We’ve all heard the news or seen the unbelievable info on a menu that discloses nutrition facts: salads can be worse for us than a burger and fries! How is that possible? A salad, full of lettuce and healthy ingredients, can hold more calories, fat & carbs than a decadent burger and fries!?$!. Well it’s all in the salad accoutrements. Yep, those pecans, dried cranberries, blue cheese, and that amazing balsamic vinegar dressing can add up quickly. The trick is to understand which macronutrient each topping is accounting for in your meal. Having nuts, cheese, and dressing is likely giving your salad 3x the desired fat portion. Adding dried fruit seems harmless but did you know in just 1/4 cup of dried cranberries there’s more than 30 grams of carbs? That’s equivalent to 2 slices of bread! So how can we scale a salad back while still keeping the flavor and filling feeling it gives us? Start with the greens, carefully decide what toppings are going on and which of the macronutrients they account for. Let’s look at reconstructing a delicious and popular salad – the Salmon Caesar Salad.
As I mentioned, let’s start with the greens. Here we’re featuring 60% chopped kale and 40% chopped romaine. These percentages are ballpark of course and truly the lettuce you choose doesn’t really matter. All lettuce is healthy for you and has almost no calories so fill that bowl with the green stuff! Then in this particular salad for additional vegetables, I’ve added sliced red onion & halved cherry tomatoes. You could add bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, or any other “approved” vegetables. Here comes the yummiest part…have you tried the “Parmesan Crisps” that carb-free and have nearly equal parts fat and protein? They are beyond tasty and texture is fantastic. In this reconstructed Salmon Caesar Salad, the Parmesan Crisps are serving as the cheese and the crouton because of the awesome crispy, crunchy texture that even holds up to dressing. So let’s talk about the dressing…Caesar dressing is not known for it’s low-cal/low-fat nature. We can fix that. Across this whole bowl of salad, I used just a single serving of the dressing (2 TBSP) then I squeezed in the juice of 1 big juicy lemon. This thins out the dressing and stretches a small amount of dressing through a huge bowl of salad. Without further ado, add your grilled salmon (portion appropriate to your meal plan macro needs), and voila, the most incredible reconstructed, healthy Salmon Caesar Salad! Buon Appetito!
Ingredients & Prep:
- 4-6 cups leafy greens – featured here is kale and romaine
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 lbs of wild salmon (salt, pepper, rosemary)
- 24 Parmesan crisps
- 2 Tbsp Caesar Dressing
- 1 lemon (juiced)
Wash and dry all greens. Place in a large bowl. Season salmon and prepare on the grill or in the oven. *Don’t add any additional fat such as olive oil* Place tomatoes and onions on the lettuce. Add the Parmesan Crisps, dressing and lemon juice. Toss to coat evenly. Portion 2-3 cups per plate and add salmon portion.
It’s crucial to have a plan for your meals. Decide which macronutrient each part of your meal is fulfilling. Get your portions and macros “in check”. We can help make sure you’re following a plan designed for your optimal results, after-all, abs are made in the kitchen – get in there and cook! Try our other tasty healthy EATS by clicking here.
*The exact portions will vary per person.Contact us for more details on your portions and macronutrient breakdown per meal/per day! There is no need to guess at how you should eat – let us help you eat right for your body type and goals!