Build a Better Salad

Salads make a delicious and nutritious summer meal. Keep your favorite ingredients on hand and then combine to boost protein and nutrients. Monitor fat and calories so your salad is light and nutritious.

Start with a small bed of dark leafy greens.  Top with lean protein like chicken breast, shrimp, tuna, or trimmed steak.  Jazz it up with crunchy vegetables full of nutrients, taste and fiber. Top with a smidge of your favorite yummy, yet calorie-dense, ingredient. Finally, carefully top off your creation with dressing – dip your fork first in the dressing and then the salad to flavor with a lesser amount. Get creative and explore new flavors with each salad.


Start with Greens Add Protein Add Crunch Tasty Extras Lightly  Dress
Spinach, ½ cup: 4 cal, 1400 IU vit A Chicken breast, skinless, 3 oz: 20 g protein, 100 cal Peppers (red, green, yellow, or orange), 2 T: 6 cal


Cheddar, shredded, 2 Tbsp: 55 cal Ranch, 4 T: 272 cal
Romaine, ½ cup: 4 cal, 2050 IU vit A Turkey breast, skinless, 3 oz: 26 g protein, 115 cal Cucumbers, 2 T: 2 cal


Parmesan, grated, 2 Tbsp: 45 cal Light Ranch, 4 T: 60 cal
Kale, ½ cup: 17 cal, 5015 IU vit A Salmon, grilled, 3 oz: 19 g protein, 175 cal Shredded carrots, 2T: 7 cal


Feta, crumbled, 2 Tbsp: 50 cal  
Mixed spring greens, ½ cup: 5 cal, 1125 IU vit A Whole egg, 2: 13 g protein, 160 cal Onions, 2 T: 8 cal


Walnuts, chopped, 1 Tbsp: 50 cal Italian, 4 T: 160 cal
Baby arugula, ½ cup: 5 cal, 500 IU vit A Egg whites, 4: 14 g protein, 65 cal Mushrooms, 2 T: 2 cal


Almonds, sliced, 2 Tbsp: 65 cal Light Italian, 4 T: 112 cal
Iceberg, ½ cup: 5 cal, 175 IU vit A Chunk light tuna, water-packed, 3 oz: 22 g protein, 100 cal Radish, 2 T: 3 cal


Sunflower seeds, 1 Tbsp: 45 cal Bleu Cheese, 4 T: 266 cal
Beet greens, ½ cup: 4 cal, 1200 IU vit A Sirloin steak, broiled, lean only, 3 oz: 26 g protein, 160 cal Broccoli, 2 T: 4 cal


Pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp: 45 cal Light Bleu Cheese, 4 T: 134 cal
Cabbage, ½ cup: 11 cal, 16.2 mg vit C Tofu, ½ cup cubes: 20 g protein, 180 cal Cauliflower, 2 T: 3 cal


Avocado, 1 oz: 45 cal Caesar, 4 T: 304 cal
Escarole, ½ cup: 5 cal, 550 vit A Chickpeas, 1/2 cup: 7 g protein, 133 cal (and 6 g fiber) Snap peas, 2 T: 5 cal Olives, canned in water, 10 small: 40 cal Light Caesar, 4 T: 62 calories

 Download Healthful Tips: Build a Better Salad

About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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