Calories in greek salad with feta cheese

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Last Updated: March 1, 2019

Simple, fresh and flavourful ingredients make this Greek salad with Grilled Chicken one you’ll want to make over and over again!

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I love eating salads in the summer, and this Greek salad with Grilled Chicken is a favourite of mine. The simple marinade used for the chicken adds tons of flavour and the result is tender and moist grilled chicken. With the addition of fresh vegetables, feta cheese and olives, all of the ingredients combine to make a delicious and healthy low calorie Greek salad.

I know this isn’t an authentic Greek salad, as a true Greek salad doesn’t contain any lettuce, or chicken for that matter. Nevertheless, this salad is delicious and full of Greek flavours! Only simple ingredients are needed to make this easy salad. And if you have a well stocked refrigerator and pantry, you may already have all the ingredients needed.

Marinating the chicken equals more flavour!

The recipe for this salad is adapted from Dave Lieberman’s recipe for Greek salad with oregano marinated chicken, you can find his recipe here. The flavourful grilled chicken that tops this salad makes it extra delicious and transforms this salad from a side to a main course meal. To maximize the flavour of the grilled chicken, make sure to marinate it at least of couple of hours before you grill it. You’ll see I’ve included a bit of honey to the chicken marinade, the honey gives the chicken an added layer of flavour and a beautiful colour.

If you are making this salad as a side you can omit the grilled chicken and serve with your choice of protein. Greek salad is delicious served with grilled fish or shrimp, steak or even with a side of chicken (use the marinade from this recipe for delicious chicken).

Enjoy!

Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken

Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes Simple, fresh and flavourful ingredients make this Greek salad with Grilled Chicken one you’ll want to make over and over again! Course: Salad Cuisine: Greek Keyword: Greek Salad, Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken, Grilled Chicken Salad Servings: 4 Calories: 325kcal Author: Adapted from Dave Lieberman

Ingredients

For the Grilled Chicken:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove small garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. honey optional

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 clove small garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups romaine lettuce (small head) rinsed, dried and chopped, or lettuce of your choice
  • 2 mini cucumbers
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1/2 sweet pepper colour of your choice
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 16 Kalamata olives pitted

Instructions

To marinate the chicken:

  • In a non reactive container, combine olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper, honey (if using) and chicken breasts.
  • Rub chicken breasts with mixture, making sure they are well coated.
  • Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

To prepare the dressing:

  • Combine all salad dressing ingredients in small bowl or jar and whisk well.

To grill the chicken:

  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Heat a grill to medium-high.
  • Grill the chicken about 6 minutes on each side, or until done.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

To assemble the salad:

  • Wash and chop romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet pepper and onion. Place vegetables in bowl. Top with crumbled feta cheese and pitted olives.
  • Add part of dressing to the salad reserving some dressing to drizzle onto chicken. Toss salad with dressing.
  • Arrange salad on platter, top with sliced chicken and drizzle with a bit more of the salad dressing.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 711mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7085IU | Vitamin C: 35.6mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 1.9mg Did you make this recipe? Have any questions, comments or suggestions? Leave me a note below!Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram at @sweetandsavourypursuits

S

Feta cheese nutritional facts

Feta cheese is undoubtedly one of the most famous Greek white cheeses and has a prominent place in the Greek cuisine. It has a pleasant taste and is often used as an ingredient in salads and various Mediterranean recipes. It is traditionally produced from sheep and goat milk.

Feta cheese, as all kinds of cheese, contains small amounts of lactose and can therefore be safely consumed by individuals suffering from lactose intolerance (hypolactasia). From a nutritional perspective, feta cheese is a rich source of proteins of high biological value that include all the essential amino acids. As a result of the cheese ripening or cheese maturation process, proteins present in feta cheese are easily disintegrated and absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, a fact that makes feta cheese an easily digested and well tolerated food by most individuals. In addition, its high content in proteins promotes muscle tissue synthesis and contributes to the repair of the body’s damaged tissues.

Vitamins and minerals present in feta cheese include:

Calcium: An important mineral for the prevention of osteoporosis, colon cancer, and the regulation of blood pressure.

Phosphorus & Vitamin A: Essential nutrients that can help protect and even enhance your vision.

Dig In

Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit

June 15, 2018 in Category: What’s New

With colorful ingredients, a rustic mélange of textures, and bright, fresh flavors, Trader Joe’s Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit is the ne plus ultra of summery salads. Cool romaine lettuce, shredded broccoli stalks and crisp radicchio form the sturdy base of this Salad, while celery, seasoned flatbread strips, and roasted chickpeas add major crunch.

