Eat your salad! It’s good for you!
How many times have I heard people yell that at me. Especially people from the gym. I’m talking about the hardcore ones. They are a real breed of champions who pump iron-eat right, on a regular basis. It is not just about keeping fit. It is a way of life.
Well, what can I say. I have news for them. While salads can be terribly healthy, they can be terribly bad for your health as well. It’s all relative. Consider a chicken Caesar salad loaded with salad dressing, croutons, cheese, and breaded fried chicken. This could easily amount to 1000 calories and maybe 50g of fat.. don’t even let me get started on the sodium. On the other hand, a grilled chicken breast garden salad, a pinch of salt to taste, with fat-free dressing has very possibly only just 400 calories and a dab of fat. Basically it’s all in the dressing. Dressings and toppings make the difference and if you are going to add extra croutons, cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, avocado and high fat nuts, it is just as good as eating a burger and fries. Oh no! This is such bad news for those who have been wondering WHY on earth their salads taste so good. It’s nothing like the boring stuff my neighbour talks about at all, that she prepares at home. Pfft.., she has not had a REAL salad!
No, no, she’s having salad. You’re having burger and fries.
If that’s the case, how can you actually make sure that your salad is indeed healthy and heart friendly? In order to transform your high fat salad into a healthy salad, without compromising on taste, try using sunflower seeds in place of those high fat nuts, with your dark, leafy greens like arugula, spinach, and fresh herbs. If you really love your nuts and cannot do without them, go for walnuts – they are one of the best-studied nuts, and it’s been shown they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Instead of piling on avocado and creamy dressings try mushrooms (that lend a creamy texture), olives and low calorie dressings such as a tablespoon or two of light vinaigrette or salsa, or a tasty vinegar, such as balsamic, along with a little heart-friendly olive oil. If you love creamy dressing, try using less of it by diluting it with vinegar. Or simply use low fat dressings that are labeled as such on the bottle. Other toppings that are wonderfully sweet and add body to the salad without adding inches to your waist include cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes (my favourite) baby carrots, pomelo, red bell peppers, or artichokes.
spicy chicken salad
Here is one place that I find I can have a healthy salad without compromising on taste. It is called the salad bar and my favourite salad is the spicy chicken salad. It is light yet tasty, with a lovely sourish vinegar based dressing. The chicken itself is grilled not fried. Top it off with sunflower seeds and it’s almost a perfectly balanced salad that is low in calories and high in the flavour department. Gorgeous!
The salad bar. Choose your own toppings, but choose wisely! Stay away from the fat laden nuts.
The mega healthy fruit salad with pomelo topping
They even do low fat pasta here with lovely sesame topping..
Most half serving’s of salad here are a mere RM7 and a full blown mega salad costs no more than RM12. Your salad plus a big glass of freshly squeezed orange juice will only set you back by approximately RM18. Need I say more?The Salad Bar
No. 41, Jalan SS21/60
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 03 77221742
Opening times : Mon – Sat 9am – 9pm
Sun and public holidays 11am -6pm