A Tale of Two Salads

There’s a little cafe in town where my friend and I enjoy having lunch. But honestly, I’m not sure I’ve tried more than one thing on the menu. I love this one particular salad so much that I order it every time we go there. One day it occurred to me that I could probably make this salad at home.

So as usual, I wrote down what was in it, and ran it through the recipe analyzer. Even using conservative amounts of the ingredients, it is about 400 calories per serving. Its so delicious that it is worth it for a special treat once in a while. And honestly, my at home version is probably half the calories of the restaurant version. The key ingredients are: chopped dates, apples, bacon crumbles, pecans, and blue cheese on baby greens with poppyseed dressing.


I actually made this salad for Christmas dinner!

The day after Christmas I made plans to get back on the straight and narrow. This included making some of my favorite very low calorie foods to have on hand. So I took my leftover turkey pieces out of the freezer, and I made another batch of my low cal apple cranberry sauce. For my New Year’s dinner, I made one of my favorite salads. Its actually the basic ingredients of a turkey sandwich, just without the bread and served on a bed of lettuce–2 ounces of turkey, 1/4 cup apple cranberry sauce, 1 wedge of laughing cow lite cheese, and 1/4 avocado. There’s no need for salad dressing, as the cranberry sauce serves that purpose. This salad comes in at about 225 calories, and it is a completely satisfying dinner for me.

DSCN2437The great thing about salads is that you can dress them up or dress them down, depending on how hungry you are or how many calories you have left for the day. If you need more protein, throw some precooked chopped chicken or salad shrimp into them. If you just need something hot and comforting on a winter night, throw a potato in the oven. I like to put a little spray butter and some cottage cheese on my baked potato.

Do you eat salads in winter, or do you prefer to wait until spring to get your salad action going?



9 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Salads

  1. I just can’t get into salads during the winter. I LOVE salads in the summer and will have one almost every day, but try as I might, I just can’t make it happen when it’s cold and blustery outside.

    Your turkey sandwich salad up there looks really, really good though!! 🙂

  2. I have no problem ordering a salad at a restaurant in the winter, but somehow making one at home doesn’t appeal to me as much. Your salads looks so good! I could go to town on either of them right now, LOL!!!

    • Ha! I am like that too! (ordering out vs making at home) But this winter I am stubbornly keeping salad stuff in the frigerator for the nights I just don’t feel like cooking. And there are plenty of those, believe me. So I have no excuses for not getting veggies in, even if I don’t want to cook.

  3. I really only eat salads in the summer. It’s just too cold to eat cold veggies for me in the winter. I do eat them more out than in because my lettuce can go bad in a hurry. That first salad sounds nummy, though!

  4. I eat so many salads the rest of the year that by winter I’m generally tired of them. I also think I just prefer warm food in the winter.

    However this winter, I’m eating them when I work at the mall. I don’t get a real meal break and have to eat at the customer service desk. A salad or sandwich is about my best bet for that.

    I make a spinach salad with chopped apples, grated carrots, a bit of red onion, a bit of craisins and gorgonzola crumbles, with light poppy seed dressing. It comes out to about 365 calories but once a salad has that many calories, it’s definitely a meal, not a side!

    • And this reminded me that I do like a good Taco Salad in the winter. Again, maybe because the ground meat is warm? Now I need to put that in my menu for next week!

      • I can not get excited by a salad. At least not salads made with lettuce. I tend to use way too much dressing to make them palatable for me. Now carrots, apples, dried cherries with a squeeze of lime; or broccoli slaw with some add-ons; or un-dressed fruit salad, those are my kind of salads. During the cold of winter (it’s 6 degrees out right now) I’m much more interested in hot vegies in soups or stews or all on their own.

  5. I don’t like blue cheese but that can be replaced, the first one looks delicious.

    I eat more salads in Summer but do sometimes eat it in winter and usually add something warm to the salad.

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