This collection of cool, crisp, and crunchy components is rounded out with tender dried tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese, and made complete with a packet of dressing that’s fantastic in its own right: herby notes of basil and oregano and savory garlic, all swimming in a blend of extra virgin olive oil and tangy red wine vinegar. And did we mention this complete Salad Kit is completely Organic?

A veritable summer vacation in a bag, try tossing this Organic Salad Kit with diced organic chicken and fluffy couscous—it’s easy to imagine sailing the blue-green waters of the Aegean with each crunchy, refreshing bite. We’re offering 12.95-ounce bags of Trader Joe’s Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit for $3.99 each. At a dollar less than retails we’ve seen elsewhere, it’s an incredible value on organic produce that you’ll only find at your neighborhood Trader Joe’s.

NOTE: Since posting, the details of this item may have changed due to fluctuating market prices, federal regulations, currency rates, drought, pestilence, bandits, rush hour traffic, filibusters, zombie apocalypse, punctilious product developers… Contact our Crew for current price and availability.

I tried 16 fast food salads and ranked them worst to best, so you can try and act healthy

Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

By Nick O’Malley | [email protected]

In the interest of making as little effort as possible to look like I’m being active and eating healthy, I’ve chosen to eat a bunch of salads from the last places you should really be trying to get a salad from.

Let’s rank them.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

Salads from McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s, Ranked

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In the interest of keeping this list at a reasonable length, I’ve limited the “fast food salad” category to salads from from the three biggest chains with multiple salad options: McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.

In order or figure out which salads you should actually try, I sampled every combination of salad and toppings you could get from the three locations — totalling 16 varieties.

Note: Whenever given the options, I got Italian as my default dressing because I don’t know what salad dressing you want. That’s up to you, buddy.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

So what did they taste like?

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I’d like to say there was a reasonable range of options here. But for the most part it was a bunch of garden salads, caesar salads and your choice of crispy or grilled chicken.

The world of fast food salads isn’t particularly exciting — unless you’re going to Wendy’s. They’re at least trying to make salads worth eating.

Since we’re all trying to be healthy, I’m going to keep track of the calorie counts of each of these, and keep a tab on what’s included in each salad. (Calorie counts usually don’t include the dressing or croutons.)

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

No. 16 – McDonald’s Side Salad

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What’s on it? Romaine lettuce, baby spinach, baby kale, red leaf lettuce, ribbon cut carrots, grape tomatoes

Listed Calories: 15

Woah, McDonalds. Let’s chill out with that ingredient list. This is a side salad. From McDonalds. When I went to order it at the drive-thru window, the guy had to go and check to make sure they had side salads.

Apparently, they do, and I’m the worse off for it.

This salad wasn’t particularly terrible. It was, you know, lettuce and stuff. But After two bites, I’d successfully cleared half the salad out of my bowl. This is one of the least substantial salads I’ve ever seen in my life.

There’s a reason this thing’s 15 calories. There’s about 15 shards of salad in here. Well, that and they aren’t counting the salad dressing.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

No. 15 – Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad (Half-size)

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What’s on it? Spicy chicken breast, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Asiago cheese

Listed Calories: 550 (half-sized)

Hey, you know what doesn’t go with Caesar dressing and sharp cheese? Wendy’s spicy chicken.

This is an otherwise decent caesar salad. But for some reason, there’s pieces of spicy chicken hidden throughout it, like red-tinted poultry traps intent on synthesizing an abrasive car crash of flavor on your tongue as the dry heat of the chicken meets the sharp salty zest of the dressing and cheese.

What bothers me most is that Wendy’s did not need to do this. They have plenty of chicken in the restaurant and chose to put the spicy chicken on there.

This salad is stupid.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

No. 14 – Burger King Side Salad

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What’s on it? “Blend of premium lettuces” garnished with juicy tomatoes, three-cheese medley

Listed Calories: 60

I was expecting a pile of thin, limp lettuces. Instead, I got a lot of those thick, crunchy pieces that comes from the center of the lettuce head.

I appreciate those pieces. Iceberg lettuce is essentially crunchy water, anyway, so you might as well get the crunchiest part. We’re all here for the dressing and croutons anyway. (Go ahead and add another 60 calories for the croutons, by the way.)

