A Simple Formula for Sensational Summer Salads

Sensational Salad SaladsIf you have followed Steve and I for any length of time, you know how much we love to eat salads. We eat them almost daily, and every day it’s a different creation.

The only problem with salads is they can rack up calories quick if you aren’t careful. The more yummy (even if they are healthy) toppings you put on, the more calories the salad will be. So, I set a few rules to keep myself from overdoing it when I begin throwing my salad together. Since people often ask me for recipe ideas, I decided to share my little secret formula with you!

The following guidelines not only will help you keep your calories manageable, but they also can give you some direction when making your own healthy creation.

My Simple Salad Formula 

salad greensChoose One Salad Mix:
Mixed Greens
Arugula, Watercress, etc
Cabbage (love this with oriental salads)
Romaine lettuce

Grilled chickenChoose One Meat:
Grilled Chicken
Grilled Mahi
Grilled Shrimp
Steak (every once and a while)
Stick to white meat for the lowest calories

Fruit Choose One Fruit:
Apple or Pear Straws (thinly sliced sticks of apple)
Sliced Mango
Manderin Orange
Sliced Strawberries

goat cheese

Choose One Primary Fat:
Gorgonzola Cheese
Goat Cheese
Feta Cheese
Also remember you may be using Olive Oil (be careful on quantity of total fat.)

Nuts & SeedsChoose One Crunch: (just a sprinkle)
Chopped Walnuts
Honey Roasted Almond Accents (only 40 calories per Tbsp)
Sesame Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Pine Nuts

Optional Topping:
Vidalia Onion

One Dressing:
Balsamic Vinegar (straight, with or without oil added)
Homemade Citrus Vinaigrette
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Skip store-bought dressings and make your own!

Low Calorie Balsamic VinaigretteBalsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoon stevia
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil (I cut my oil with water to reduce calories)

Citrus Vinaigrette 

3/4 cup olive oil (Cut with water)
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/8-1/4 cup orange juice
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper


#1 Slice and dice fruit, vegetables and chicken into small pieces to have more flavor in each bite without more calories.

#2 Avoid large nuts, like large pecan or walnut pieces to avoid excess fat calories. Look for sliced almonds and finely chopped nuts.

#4 Cut store-bought dressing with water. Often times dressings are too thick to spread over the salad nicely anyway! Get fewer calories and more flavor throughout the salad by thinning the dressing out with a little water.

#3 Add a little Light Hellmans mayo (very few calories) and blend in the blender to thicken the consistency. When a dressing is too runny, we tend to POUR it all over the salad and waste dressing (and drink more calories). By thickening it up some, the dressing will stick the lettuce better and you’ll enjoy more flavor in each bite.

#4 Prepare your meat ahead of time. We prepare all our meat on Sundays. Then, all I have to do is throw it on top of whatever salad creation I make. Quick and easy!

Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.


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