Salads I Love and the Dressings I Love More

We all know that the salad is really only as good as the toppings.  If you’re me, that might mean that your salad is all about the cucumber chunks and the beets (yes, beets)… but on most days a good dressing can turn any salad frown upside down.

The great news is that it’s almost SUMMER!  Summer means farmers’ markets and fresh veggies around every corner.  If you’re VERY lucky, you might even get to pick your veggies from your backyard… or have a fellow co-worker with a massive garden that’s willing to share.  Regardless, this time of year, there’s absolutely no excuse not to be enjoying a great salad!

I’ve had a few good salads this week that I could resist sharing and a few new dressings that are sure to knock your socks off!

Mad Greens Madness

After our trip to the Denver Art Museum on Sunday, we walked across the courtyard to Mad Greens for lunch.  There are 11 Mad Greens locations in the greater Denver/Fort Collins area, and they’ve become one of my favorite lunch spots!  I MAY have been there twice this week already!

If you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting a Mad Greens, they’re sort of like a Chipotle only you’re building your salad.  They also make paninis and soups that are hear are fantastic, but I really only eat their salads.

Something super-cool about Mad Greens is that they have their complete nutritional information online, AND you can build your salad as you’d like it and have the calories built via the calculator!

I typically get the DaVinci salad with Citrus Grilled Chicken.  I substitute the beans for roasted beets and the balsamic dressing for the lowfat roasted red pepper dressing.  The end result = DELICIOSO.  And, I know that it’s 293 calories.  Right in the sweet spot of where my lunch should be.

My advice to you is to always know the calories you’re getting into.  Even if you’re just having salad!  Check online menus and see if you can calculate and decide before you get there.  Sometimes, it’s much harder to make a decision when you’re hungry and all those yummy ingredients are staring back at you.

A New Dressing Idea Made with Greek Yogurt

Goofing off on Pinterest a few weeks back, I found a recipe for a perfectly healthy ranch dressing that was made using Greek Yogurt.  A major ranch lover, I raced the store to get the ingredients and try this new sauce out.

When I was looking for Ranch dressing mix, somehow I found a Bacon Ranch.  Yep, I had to try that one…

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

The recipe is SUPER-SIMPLE.  You mix 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt + 1 packet of dressing mix + 1/2 cup of skim milk.  That’s it! This whole jar of ranch is only 1.75 grams of fat and 255 calories!   That’s pretty darn amazing!

Grilled Greens and a Dressing You’ll Want to Drink through a Straw

During my cleanout of magazines, I also found a yummy recipe for a grilled romaine salad with a tasty vinaigrette in one of my old issues of Self.  If you’ve never had grilled romaine, it’s definitely something to try.  I love a good grilled caesar salad and was eager to try this out.

The dressing recipe was incredibly easy.  Simply whisk the following ingredients together.

Grilled Romaine with Mustard-Lemon Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

fresh ground pepper

2 romaine hearts

 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese

Mix the mustard, lemon juice, EVOO, and cracked pepper.

I put my romaine directly on the grill to get it charred up

CAL 46; PROT 1g; CARB 2g; FAT 4g; SAT FAT g; FIB 1g; SUG g

WW Points+:  ; WW Smart Points:

I will definitely make this dressing again – – with or without the grilled romaine.  I may even make it with a little less EVOO just to lighten it up a little bit more.  It was really delish.  There’s something awesome about mustard and lemon…

Here’s a few more salad dressings you might enjoy this summer:

Low-Fat Red Wine Tomato Vinaigrette

Creamy Cilantro – Tomatillo Dressing

I challenge you to come up with some great salad choices to kick your summer off right.  We all know that more veggies in our lives can only mean good things.  Try these three ideas… or search the web to find a salad that suits your needs.  Regardless, eat your veggies!  They’ll fill you up and bring you great success with your weight loss program.

Now, it’s your turn:  What’s your favorite summer salad or summer salad dressing? 

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