Last week my friend took me out to lunch at Applebee’s where I had their delicious SEASONAL BERRY & SPINACH SALAD Spinach leaves tossed in our strawberry vinaigrette. Layered with juicy blueberries, sliced strawberries, grilled chicken breast, bleu cheese crumbles and honey-glazed pecans. (Picture below is from Applebee’s)
The salad was delicious and I have been craving one every since but being cheap and lazy I decided to make one of my own. I was also hoping to cut down some of the calories by eliminating/changing the honey-glazed pecans, blue cheese, and vinaigrette dressing.
Here is the nutritional breakdown from Applebees for 1/2 salad.
Salad with dressing- Calories 320, fat 17gm, carbs 21 gm, fiber 4 gm, protein 27gm
The Pin Addicts Berry Spinach Salad
- 1 cup baby spinach loosely packed
- 1/4 cup black berries (blue berries were too expensive)
- 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon Athenos reduced fat feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.
- 1 tablespoon Annie’s Fat Free Raspberry Balsamic vinaigrette
Nutritional information from fatsecret.com including dressing.
Calories 164, Fat 11.13 gm, Carbs 13.54, Fiber 4.4 gm Protein 6.14 gm
Now granted my salad did not have any chicken on it but for fun I added it to the ingredients list to see how it would compare
My salad with 1/2 cup chopped chicken breast: Calories 296, Fat 16.34, Carbs 13.54, Fiber 4.4, Protein 26 gm
Wow! I was surprised I thought that my salad would have been a lot less in comparison. Either way my salad was still delicious, healthy , and in the long run a lot less expensive.
Diet tip – When eating salads and vegetables it is actually good to have a little fat with the salad. Fat helps you absorb fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K. The secret is to not overload your salad with fats. Use a low fat dressing, avocados, or a low fat cheese. The fat will also help you feel more satisfied and full.
Salad dressing tip: To reduce the amount of calories and fat measure your dressing before putting on your salad, also try watering down your dressing. Start with 1 tsp of water to 1 tablespoon of dressing. work your way up to 1 tablespoon of water 1/4 tsp of dressing.
P.S. the Annies Naturals salad dressing listed above is only $2.99 if you order it on their website. I paid 4.29 at my local store. They also have several other great products listed on their website. I did not receive any compensation for this listing, I just love this dressing and wouldn’t mind if they sent me samples of their other products (hint, hint).