Also, there was a lot of cheese on this. Good on you, Burger King. You knew what I wanted.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

No. 13 – McDonald’s Bacon Ranch Salad (w/ Grilled Chicken)

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What’s on it? Salad blend, grape tomatoes, bacon, shredded cheese

Listed Calories: 320

This is a garden salad with bacon on it. And I don’t mean bacon crumbles, which are a great addition to any salad. No, I got strips of bacon, which are a nightmare to try and cut up in salad form.

Once those are gone, I’m just stuck here with a regular chicken salad from McDonalds like some weirdo.

Avoid the grilled chicken. Mine was kind of glossy and chewy.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

No. 12 – McDonald’s Bacon Ranch Salad (Crispy Chicken)

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What’s on it? Salad blend, grape tomatoes, bacon, shredded cheese

Listed Calories: 490

This is the same salad, just with marginally better chicken. It’s still not particularly good.

Fortunately, it isn’t hard to avoid this salad, since it wasn’t on the drive-thru menu of either McDonald’s I visited. I had to specifically ask for it. I wish I hadn’t.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

Tied: No. 10 – Burger King Garden Salad (w/ Crispy Chicken)

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What’s on it? Crispy green romaine, green leaf and radicchio lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes

Listed Calories: 440

This is a pretty standard garden salad that’s ultimately bland and forgetable with cold fast food chicken on top. Being cold does not do the chicken any favors.

The tomatoes were particularly bad, and they should feel bad.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

Tied: No. 10 – Burger King Club Salad (w/ Crispy Chicken)

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What’s on it? Crispy green romaine, green leaf and radicchio lettuce, bacon, shredded cheese, tomatoes

Listed Calories: 710, according to the website

Now, you may be thinking to yourself: “Wait, isn’t that the same exact salad?”

Yes, it does appear that way doesn’t it? After careful examination, I could find no distinguishable difference between this and the Garden Salad I ordered. So, either someone screwed up more order (most likely), or there’s some sort of grand salad conspiracy going on here.

Allegedly, this salad is supposed to have bacon on it. As far as I can see, it’s the only difference between this and the garden salad. I see no bacon. I also saw no reason to go back and make sure I got the right salad and won’t be persuaded otherwise.

The cheese is on there, though. It’s hiding in a clump under the chicken.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

Tied: No. 8 – Burger King Garden Salad (w/ Grilled Chicken)

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What’s on it? Crispy green romaine, green leaf and radicchio lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes

Listed Calories: 340

In a weird twist, the grilled chicken that came with the Burger King salads was pretty good. Unfortunately, the person who put this salad together didn’t cut all the way through the chicken, meaning I got this big clump of nearly severed chicken pieces that had a big clump of cheese stuck to it.

As unnerving as this was, it tasted pretty good, like a cold cheese-lettuce-chicken sandwich. I could’ve cut it up into normal salad pieces, sure. But at this point, I was so tired of eating salads that I was just looking for variety.

The rest of the salad was otherwise fine. It was salad mix. It had croutons.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

Tied: No. 8 – Burger King Club Salad? (w/ Grilled Chicken)

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What’s on it? Crispy green romaine, green leaf and radicchio lettuce, bacon(?), shredded cheese, tomatoes

Listed Calories: Allegedly 610

I don’t even know what to think anymore. Again, there is nothing different about this salad and I don’t even care. Ignore this half of these rankings. Every salad up to this point has been dumb and bad.

It’d be one thing if the salads tasted any different. But for the past seven or so salads, the greens have been pretty much indistinguishable. The only differences have been the toppings, like if some idiot put spicy chicken on a Caesar salad. (I’m still mad about that.)

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

No. 7 – Wendy’s Side Salad

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What’s on it? Mixed greens, cheddar cheese, tomato, red onion

Listed Calories: 210

Finally, a decent freaking salad that I didn’t put my fork into solely because I was professionally obligated to.

It’s a decent mix of greens and of a quality that I didn’t second-guess myself for eating.

While we’re here: Good on you Wendy’s for including the dressing in the calorie count. I’m sure there are people who eat salads with little to no dressing. Those people are not ordering these salads.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

No. 6 – Wendy’s Side Caesar Salad

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What’s on it? Romaine lettuce, Asiago cheese, tomatoes

Listed Calories: 230

This is a perfectly adequate caesar salad. It’s pretty much identical to the garden salad, just with the red onion and cheddar swapped with Asiago cheese (and Caesar dressing).

I liked eating this salad. (Weird thought, huh?)

