By SRK Editor
| Last updated January 22, 2019
You should eat salads if you want to lose weight, right? WRONG! If you happen to go to a restaurant that lists calories on their menu, you will often find out that restaurant salads are loaded with ingredients with high calorie content.
Eating a salad can be very healthy, but if you’re adding ingredients that are full of fat and calories then the point is lost altogether. And let’s be honest, most of the “healthy” salads out there are so small that they don’t fill you up, meaning that you will be eating again shortly after having one.
Replacing a high calorie, heavy meal with healthy salad is a great way to slim down. But you have to use diet-friendly salad ingredients. And those are toppings that are packed with nutrients, full of flavor, and low in fat and calories.
At Square Roots Kitchen we have selected each ingredient available for our salads with care, ensuring that each is fresh, locally sourced and low in fat and calories. Our ordering technology goes one step further, allowing you to input your dietary restrictions and allergies with perfect precision in order to see exactly which SRK ingredients fit your needs. As you add and remove ingredients our calorie counter will take note, ensuring your finished meal fits perfectly within your daily calorie consumption targets.
1. Choose Your Salad Base
The base of your diet-friendly-salad should always be salad greens, and never pasta or potatoes. The former are healthy and allow for many options, while the latter are higher in calories and fat.
Oftentimes this will be down to your personal taste and preference. You can also mix and match, choosing a few fresh spring greens for flavor and then bulking up your salad with milder, crispy greens to add crunch and volume.
Softer, flavorful spring greens: Arugula, spinach, chard, watercress, mustard greens, mache, beet greens
Crisp, low-calorie greens: Iceberg, bibb, romaine, radicchio, escarole, endive, leaf lettuce, and frisée. You can also save time and throw a handful of pre-mixed cabbage into your salad bowl to add crunch without calories.
2. Choose A Variety of Colors When Choosing Your Vegetables
Your salad should have a variety of flavors and healthy nutrients. To best achieve this we recommend adding roasted or raw vegetables from each color category.
Red: Chopped or sliced tomato, shredded or sliced radishes, chopped red onion, sliced red peppers, cubed beets, cold sliced red potato
Orange: Shredded or thinly sliced carrots, slivered orange peppers, cold cubed squash, heirloom orange tomato, cold diced sweet potato.
Yellow and White: Diced sweet onion, cooked fresh corn kernels, quartered yellow tomato, sliced yellow beets, cubed jicama, quartered or sliced mushrooms, finely chopped shallots, cauliflower, white asparagus,
Blue or Purple: Diced purple potatoes, shredded purple cabbage, slivered purple peppers, eggplant
Green: Thinly sliced green onion, chopped green tomato, quartered artichoke hearts, chilled peas, broccoli, seeded and sliced cucumber (skin removed), Brussels sprouts, diced celery.
3. Healthy Fats Are Good For You
That’s right, your salad CAN contain fats, but you have to ensure they are healthy fats! Below are some options for your healthy salads:
Avocado: 1- 2 tablespoons
Olives: 5 -10 olives
Olive Oil: 1-2 tablespoons
Nuts (almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, etc): 10-15 nuts depending on size
Seeds (sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds): 1-2 tablespoons
4. You’re Gonna Need Some Healthy Protein
Adding a lean source of protein to your salad is very important, especially if the salad itself is the main course of your meal. Below are some good options:
Meat: Leftover lean steak, grilled chicken or turkey, shredded roast pork, seasoned extra lean ground turkey, sliced deli roast beef
Seafood: Salmon, tuna (fresh or canned), shrimp, sardines, anchovies,
Grains: Quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, barley
Choosing The Right Salad Dressing Is Half The Battle
Truth be told it’s in the salad dressing that most people go wrong. Most dressings are full of fat and calories while some store-bought products (often the ones that claim to be diet-friendly) are also full of sugar.
Well firstly you don’t always need salad dressing! If your ingredients are fresh and flavorful (as they should be), you can just sprinkle some salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil or citrus to bring it all together. If you absolutely love salad dressing, consider making your own. You can find many recipes for healthy salad dressings online.
Square Roots Kitchen offers healthy salad options in Chicago for dine-in, pick-up delivery and even catering. Our menu contains healthy salads options filled with locally-sourced ingredients and nutrients, all made to order according to your specifications and dietary requirements.
Check out all the healthy salad options on the Square Roots Kitchen menu here.
To get the best healthy salads delivered to your door in Chicago click here.