraft Ranch has 3 times more sugar than their full fat dressing. Corn syrup is the second ingredient listed.

Also, some scientists claim that "In order to get more from eating fruits and vegetables, they need to be paired correctly with fat-based dressings. While a salad with fat-free dressing is lower in calories, the absence of fat causes the loss of some of the benefits of eating vegetables."

For Best Results, Don't Eat Your Salad with a Fat-Free Dressing - Beth Fontenot - The Atlantic

Tasty and healthy dressings are very easy to make at home and take to work.
This is true. I have a pancreatic insufficiency - my pancreas doesn't make the enzyme that breaks down fats, allowing fat-soluble vitamins to be absorbed by the body, so I have to take a prescription for that enzyme. Before this was diagnosed, I was severely deficient in vitamins A, D, E and K.
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