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

5. McDonald’s Southwest Salad (w/ Crispy Chicken)

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What’s on it? Salad blend, Southwest vegetable blend, cilantro lime glaze, lime, chili lime tortilla strips, grill seasoning

Listed Calories: 520

At this point, I should note that this list is based purely on taste. This salad hardly qualifies for any sort of healthy eating. For reference, a Big Mac has 540 calories. By the way, if you want some Southwest dressing on this, you can go ahead and bump that calorie total up to 570.

So yeah, the corn and bean mix with the cilantro lime glaze tasted pretty good. The tortilla strips were tasty, even if the chicken was pretty mediocre. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this salad isn’t particularly good for you.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

4. McDonald’s Southwest Salad (w/ Grilled Chicken)

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What’s on it? Salad blend, Southwest vegetable blend, cilantro lime glaze, lime, chili lime tortilla strips, grill seasoning

Listed Calories: 350

The grilled chicken isn’t particularly good (and wasn’t properly chopped). But at this point, I’d take this salad along with the knowledge that it’s not in Big Mac range calorie-wise.

If you’re like me and order this salad to go, be warned that he salad containers are McDonald’s are terrible and will pop open in the bag at the slightest bump or jostle. They’re like two Frisbees that precariously click together at the edges.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

3. Wendy’s Mediterranean Power Salad (Half-size)

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What’s on it? Grilled chicken, feta cheese, hummus, sun-dried tomato quinoa blend

Listed Calories: 250 (Half-sized)

What the hell even is this? It’s a weird mish mash of ingredients that someone pulled off the Wikipedia page for “Mediterranean foods.” It also has quinoa, which comes from South America.

With that said, it tastes pretty good. The hummus and chicken combo is surprisingly tasty and filling. The other ingredients add a nice background, but it’s mostly the hummus-chicken show.

I’d say it’s better without additional dressing since the hummus does an adequate job there. This salad has the best chance of filling you up while still remaining surprisingly healthy.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

2. Wendy’s Taco Salad (Half-size)

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What’s on it? Wendy’s chili, shredded cheddar, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream

Listed Calories: 470 (Half-sized)

If you order this at the drive-thru like I did, then get ready to a receive a build-your-own-salad kit that includes:

  • A plain salad
  • A bag of tortilla chips
  • A packet of sour cream
  • A cup of chili
  • A cup of salsa

I made an effort to give mine a fancy presentation. But you can go ahead and dump all the ingredients on there. (Although. I’d recommend placing the tortilla chips on the bottom.)

Overall, it works surprisingly well as a salad. It’s got a strong burrito bowl vibe. The chili was a better fit here than the salsa, with the sour cream adding a nice smooth flavor to the mix.

I actually had the best experience using the chips as a salad shovel to eat it. But if you’re looking for more conventional eating, I suppose you could just crumble up the chips and sprinkle them on.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

1. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad

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What’s on it? Apples, blue cheese, cranberries, pecans, grilled chicken, pomegranate vinaigrette

Listed Calories: 340 (half-sized)

This was kind of crazy mix of flavors between blue cheese, apple and sweet dressing. It’s also kind of hard to get on one fork. But overal, it was definitely the salad I enjoyed the most.

The chicken actually takes the back seat flavor-wise, letting the crunchy, sweet and creamy flavors stand out. The texture from the apples and pecans break up the usual salad monotony, while the fruits and dressing keep it at just the right level of sweetness to make it enjoyable. The end result is a salad that — for once — isn’t bland, and provides some variety in what you’re eating.

I wish it came with a bigger fork. All I want is all these flavors in my mouth at once. I should help me forget the taste of spicy chicken and Caesar dressing.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

So are they any good?

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The only ones I’d really recommend are No. 7 and above. Even then, the McDonald’s Southwest salad is hardly worth the calorie count of funky chicken you might get.

In short: If you’re getting a fast food salad, getting it from Wendy’s. Unless it’s the Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad. You can go right ahead and dump that out onto the ground and use it to start a compost pile, which you can use to grow some new vegetables, which you can then harvest and use to make a salad that isn’t terrible.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

Afterglow Rating

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It turns out that, yes, there is such a thing as too many salads, and I’ve now found out how many that is. I didn’t end up finishing every salad. At a certain point I hit a wall and started feeling one of the weirdest food comas I’ve had in a long time. I felt tired and overfull. But it was mostly vegetables in me, so I didn’t quite feel like death. I also kept snacking on leftover croutons because I’m an idiot who doesn’t know how to walk away from a salad bar, apparently.

