Thursday, July 26, 2012

Navigating the salad bar at Whole Foods!

As a follow up to my last post, I thought I would weigh in and share my tips on how I maneuver the salad bar at whole foods. I am not always so fortunate with my purchase and sometimes I cringe when I accidentally spend $8 on a lunch salad (my bad?). But hey, nobody is perfect and hopefully you can learn from some of my mistakes!

First and foremost; choose your salad container wisely. If you're not going to get a runny salad with lots of dressings and what not, opt for the folded paper containers usually located at the hot bar for housing your salad. The paper containers are much lighter than the cardboard like containers, which means less $$.

Second, if you like toppings then skimp on the lettuce. The lettuce is washed and although it feels light it actually holds a lot of water. I usually just barely cover the bottom of the container with lettuce, esp. if I'm eyeing up some heavy veggies.

I get carried away with individual veggies and usually add too many so I look for mixed prepared "salads" as toppings for my lettuce. For instance, yesterday I chose 2 tablespoons of chickpeas (a little goes a long way with these as they are very filling!), one scoop of a corn and red onion salad, followed by one scoop of a mediterranean salad (think couscous, kale and cherry tomatoes). The best thing about these toppings is they are pre-mixed with oils that can act as a dressing for the salad. Which leads me to my next tip...

Skip the dressing! Again, most dressings are heavy and can really add some weight to your salad. If you really need a dressing, try not to go over 1-2 tablespoons and opt for a vinagrette or water based dressing over a creamy dressing. Not only is it lighter in weight but it's also healthier!

Lastly, if you are adding a protein source like chicken, tofu or beef; stick to the 4oz rule. Four ounces is usually one serving size and all you need for your salad. Think 4 strips of grilled chicken/beef or one scoop of tofu and that should be plenty for your salad.

I wish I had taken a picture of my $5.75 salad from yesterday! It was super filling. I must admit, I was pretty proud of myself. *pats self on back*

Do you have any tips for saving money on salads at the salad bar? I'm always looking for advice in this area!

I was also lucky enough to get my hands on a very large bag of cherries from Whole Foods during a sale! I took the chance to learn how to pitt cherries (not so easy and very messy) and also made some yummy treats! Thanks Whole Foods!

Just a few pics below!

Cherry tart I made with Whole Foods cherries and Whole Foods organic filo dough (unnecessary? totally, but oh so worth it).

Cherry muffins made with the gigantic bunch of Whole Foods cherries I had!

Be on the lookout for a marathon training update soon!!!

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