Making Healthy Choices at a Salad Bar + Sweet Tomatoes Review

Salad bars and buffets are a healthy alternative to a traditional restaurant, right? Not always. Making healthy choices, even at a salad bar, can be tricky. Many times salads served at restaurants are not too far off in calorie and fat content from a burger and fry entree or a creamy pasta dish. Take for example the Oriental Grilled Chicken salad from Applebees- it contains a whopping 1280 calories and 760 calories from fat (Source). On the contrary, the American standard burger contains 1030 calories and 640 calories from fat (Source). Shocking, right?! Moral of the story: just because it is a salad, does not mean it is healthy.

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Watermelon Arugula Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette

With these hot temperatures we have been having, fruit has been my go-to food! It just seems to satisfy me when I come home from the day {usually sweating}. Also, any dinner that I can create that requires minimal oven use, is a winner to me! I recently had the watermelon feta salad at Panera Bread which inspired me to create this dressing and salad! I love the light flavor that the dressing provides, and the watermelon adds a sweetness that fits perfectly with the arugula. We had this salad as a side dish to Mahi Mahi; however, it would be great to bring for lunch as well.

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Lemon Orzo Chickpea Salad

With as hot as it has been here in Houston, I find myself craving cool salads for dinner, but not always green salad. Many times pasta salads and potato salads are loaded with mayonnaise, making them a not so healthy choice. By using orzo (a small, delicate pasta similarly shaped to rice) and an olive oil based dressing, the salad has a lite and refreshing texture. This lemon chickpea orzo salad was easy to pull together after a day at work and serve cool with grilled chicken. There was not too much chopping or mixing, which I appreciate when time is limited. The hint of lemon in the dressing was refreshing and crisp! I found the original recipe here, but made a few modifications to make it my own.

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