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Ellanje Ferguson, MassLive.com

The final word

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You know what the weirdest part about having a about eight bagfuls of fast food salad is? It all still has that tell-tale “fast food” smell.

There’s no innate small attached with salad ingredients, especially when the bulk of it is mixed greens. As a result, you still get that mysterious seasoning that’s embedded deep within the crispy chicken. Sure, it’s a table full of salads. but before long, you’re sitting there with a familiar smell of McChickens drifting into your nose.

This whole endeavour has been like an out of body experience. Sure, I ate salads all day, but I also ate fast food all day. I feel simultaneously great and terrible, which really matches my outlook on 2018. There’s room for optimism, but there’s also a familiar smell that reminds me that nothing’s really been fixed, no matter how much lettuce you throw at the problem.

“I ate it so you don’t have to” is a regular food column looking at off-beat eats, both good and bad. It runs every other Thursday-ish at noon-ish.

You can send any praise/food suggestions to [email protected] Please send all criticisms about how I definitely just ate two of the same salads twice to [email protected] You can check out the rest of the series here.

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Although most people don’t go to McDonald’s or Burger King to satisfy a salad craving, almost every single fast-food restaurant serves some sort of lettuce-based dish — and they don’t look half bad, at least in advertisements:

Wendy’s / Panera Bread / Burger King / McDonald’s

But anyone who’s ever ordered a fast-food burger knows it’s all too easy to be deceived.

McDonald’s/ Flickr / rob_rob2001

While a bad-looking burger can still taste pretty good, a bad-looking salad made with soggy lettuce, lackluster tomatoes, and rubbery-looking cheese can seriously turn you off from healthy eating.

To stop your next fast-food salad order from becoming your last, wrap your head around what these fast-food salads actually look like IRL:

1. Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad

Wendy’s/ Ruben Chamorro

Few fast-food salads come pre-tossed. But there’s still no denying that the salad served (above right) looks very little like the one that’s advertised (above left). That said, the ingredients do look remarkably fresh and very edible.

Ruben Chamorro/ Krystalina Tom

The biggest issue: With dressing and croutons, which aren’t pictured above, this salad somehow clocks in at 720 calories, which is 330 more than you’d get in a Wendy’s double-stack cheeseburger. While there is more to life than calories, this salad is no burger, no matter how fresh it looks. That said, I’d happily get all up in this salad if no one mentioned its high number of calories.

2. Burger King Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad

Burger King / Ruben Chamorro

Clocking in at 720 calories with 50 grams of fat, this beast of a salad looks mountainous on the menu (above left). However, the actual serving (above right), which comes in more of a raised plate than a deep-dish bowl, isn’t stacked quite as high IRL as you might expect from looking at the pictures. Besides lettuce and tomatoes, it’s filled with chicken (which is breaded in the ad, but can also be grilled, as pictured above on the right, to save 130 calories). The item also comes with a legit serving of smoked bacon, plus cheddar cheese and croutons (FTW).

Ruben Chamorro / Krystalina Tom

Besides the bacon, this salad’s actual serving size seemed skimpier than advertised. And it seems that something violent and unsavory appears to have happened to that partially chopped chicken, so there’s that.

3. McDonald’s Premium Southwest Salad With Grilled Chicken

McDonald’s /Ruben Chamorro

For a reasonable 350 calories with 37 grams of protein and 12 grams of fat, you get grilled chicken breast chunks plus black beans, roasted corn, tomatoes, roasted peppers, two kinds of cheese, and chili-lime seasoned tortilla strips served on a bed of mixed lettuce with carrot ribbons, cilantro, plus an actual lime, at least according to the menu. However, IRL (above right), the tomatoes were nowhere to be seen (or perhaps, looked too much like peppers to be discerned) in the actual salad:

Ruben Chamorro / Krystalina Tom

While this salad gets bonus points for including an actual lime, the tomato situation, wilted greens, and roasted peppers, which have clearly seen better days, make it look even less appetizing than the mediocre-looking salad promised on the menu.

4. Panera Bread: Chinese Citrus Cashew Salad With Chicken

Panera Bread / Ruben Chamorro

Panera Bread has always been known for its salad and sandwich game, so it’s no wonder this Chinese citrus chicken salad looks divine online (above left) and in person (above right), with fresh, colorful ingredients like mandarin oranges, roasted cashews, pineapple, cucumbers, cilantro, and grilled chicken strips atop a bed of romaine lettuce and cabbage. With the soy-miso dressing and hoisin sauce served with this salad, the whole dish comes out to 570 calories, with a solid 25 grams of protein despite its generous amount of fat (27 grams).

