Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

The You-Don’t-Need-to-go-out-for-a-Great-Salad Salad

1 WWPP Posted by 7 years ago 13 Comments

The husband and I had a date night on Saturday. We decided to squish a few in now while we have the chance. With this baby coming in the next few weeks, there’s no way we’re getting out for a few months at least! We’ll have 2 kids, 1 of them an infant and no family that lives within 3 hours, we’ll be lucky to find a moment to talk let alone enjoy dinner and a movie. Which is exactly what we decided to do this weekend.

We ended up eating at Chili’s for convenience. We split an order of nachos and I tried their Caribbean Salad with Shrimp for a lighter meal choice. Honestly.. I was BLOWN away. It was delicious! Mandarin oranges, pineapple, and dried cherries over greens with grilled shrimp and a wonderful sweet dressing. It had some scallions and cilantro as well with a bit tomato salsa.

I enjoyed every bite and started thinking… WHY aren’t I making salads like this at home? Who says you have to go out to have a great salad??

I mean no one really has, but it’s a cycle I get stuck in. I’m not the biggest salad person at home as I have this odd “salad=I’m on a diet” mentality which is so bogus. Salads can be great meals! And super tasty… there’s no reason we have to fear them.

The You-Don't-Need-to-go-out-for-a-Great-Salad Salad - closeup

So I decided to whip up my own salad and dressing based loosely on the one I enjoyed at Chili’s. This is what I came up with.

The Dressing

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp store bought honey mustard
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp honey (7g)
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp water
  • pinch of salt

Put all ingredients in a little bowl…

The You-Don't-Need-to-go-out-for-a-Great-Salad Salad - the dressing step 1

…and whisk.

The You-Don't-Need-to-go-out-for-a-Great-Salad Salad - the dressing step 2

Set aside.

The SaladThe You-Don't-Need-to-go-out-for-a-Great-Salad Salad

  • About 3 ups of your favorite greens, I used butter lettuce mix and baby spinach
  • A handful of grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup canned mandarine oranges (70g)
  • 1/8 cup dried cherries (20g)
  • 3 oz leftover ham cubed (It’s what I had on hand-chicken or shrimp would be awesome too)
  • 2 tbsp of the dressing listed above

Pile all ingredients on the plate and enjoy!

Here’s the nutritional information for the dressing as all the salad stuff is basically free, just count your protein source. That is, IF you are counting. :)

Update: Just made it again with my leftover dressing.. this time with sunflower seeds and no ham.. A-Mazing! Sunflower seeds were the perfect addition!

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
2 2 tbsp of the dressing
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
47 2g 0g old: 1 new: 1
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
3g 0g 5g 0g

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There are 13 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.


    March 7, 2011

    That dressing looks right up my hubby's alley!


    March 7, 2011

    Be careful about your "free" salad. Dried fruits have points (2 pts for 1/8 c of dried cherries) and the ham would be 3 points for 3 oz. So a total of 5 points. But that's still pretty good for a delicious and large salad! And way better than the 16 points that the salad would count for at Chili's too! (As served, I assume with the dressing on the salad instead of on the side)


    March 7, 2011

    And that's why I said.. "basically free" and "IF you are counting". I am not at the moment and from what I learn about the new WW pointsplus tools, you'd have to decide how to count this type of meal anyway. Entering each ingredient in the tracker separately would give you the correct points. I'm staying clear of giving point totals for salads on the new plan... there is just too many variables and different ways to calculate.


    March 7, 2011

    oh! and are lean meats still about 1 point an oz? I know then were on the old plan.


    March 7, 2011

    Yes, Just ran it through the ww points calcuator on their site and 1 oz = 1 point. That was for boneless, skinless chicken breast. My favorite salad is baby spinach, 1 tbsp ff feta cheese, 1 tbsp slivered almonds, and 2 tbsp of Farmer Boy Fat Free Greek Dressing. Delish.


    March 7, 2011

    I never buy mandarins in the cans, but I imagine them in a syrup....I assume yours are not? I'll have to check my local grocery on that because this salad sounds soooo GOOD! *Love this site!


    March 7, 2011

    I can sometimes find them in natural juices now! But mostly light syrups. I won't buy anything in "heavy"


    March 7, 2011

    Yes, Ham and chicken are about 1 point+ per ounce. Beef is more (2 oz = 3 points). Shrimp is less (2oz = 1 point). And if I made this myself, I would only count the items that were non-zero points. But if I had it at Chili's, not knowing how much of anything they put on, how the chicken/shrimp/ham/whatever was cooked, I'd use the nutritional info and calculate, getting a high points value, but at least knowing I wasn't under-estimating. Same thing with the mandarin oranges. At Chili's I wouldn't know if they were in syrup or juice. In syrup they would have points... And its a great salad. I never think about making them exciting like this myself. But love them when I am out. I need to start being more creative so I enjoy the salad more!

    Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen)

    March 8, 2011

    Nice dressing! As far as salad being perceived as "diet food", I had to get over that one BIG TIME in order to maintain my weight without making myself crazy. Dr. Fuhrman, the guy who wrote Eat to Live has a great expression: "The salad is the main course." I used to look at people who ordered salad for lunch or dinner in a restaurant over and over and over and say to myself, "Uuuugh, I could NOT do that!" But guess what? Now I see that a huge salad is the best thing for me in the long run because it fills me up, I really do enjoy it more than a lot of other stuff, and it's can be very low in calories/points if you do it "right". So now I am totally with Dr. F, the salad really is the main course! Freedom! In case you go into labor soon, I wish you and baby an easy labor, delivery and recovery!


    March 8, 2011

    I love make my own dressings - so good and easy!


    March 8, 2011

    OMWord....we must have the ESPN. >:) I just made a gigantic salad as my main dish tonight and had the boys' teriyaki chix (1/2 portion) as the protein. I'm on kick w/a spinach w/grape tomatoes, goat cheese and basalmic drsng. Super easy and super filling.


    March 8, 2011

    This looks like a salad I would enjoy!Nice combination of flavors for your dressing too. I love making great salads at home. Sometimes I make a pot of a hearty grain like barley or my new found love Farro and keep it in the refrigerator. Then I make a wonderful salad with baby greens and top it with 1/2 cup of a cooked grain, 1/2 cup of oven roasted veggies, light cheese, cut up fresh fruit and a homemade dressing. With all that fiber it is super filling, healthy and it takes a while to eat. Perfect for a volume eater like me.


    March 9, 2011

    Just a little input on WW "free" foods. Most fruits and veggies are free *per serving. For the ones who are die hard counting points values, that is an important part of the sentence, the *per serving part. If you have a huge salad - the points would be countable or not upon how many servings of fruit and veg you will have in the whole day. If you have all 5 servings in one salad then it's totally free - if not then you would have to count the extra servings as they accumulate. It is all very nit-picky in my opinion. Like Roni has said many many times... I really don't think any of us walked into WW because we ate too many grapes! I for one have eaten my fair share of Jethro Bodine size bowls of salad and have had great success in losing with WW.