Recommend me some salads!

So I’ve been eating a lot of greens, lately. I love spinach, romaine, even broccoli and peeled up brussels sprouts. Fresh basil in a salad is divine.

I’m still pretty new to salads. I mean, I’ve eaten them for years, but I only ever used to know how to make garden salad, with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, etc. I recently switched most of my lettuce to spinach, to get those darker greens in. At restaurants, I like Caesar and Greek salads, though I’ve been avoiding them lately because I have to watch my fat intake. I’ll make them at home with fat free dressings and without cheese and I mind how many olives I put on… but sometimes it just feels kind of bleh.

Tonight, I made something new and blew my own mind. I recently picked up some softer cheese from the grocery store - gorgonzola and blue - because a little goes a long way, and the fat isn’t too bad. I remembered how much I love California Pizza Kitchen’s Pear and Gorgonzola pizza. So, I broiled a halved pear with some gorgonzola on it for a few minutes, heated up some roasted garlic balsamic dressing, tossed it with some fresh spinach, sprinkled a teeny amount of bacon bits on that, then put the hot pears and gorgonzola on top, and sprinkled a touch more cheese over the whole thing. Just on a whim, I sprinkled just a dash of brown sugar onto the pears while they were still hot. Holy. Cow. And I bet it would taste beyond awesome with something like walnuts or pecans, but I have to be wary of those.

I want more ideas. Salad can taste freaking good.

I hate any greens that taste bitter.

I have handy: spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, yellow onions, carrots, red pepper, jalepeno pepper, cilantro, fresh lemons and limes, some pears, a pomegranate, fat free croutons, bacon bits, napa cabbage, leeks, green onion, garlic, and fresh ginger. And, of course, my gorgonzola and blue cheeses. And fat free cream cheese, if that helps. Limited dry spices (salt, pepper, italian seasoning, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves). As for meat, we usually keep boneless/skinless chicken boobies around here, but we’re out for the time being, but I do have some basa and mahi mahi filets.

I’m open to suggestions to add to my grocery list.

Tell me, Dopers: What are your favourite (low fat, if possible, or if possible to alter enough to be low fat) delicious salads? Or, what delicious combinations could I make using my ingredient list (and possibly some grocery shopping) above?

It sounds like you’re on the right track already.

About the only suggestion I can come up with is to add in some more fruits. Grapes, raspberries or orange segments can really perk up a salad. And they’d go nicely with your gorganzola. Mmmm… Grapes and gorganzola. Oh, how about beans? Do you have any in your pantry?

Do refried beans count? :smiley: (I kid)

Actually, yes, I have some Great Northern beans, as well as green and red split peas, some lentils, pearl barley, white and brown rice, and some couscous. Sometimes I get garbanzo beans.

Grapes and gorgonzola, that sounds yummy. Haven’t picked up any of those in a while, going to have to get some. We have some fresh mandarins, I bet they’d be good in something… man, fruit salads, I need more of those, too. I have bananas, and some frozen strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries, but I haven’t used my frozen berries in much of anything except for smoothies - they’d probably be too mushy for salad.

Mmmmmm… salads.

Oooh…one quick tip. Try regular store bought italian dressing but add some soy sauce when pouring onto the slad…gives it an asian flair easily. Also, if you do happen to make your own italian dressing, add yellow miso to it…heaven!

I just thought of this: Get your spinach, romaine, onions, red peppers together in a bowl. Toss on some sliced chicken boob meat, rinsed black beans, thawed frozen corn, a bit of cheddar or jack baked tortilla chips & salsa.

I always put beets on regular salad. Just isn’t the same without them.

Nothin’ beats a good salad!

Oooooooh, that sounds good! Especially since I just made some fresh salsa tonight (the Mr. is a big cilantro freak, so I bought some fresh and went to town in the kitchen this evening). Now I have a big tub of extra salsa that needs to be used up soon.

d1a1s1 (had to write your name three times before I got the order right - at least, I* hope * it finally is - that username is hell on this dyslexic folk! :stuck_out_tongue: ), I will have to give that soy sauce in the Italian dressing a try - I like asian-type salads. And yellow miso sounds gooooooood.

Mmm. I’m learning this.

A spinach salad with warm bacon dressing is really delicious. You probably have all of the ingredients on hand too. Not necessarily low-fat but it is simple and well, bacon just makes everything taste better.