Ruben Chamorro / Krystalina Tom

All in all, the salad advertised and the one served could be identical twins, at least after a little shake-up.

5. Starbucks: Zesty Chicken Black Bean Salad Bowl

Starbucks / Ruben Chamorro

This salad includes grilled chicken, black beans, roasted corn, tomatoes, feta, spring greens, jicama, and quinoa. It contains a reasonable 360 calories, although it has less protein (14 grams) than other salads listed here. As served (above right), the heaviest ingredients in the salad sit below the lighter-weight greens, but they’re all present and accounted for:

Ruben Chamorro / Krystalina Tom

To Starbucks’ credit, the ingredients do look fresh, even if the actual salad serving looks teenier than the one in the photo provided online (above left).

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Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan.com, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more.

When you think about fast food, a big, greasy burger with fries or maybe onion rings on the side probably comes to mind. Maybe something with a thick, cold shake to drink, something that really satisfies. It’s indulging in meals like that too often that leads many people to start exercising and trying to get rid of the extra weight they put on with too many burgers.

These days, fast food restaurants are offering all kinds of healthier options which are prepared with the usual alacrity. It’s difficult to say which the best fast food salad is without looking at a few examples though.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s might be well known for their burger and fries mentality dating from the 1940s but they do have a few different salads to choose from too. They might not advertise them as strongly as the beefy Big Mac sandwich but then more people want Big Macs than want salads, so it’s understandable. If you’re a fan of Caesar salad they have a good option, tasty and fresh but nothing exceptional. The fried and grilled chicken salads give a couple choices with meat as well and they do tend to sell much better than the straight veggie salads. $4 or less will make it happen at McDonald’s.

Burger King

While these two top fast food restaurant chains are constantly competing with one another over bigger and better burgers and fries, there is little action in the salad department. Not surprisingly, you get the same limited selection of salads for about $4 here too. While a standard Caesar or chicken salad might not sound like the best fast food salad around, there’s something to be said for tasty staple foods. Not all burgers are great but it’s still pretty great to get a burger when you do, right?

Panda Express

With so many crisp and crunchy vegetables in Chinese cuisine, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Panda Express has some pretty good salad choices. They might even have the best fast food salad but that’s probably a matter of personal taste more than anything. There are so many different choices to pick from it can be difficult for someone who hasn’t eaten their food previously. While the prices are a little higher than you might be used to for a fast food salad, the food is definitely fresher. $6 doesn’t seem like a bad price for something with meat in it, either.

Chick-fil-A

Famous for their focus on chicken dishes, Chick-fil-A is also a little less famous for great chicken salads. They can fry it up or grill it as you desire but the ultimate result is the same – something that tastes great. As far as chicken salads go you couldn’t ask for a better one and you probably wouldn’t get it from a place that focuses on beef, anyhow. Food here comes at a reasonable price and for about $5 you can get more than enough to satisfy your hunger for a time.

KFC

While it might not be a traditional salad, the specialty bowl offered by Kentucky Fried Chicken with the mashed potatoes, corn and gravy mixed in is still delicious. It’s also about as close as you’re going to get to a chicken salad from a fried chicken place. There’s no lettuce in there at all so some people would probably say it isn’t technically a salad. It has meat, vegetables, cheese and dressing like a salad though, so there seems to be good reason for a comparison here. If you’re going for health and not taste, this one wins hands down.

Taco Bell

They might be selling taco salad but there’s still plenty of lettuce, beans and other healthy stuff inside the salads at Taco Bell. It might not be the best fast food salad in terms of health but if we’re talking taste, the taco salads at Taco Bell are fantastic. Get them fresh with good cheese and crunchy tortillas for a fine dining experience that doesn’t cost more than $5. Also, because convenience is so important when it comes to fast food, it’s worth mentioning that Taco Bells are open late pretty much everywhere. The salads made at the end of the day might not be so fresh though.

Wendy’s

Wendy’s isn’t known for their salads and they sure aren’t going to win any award for having the best fast food salad. Alternatively though, they do have baked potatoes. These can be prepared in such a way as to taste great but have next to no fat and very few calories when compared to a tub of seasoned fries cooked in beef fat. Even with some sour cream, cheese and a bit of bacon, the potato from Wendy’s is still significantly better for you than the fries from another burger place. It’s worth keeping in mind, especially since it starts at a buck.

