How to Build A Better Salad #HolidayDetox

Hi Everyone!

Happy New Years to you!  I am really excited for this year!!  I plan on sharing with you healthier, better for you recipes.  More baking without all of the pesky calories and I want to learn more about good health and pass that info on to you.  Now of course it’s January and we are all gong ho about starting the year off healthy, but I am really, really going to try to stay on track!!!  To get a great start to the new year I teamed up with my Pal Sophia over at NY FoodGasm.  You have to love her name!  Every Wednesday this month we are going to share with you little secrets to help you stay on track this year!  I know, I know, I just posted on Sunday that I was taking a break and not posting on Wednesdays but when Sophia contacted me, I just had to say yes!  So what’s on the agenda today?  Salads!

Roasted Squash and Mexican Black Bean Salad
We want to share with you ways to build a better salad! After all a salad can be more than a side dish, it can be a great meal!! You know how much I love salads and I eat them just about everyday. Just ask my co-workers! They always say what did you bring for lunch? Oh let me guess, a salad. You got it!! So what makes a salad healthy and so great? Three main components. Protein, Carbs and Fat! Yup, 3 great things that go in a salad that helps you stay full and satisfied. Now I’ll admit, I have had boring, throw in some veggies and eat that kind of salad, but I’m changing that this year and make my salads good and healthy!!!
Chicken, Apple and Sweet Potato Salad
What about Salad Dressings? I personally recommend a balsamic based dressing or even lemon juice. You don’t want to drown your salad in dressing. Not only will you not taste all of that healthy goodness, you’re adding a lot of fat and calories. You can have a simple 200 calorie salad and dressing can make it 400 – 1000 calories more.It’s crazy!! I’ll be honest, I cheat and buy my salad dressings.  I’m not much into making them, but I do once in a while.  But when I do buy salad dressings, I make sure they are less that 50 calories for two tablespoons. That way I am only adding a few more calories to the salad. I bet your thinking, I like creamy salad dressings what do I do about that? That can be simple if you want it to be. Make your own dressing! Love Ranch Dressing? Take plain greek yogurt, add a Hidden Valley Ranch Season packet to it, add a pinch of milk to make it pourable and trust me you won’t notice the difference and you just saved yourself about 100 or more calories. Plus using yogurt adds protein. I have also made ranch dressing, added some BBQ sauce and got the most delicious Spicy Ranch BBQ dressing ever. I think it was like 25 calories for two tablespoons. I used it on my Barbecue Chicken Salad below.  If you must buy, go light!!
Barbecue Chicken Salad
So what do you do when you order out? That’s a tad harder and you need will power. This is my best advice.

  • Order dressing on the side and go with the lowest calorie balsamic dressing you can
  • Skip the wontons and croutons
  • Skip the cheese
  • Spoon in your salad dressing and mix it well. You will still get the flavor and skip the calories. You don’t want dressing to sit on the bottom of your plate or bowl.

Chicken and Bacon Chopped Salad
So remember this when making your next salad:

  • Add leafy greens as your base
  • Add as many vegetables as you want
  • If you want fruit in it, stick to one serving unless you’re having a fruit salad
  • Top your salad with avocados, seeds and nuts and skip the croutons.
  • Go light on your salad dressing, less is more!! You not only save calories, but you will still get your flavor and taste your vegetables too!

I hope you have enjoyed this. Now be sure to head over to Sophia’s blog, NY FoodGasm and see what healthy advice she shares with you on How to Build a Better Salad.

Have a great day and Happy New Years.


P.S. The salads in this post from top to bottom are:

  1. Roasted Squash and Mexican Black Bean Salad
  2. Chicken, Apple and Sweet Potato Salad
  3. Barbecue Chicken Salad
  4. Chicken and Bacon Chopped Salad
  5.  Grilled Mexican Corn and Avocado Salad

Just click the picture and it will take you to the recipe!  🙂 Looking for more salad recipes, just go here!!!

Grilled Mexican Corn and Avocado Salad

Here are two salads from Sophia’s Site, stop by and check them out.
Arugula and Parmesan

ArugulaParmSalad (2)







Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese
CranPecanSalad-3 (2)


  1. Oh my gosh Jennifer you really have outdone yourself with this post! You even gave me ideas, I never thought to add quinoa or lentils to my salad! Thanks so much for joining me!! I am gonna really blitz this on social media. I think people will be more into it tomorrow since everyone was off today. I am so excited!

  2. Happy New Year! I am excited to see your yummy, healthy recipes in 2014!!

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