Sounds so good, I’d like to try it, but won’t likely be able to until February or March - after my surgery. I can’t have real bacon… but I wonder if I could come up with a version using a veggie bacon of some sort? Hmm.

And no eggs. ~sigh. I know the recipes says optional, but I miss eggs. I tried to eat an egg salad sandwich after making some for my husband’s lunch, and I was in agonising pain at 3am. :frowning:

I can use Egg Beaters, though. Not good for much but scrambled eggs and baking substitutions, though.

one of my favorite and super easy dressings is
1 part honey, warmed just enough to be runny
1 part coarse ground mustard (my favorite is inglehoffer)
I like dried fruits in salad alot, golden raisins, cherrys stuff like that.

Kiwi fruit is a great addition to salads. Try kiwi with spring mix and raspberry viniagrette – it’s awesome. You could also add dried cranberries. Gorgonzola goes well with this salad.

Toasted pine nuts are an excellent addition to most salads. They’re more delicate than walnuts, which I find nice with spring mix in particular.

Blue cheese, crumbled, or feta cheese are also good cheeses to try. Beware the blue cheese should have other strong flavors to stand up to it – I think it works better with a stronger dressing, like a balsamic vinagrette from example.

When you have some extra time, try making candied walnuts for sweeter salads (like my raspberry one above).

Tossed? :wink:

BAH! :smack:

Trader Joe’s makes this salad “kit” that I love…and you could duplicate…Baby spinach, bleu cheese, dried cranberries, “candied” pecans (I believe the pecans are just roasted and sugared). The dressing is raspberry vinaigrette. YUMMY

I’ve been finding excuses to eat this salad as of late:

  • spinach, baby asian greens, gourmet lettuce mixes, or what have you
  • cherry tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • yellow or red bell pepper
  • sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 a smoked chicken breast, roughly sliced/chopped
  • a handful of fried Chinese noodles


  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • drizzling of oil (I use chilli-infused oil personally)
  • 1/2 tsp minced chillies
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

Absolutely delicious :smiley:

Back Porch salad:

  • Mixed greens (I like romaine and radicchio)
  • A tart/crisp apple, cored but unpeeled, cut into about 1" chunks
  • golden raisins
  • cashew pieces
  • Raspberry walnut (or pecan) dressing (Ken’s light or fat free is good)

Toss together & enjoy.

Hail Ceasar Salad with Anchovy!

My favourite dressing is raspberry vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, honey, and garlic.

I heartily second the toasted pine nuts, candied pecans/walnuts, and beet ideas.

When you have some leftover rice (preferably wild, long grain, or brown) try adding just a couple of spoonfuls.

To switch up your Caesar salad, you can stir in a little bit of salsa or powdered taco mix (like Old El Paso) to the dressing, and mix some corn in with your romaine.

Adding a bit of honey and dijon mustard to Caesar dressing is nice, too.

Strawberries and feta are great with spinach.

One of my favourite inventions:

Servings: 3 as a salad

I made this on a spur of the moment because some lovely radishes were at the market and it turned out amazing. The lovely sweet and sour combo worked very well. Make sure to use nice crisp apples with a sweet/tart bite to them. The colours also make this look very festive. Perfect for a summer salad or to bring to a potluck.

2 cucumbers
6—8 small - medium radishes
1 apple
1/4 c Cider/Sherry/White Wine Vinegar
Wash and destem all the radishes and cut off any stringy beards, cut each radish in half. Cut the radishes into thin slices and place in a salad bowl. Cut each cucumber in half and then slice into thin slices and place into the same bowl. Peel the apple, cut into quarters, and remove the core. Cut into thin slices and put into the same bowl.

Drizzle the entire mix with some vinegar of your choice so that all the items are coated. Then, sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar and just a pinch of salt so the sweet and sour is balanced.

This salad should hold for quite a while and will not lose it’s crispness but put it under plastic wrap as the apples may brown, even with the acid.

I can’t find my peas-and-peanuts salad recipe right now, but here’s another. Take your basic grilled chicken salad, and use BBQ Sauce instead of dressing. Sounds crazy, but it’s very good.

I just had a delicious salad made from 70 grams of rucola (called arugula in some parts of the world), 100 grams of chopped smoked salmon and two chopped hardboiled eggs, with freshly ground black pepper and French dijon mustard. Sorry, make that freedom dijon mustard.

Too good for words, plenty of protein and only 350 calories.