Steak n’ Shake

While salads aren’t the focus of a place built around steaks and shakes, there’s no denying that something crisp and clean to cut into the grease in a thick chunk of meat is excellent. The salads at Steak n’ Shake aren’t anything special but they do a fine job of representing what a salad is at the usual burger joint – nothing special. For about $3 you aren’t getting the best fast food salad around and you shouldn’t expect as much.

Conclusion

Overall, it seems the best fast food salad is probably something from Chick-fil-A. They have a way with chicken that beef-centric fast food restaurants just can’t beat. As for taste, KFC takes the top with their amazing bowls. Those things are so good it’s kind of surprising they don’t advertise them more aggressively. The worst fast food salads probably come from McDonald’s. That’s not to say the salads are bad exactly, but there’s very little done to dress them up and it’s clear McDonald’s has no faith in their own product. The salads sure don’t sell as well as big, beefy sandwiches.

1,200-Calorie Weight-Loss Meal Plan for Summer

Fire up the grill and say hello to summer with this healthy 7-day, 1,200-calorie diet meal plan. In this weight-loss meal plan, we focused on easy, healthy recipes that highlight summer’s best produce so you can enjoy homemade dinners without spending a ton of time cooking. The warmer weather brings a wider variety of fruits and vegetables that are bursting with flavor so they don’t require a lot of prep work to taste delicious. To keep it simple, we included no-cook breakfast options, easy meal-prep ideas for lunch, and quick dinners-most of which are on the table (or the patio!) in 30 minutes or less. Plus, we use the grill to cook many of the meals, which saves on dishes so you can spend less time cleaning up and more time outside.

Don’t Miss: Our Top 50 Diet Recipes for Summer

Although the summer days are longer, they are often busier as we fill them with vacations, BBQs and trips to the beach. Following a weight-loss meal plan doesn’t need to feel like another thing on your to-do list during this fun-filled season. We keep the routine easy and the recipes packed with flavor so you feel satisfied and never deprived. This weight-loss meal plan is high in protein and fiber to keep you full while promoting a healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week. And to make things even easier, we included a grocery list because the best meal plan for weight loss is one that doesn’t take too much effort to follow.

Need a different calorie level? See this same plan at 1,500 calories and 2,000 calories

Get the Printable Shopping List Here

Meal-Prep Ideas for a Week of Easy Meals:

  • 1. Hard-boil 2 eggs for theVegetarian Niçoise Saladon Days 1 and 6.
  • 2. Meal-prep theChicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce to have on Days 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • 3. Make theBerry-Lemon Ice Pops to have as dessert throughout the week.
  • 4. Bake theMaple Granolato have with breakfast throughout the week.
  • 5. Prepare 2 servings ofTropical Overnight Oatsto have for breakfast on days 2 and 4. This recipe calls for coconut milk but feel free to substitute almond milk, which we use in thePineapple Green Smoothie, to save money and fridge space.

Looking for more? Check out our Simple 30-Day Weight-Loss Meal Plan

Day 1

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Eating enough fiber is the key to staying full on fewer calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure to include plenty of fiber-filled foods, such as legumes, vegetables, whole grains and fruits, to reduce cravings and stay satisfied. In addition to keeping us full, research shows that fiber helps keep us healthy by reducing the risk of diabetes and some cancers.

Breakfast (297 calories)

• 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie

A.M. Snack (51 calories)

• 1 small peach

Lunch (366 calories)

• 1 serving Vegetarian Niçoise Salad

P.M. Snack (31 calories)

• 1/2 cup blackberries

Dinner (473 calories)

• 1 serving Grilled Blackened Shrimp Tacos
• 1 serving Pineapple & Avocado Salad

Daily Totals: 1,217 calories, 53 g protein, 146 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 53 g fat, 1,314 mg sodium

Day 2

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Say goodbye to the notion that you can’t enjoy pizza while you’re trying to lose weight. Grilling homemade pizza provides the flavorful crust that we love from our favorite wood-fired pizza joints without the extra sodium and calories that come with the restaurant version. Served with a low-calorie chopped salad, this is the perfect summer dinner.

