Holy Salads @weightwatchers @loselikeaman

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Salad Sticker Shock

The inconvenient truth behind our favorite fast-food salads.
Article By: Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Salad Sticker Shock
We’ve taken it like men—giving up our favorite burgers and fries for healthier salads. But are our favorite salads at restaurant chains and fast-food outlets better choices? Not necessarily. In fact, they can eat up as much as half a day’s worth of PointsPlus®values.

Best of the Worst Salads
Asian Style Salads:
Here, greens are topped with fresh fruit, grilled chicken, and crunchy toppings. The sesame dressing varies from restaurant to restaurant but it’s often outrageous in calories and added sugar, including corn syrup. Hold on to your lunch: all dressed up this salad can come in at a whopping PointsPlus values of 14.
Southwest Style Salads:
Piled high with beans, corn, and roasted peppers, this ground beef-topped salad can’t be bad, can it? At one favorite fast food restaurant, you’re staring at a PointsPlus value of 16!
Chicken Caesar Salads:
Don’t think diet when you think Caesar. Even though it’s only lettuce, chicken, and a touch of cheese, this classic doesn’t fare any better when you look under the label. At one chain, it’s got a staggering PointsPlus value of 12. That’s a lot for so little bang for the buck.

How’d the PointsPlus values get so astronomical? Sure, there are a few fried tidbits and some grated cheese, but the real culprits are the corn syrup-laden, fat-enhanced dressings.

Most restaurants will offer you the dressing on the side, but who wants to eat a naked salad? What’s a hungry guy to do?

Make your own at home. Here’s how:

Greens are the base for all three salads. Here’s our rule: the crunchier, the better. Shredded romaine and iceberg add sweetness while radicchio and arugula add bitter notes. If you’re in a hurry, use a pre-shredded and packaged blend of these greens, found in the produce section of your supermarket.

Use purchased, precooked protein. Pick up a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket; skin it and take the meat off the bones. Or try precooked cocktail shrimp, a nice change of pace. No, you won’t have ground beef in your Southwest salad, but you’ll save PointsPlus values—and it’ll be just as good.

Mix up your own toppings:

  • For Asian-style toppings, steer clear of canned fruit which adds lots of sugar. Peel and slice an orange into sections or peel and dice a mango off its pit. For crunch, sliced water chestnuts and some shredded jicama do the trick.
  • For Southwest-style toppings, try canned beans: just drain and rinse before using. Frozen corn just needs to be thawed, but not cooked. And red bell pepper gives the perfect crunch.
  • For Caesar salads, shred carrots and seeded yellow bell peppers through the large holes of a box grater for a lot of snap and very little effort.

Finally, dress it up.

  • Dress Asian-style salads up with a small splash of seasoned rice vinegar and just a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.
  • A Southwestern salad needs just 1 tablespoon low-fat mayo mixed into 1/4 cup salsa.
  • And for a Caesar? Dress this baby up with 1/4 cup low-fat mayo mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. For the true taste, add 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1 finely minced anchovy filet.
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