November 16, 2009

Grilled chicken salad with lentils, feta and shallots

I wanted to share the salad I made for lunch today, because it's a new winning combo for my lunches of late.

I - like a lot of people - typically only like salads when they have a lot of stuff on them. The usual suspects are cheese, croutons, chicken, hard boiled egg, and creamy dressings. I've tried using the low-fat versions of all of these items, but at the end of the day, even the lowfat condiments and toppings "add up" to sometimes not be worth it in my diet book.

For instance:
A salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomato = O points
Add 1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheese = 2 points
Add a hard boiled egg = 2 points
Add 3 oz grilled chicken = 3 points

= 7 points total

And that's not even counting dressing.

Now, that's not an unreasonable amount for most dieters - about the same as your average lean cuisine meal - but it's still close to half of my daily points value. For me, I've always needed enough budge room in my points or calories to be able to "play" throughout the day, whether that's a mid morning snack, a little candy, a latte, etc.

So, in the end, I've experimented with different kinds of salads, but more often than not, I defer against them because I'd rather get veggies a different way.

But this salad.... this salad was a keeper. And for what I calculated was a 4-5 point total.

Baby spring greens, grilled chicken, 1/4 cup lentils, 1/4 cup reduced fat feta, shallots.

Shallots = o points
1/4 cup lentils= 0 points (60 cals / 4 g fiber)
1/4 cup reduced fat feta = 1 point
Lettuce = o points
3 oz chicken cooked with spray (no oil) = 3 points.

I had brought some lemon and garlic herb dressing that is 25 cals per 2 Tbsp. which would have been 1 point, but I had enough going on with the salad that I didnt even use it. It was really yummyand I think the lentils were a great way to add stuff with hardly any additonal points or calories.

Before this salad topping magic-maker, I had really been enjoying grilled veggies, like red onions and peppers, but they were not as good leftover as they were freshly cooked.

What are your favorite salad toppers?


  1. This sounds delicious! Looking forward to trying it out.

  2. I've started adding fresh herbs from my garden. I will use one or a combination of basil, parsley, oregano or rosemary. It massively increases the flavor level of any salad - for really no additional calories. I've also found that with so much extra flavor, just a little sprinkle of balsamic vinegar (0-5 cals)is plenty!