Campus Cuisine, Inc. and Clinical Nutrition support healthy food choices in the Campus Cuisine, Inc. dining room at St. Mary’s.
Choosing the salad bar for lunch or dinner is a great option. But watch out! If you are not careful your “healthy” lunch could end up extremely high in calories and full of fat. Read on for some tips for building a healthier salad.
For less than 20 calories per 2 cups, leafy greens like spinach or romaine lettuce provide a great base to your salad.
2. Load up on plain vegetables
At 25 calories or less per serving, take advantage and load them up on your plate. Vary your vegetable selection to vary the nutrients. Vegetables available on the Campus Cuisine salad bar include shredded carrots, grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash, sliced onion, mushrooms, beets, sliced bell peppers, pepperocinis, broccoli, cauliflower, chopped celery and sliced radishes.
3. Add 1 or 2 lean protein selections
Enjoy 1 or 2 scoops of lean protein so you’ll feel full and satisfied after eating your salad. Options include hardboiled eggs or egg whites, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, edamame, grilled chicken, diced turkey, diced ham, baby shrimp, and low-fat cottage cheese
4. Limit yourself to one high-calorie “extra”
High-calorie extras can add hundreds of calories to your salad. While items like sunflower seeds, almonds and raisins are packed with nutrition, they’re also packed with calories. Be mindful of portion size and choose only one of your favorites for your salad. Croutons – 100 calories per ½ cup. Chinese noodles – 150 calories per ½ cup. Dried cranberries/raisins – 120 calories per ¼ cup. Shredded cheese – 115 calories per ¼ cup. Feta cheese – 100 calories per ¼ cup. Blue cheese crumbles – 150 calories per ¼ cup. Macaroni salad – 140 calories per ½ cup. Tabouli – 180 calories per ½ cup. Olives – 40 calories per 8 olives. Bacon bits – 100 calories per ¼ cup. Sliced almonds or sunflower seeds – 160 calories per ¼ cup.
5. Go easy on the dressing
One tablespoon of your average vinaigrette is approximately 50 calories. One tablespoon of creamy dressing is approximately 90 calories. Look for low-calorie or low-fat dressing varieties. Smart dressing selections available at Campus Cuisine include fat-free versions of Italian, ranch, French and raspberry vinaigrette dressings ranging from 15 to 60 calories per 2 tablespoons, or regular balsamic dressing which is 60 calories per 2 tablespoons. Another low-calorie option to flavor your salad is to use salsa for about 10 calories per 2 tablespoons. Try squeezing a lemon over your salad for almost zero added calories. Balsamic vinegar with a small drizzle of olive oil is also a good choice.