Monday, April 27, 2015

5:2 Giant Salad with Ranch Dressing (104-109 calories)

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!

100 Calorie Big Salad

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!

Giant 100 Calorie Salad, the colors

(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)

100 Calorie Big Salad

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!

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