Breakfast (281 calories)

• 1 serving Tropical Overnight Oats

A.M. Snack (64 calories)

• 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (351 calories)

• 1 serving Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

P.M. Snack (62 calories)

• 1 cup blackberries

Dinner (456 calories)

• 1 serving Sausage, Mushroom & Pesto Grilled Pizza

Easy Chopped Veggie Salad

  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

Mix cucumber and tomato together; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Daily Totals: 1,215 calories, 58 g protein, 136 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 55 g fat, 1,543 mg sodium

Day 3

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Tonight’s healthy vegetarian dinner highlights two of summer’s most popular vegetables-summer squash and zucchini. The lemony sauce provides a bright flavor that feels light and refreshing. If you’re thinking of going vegetarian more often, try one of our healthy vegetarian meal plans.

Breakfast (268 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 medium peach, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp.Maple Granola

Top yogurt with peach and granola.

A.M. Snack (64 calories)

• 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (351 calories)

• 1 serving Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

P.M. Snack (31 calories)

• 1/2 cup blackberries

Dinner (454 calories)

• 1 serving Lemon-Pepper Linguine with Squash
• 1 1/2 cups Massaged Kale Salad

Dessert (53 calories)

• 1 serving Berry-Lemon Ice Pops

Daily Totals: 1,221 calories, 61 g protein, 141 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 52 g fat, 1,220 mg sodium

Day 4

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There is nothing like a fresh summer tomato, which is why we feature this healthy vegetable in tonight’s dinner. Look for local tomatoes to maximize flavor-they’re picked at peak freshness and don’t have to travel far to get to your dinner table. Your neighborhood farmers’ market may have more interesting heirloom varietals than what you can typically find at the grocery store.

Breakfast (281 calories)

• 1 serving Tropical Overnight Oats

A.M. Snack (64 calories)

• 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (351 calories)

• 1 serving Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

P.M. Snack (25 calories)

• 1/2 cup sliced carrots

Dinner (494 calories)

• 1 serving Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil
• 1 serving Tomato, Cucumber & White-Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Daily Totals: 1,215 calories, 79 g protein, 101 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 57 g fat, 1,326 mg sodium

Day 5

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Lunch is often the meal that can make or break weight-loss efforts. Taking the time to meal-prep several days of healthy lunches that are filling and satisfying makes it easier to limit those break-room sweets and eat healthy with a busy schedule. Check out all of our Healthy Meal-Prep Recipes for more easy ideas.

Breakfast (297 calories)

• 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie

A.M. Snack (32 calories)

• 1/2 cup raspberries

Lunch (351 calories)

• 1 serving Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

P.M. Snack (4 calories)

• 1/4 cup sliced cucumber topped with a pinch of salt & pepper

Dinner (488 calories)

• 1 serving Southwest Flank Steak with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
• 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad

Dessert (53 calories)

• 1 serving Berry-Lemon Ice Pops

Daily Totals: 1,225 calories, 76 g protein, 108 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 59 g fat, 1,205 mg sodium

Day 6

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Plain Greek yogurt gets natural sweetness from juicy summer peaches, so you won’t miss all the added sugars in sweetened yogurts. Easy Maple Granola provides a satisfying crunch in this healthy summer breakfast. If you prefer a store-bought granola, look for one that has no more than 6 grams of sugar and 130 calories per 1/4-cup serving.

Breakfast (279 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 medium peach, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp.Maple Granola

Top yogurt with peach and granola.

A.M. Snack (80 calories)

• 1 1/4 cups raspberries

Lunch (366 calories)

• 1 serving Vegetarian Niçoise Salad

P.M. Snack (62 calories)

• 1 cup blackberries

Dinner (400 calories)

• 1 serving Grilled Chicken Thighs with Summer Corn Salad

Daily Totals: 1,188 calories, 73 g protein, 105 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 56 g fat, 1,124 mg sodium

Day 7

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Popsicles are the perfect summer dessert-light, refreshing and healthy. We love the Berry-Lemon Ice Pops because they take advantage of fresh seasonal berries. If you want to mix it up, try more of our Healthy Popsicle Recipes. Popsicle molds are handy, but not required. If you don’t have them, paper cups do the trick.

Breakfast (297 calories)

• 1 serving Pineapple Green Smoothie

A.M. Snack (30 calories)

• 1 plum

Lunch (376 calories)

• 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich
• 1 small peach

P.M. Snack (23 calories)

• 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

Dinner (431 calories)

• 1 serving Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Radish Salsa
• 1 serving Greek Tortellini Salad

Dessert (53 calories)

• 1 serving Berry-Lemon Ice Pops

Daily Totals: 1,210 calories, 59 g protein, 159 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 42 g fat, 1,260 mg sodium

WATCH: How to Make Guacamole Chopped Salad

Calories in greek salad

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