I was tossing around the idea of making an Asian salad for 5:2 diet days with my Savory Miso Dressing, which is pretty low at 35 calories per tablespoon. I even cut out some of the oil to bump it down further. But when I discovered the super low-cal ranch dressing, I quickly tweaked the recipe and ended up with a giant 3 cup salad for only 100 calories!
The recipe is for 2 salads, but I usually like to make 4 at once and divide everything into tupperwares. I lay all of the colorful veggies at the bottom and top with the shredded Romaine to keep it fresh, then toss with the dressing when I am ready to eat. This would make a beautiful jar salad!
(For those of you counting calories, I've added the amount for each ingredient so you can easily make tweaks without having to re-calculate everything.)
Giant Salad with Ranch Dressing
3/4 cup snap peas, cut diagonally into small pieces (or 1/2 cup fresh green beans, 21)
2.5 oz. mushrooms, small pieces (16)
1/3 cup carrots, shredded (17)
1/3 cup red cabbage, shredded (9)
2 oz. chicken, cooked & chopped (68)
1 green onion, thinly sliced (5)
3 cups romaine lettuce, shredded (24)
4 Tbsp. Low-cal Ranch Dressing (2 versions, 48-58)
Toss together all ingredients and divide between 2 bowls.
(You don't have to cut up everything as small as I did here. Whole snap peas and torn romaine are fine too!)
Calories - 104-109 for 1/2 (3 cups)
If you really want to splurge (haha), you can make a 150 calorie version with 2 cups romaine, 1/2 cups snap peas, 2 oz. mushrooms, 1/4 cup carrots, 1/4 cup red cabbage, 1.5 oz. chicken, 1/2 green onions, and 3 Tbsp. of dressing. Sometimes I even like to make a simple 52 calorie version with 2.5 cups romaine, 1.5 oz. mushrooms, and 2 Tbsp. dressing. Either way, this big salad will fill you up! I love eating a big bowl or two on our 5:2 days and it barely makes a dent in the 600 calorie allotment.
Have fun playing around with some different combinations using your favorite salad veggies! You can sub the romaine with spinach (-1 per cup) or iceburg lettuce (+2). Add 1/4 cups of cucumbers for 3 calories, or tomatoes for 10. Unfortunately I'm a bit of a picky eater in this department and it is hard for me to put together a salad I like. But by husband and I love this one, and I hope you do too!