So even thought I’m a little obsessed with food. Making it, looking at it, sharing it, eating it… I still go totally blank when it comes to dinner if I don’t have a plan OR if it’s one of those circusy nights where kids have sports and Ross has church meetings…and everyone’s eating at different times. If I’m eating alone, it should be easier! I’m free! But suddenly the possibilities are endless and I can’t make a decision to save my life. I’ll go in circles logging different meals and combinations trying to figure out where I’ll get the MOST bang for my buck… but also won’t take me too long in the kitchen since it’s just for ME.
And then I’ve wasted all my kitchen time playing in My Fitness Pal.
(I’m too used to instagram and desperately need an eye roll emoji right about now.)
But I’ve found my gem and it’s totally working for me right now. I’ve embraced the salad! And I’ve just decided that every time I’m in that blank space I’ll have one! Which sounds boring but honestly I’ve REALLY missed them. They sorta got put on the back burner when I started counting macros because there are so many pieces to log if I want it to be good and interesting… and a lot of those pieces should be HIGH FAT….. if I actually want it to taste good. I was always team vinaigrette over creamy before… and nothing beat a good homemade one because EVERYTHING tastes amazing with plenty of quality extra virgin and some good vinegar, pure maple syrup, grainy mustard, and s/p. Eating a big bowl of veggies with little to no nuts and cheese and a low fat bottled dressing just totally bummed me out.
BUT– here’s the thing. I’ve found my formula and I’m totally back on salads. And I love it because it can ALWAYS fit. I can save one salad I really loved “as a meal” in my fitness pal, and add that same one for tomorrow night’s dinner and then go from there. Too many carbs for tomorrow? I’ll skip the corn, do half the pita, (or no pita and cry). Plenty of carbs left? I’ll add quinoa or farro or squash or fruit… not enough fat left? Skip the cheese or cut out some bacon… you get it. And the bottom line is you pretty much always feel good after a salad and it’s generally gonna last a while…. so I never find myself having dinner-decision-regret. (I’m gonna coin that– super catchy.)
Here’s what’s I’m digging:
- I like things chopped super small. It lets the dressing and salt and pepper really get in there.
- One piece of bacon goes a long way for some crunchy, salty, fatty goodness.
- Of course I’m obsessed with blue cheese and since it’s such a strong flavor, a little of the low fat stuff goes a long way….low fat feta is good too…cotija for a mexican flare
- Some fresh herbs (basil here) adds another layer and level of freshness
- I’m learning to love creamy dressings since it’s easier to get creative with yogurt and keep the fats down…
- That drizzle of balsamic glaze adds a few carbs but SO much yummy sweet flavor at the end with no fat!
- OH– and it turns out if you pile your salad on top of a big soft warm greek pita and wrap it up piece by piece like a pizza/salad… that makes every salad amazing sooooo…. save some carbs. Or just use half!
I just keep experimenting on homemade dressings and this creamy basil vinaigrette one was a winner for me, but not quite good enough or low enough to share yet so Imma keep tryin. But honestly for a crunchy salad like this I love the basic ranch or ceasar from Bolthhouse or the Champagne vinaigrette from Trader Joes. Tell me if there’s some amazing magical- macro-friendly vinaigrette I’m really missing out on though k?
BLT Salad Flatbread
- 2-3 cups of romain or butter lettuce shopped small 185 g
- Handful of cherry tomatoes 40 g
- About ¼ cup corn cut from the cob or thawed from frozen works (40 g)
- 2-3 tbs chopped red onion 20 g
- About ¼ cup chopped bell pepper any color but green (40 g)
- 2-3 tbs fresh chopped basil
- 3.5 oz chopped grilled chicken 100 g
- 2 tbs reduced fat blue cheese 14 g
- 2 slices bacon I use the easy precooked kirkland brand and love it- microwave on a paper towel lined plate with NOTHING over it- 1:30 in my microwave but that varies so much.
- 2 tbs of your dressing of choice not included in the macros here since I was experimenting with a new homemade
- Drizzle of balsamic glaze 3 g or ml
- 1 Greek Pita (I LOVE the “Papa Pita” sold at Costco and my regular grocers like Ralphs and Staters.
- Chop everything and toss in dressing.
- Warm pita for just 30 seconds -1 minute per side in a dry pan on the stove till warm.
- Plate pita and cut in fourths.
- Top with about half the salad- but bring the other half to the table in your bowl– it’s all yours!
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze
- Pick up each wedge like a piece of salad topped pizza.
- Should I tell you how to chew?
- This is probably too many directions huh…
Tried this recipe?
Tag @LillieEatsAndTells on Instagram with #LillieEatsandTells! We’d love to see your creations!
This was amazing! I’m also having to work at liking creamy dressings. (Combo I’m tolerating best right now is bbq sauce + bolthouse honey mustard). For this salad though I tried a new-to-me light vinaigrette – Marzetti Simply Dressed light vinaigrette in light red wine italian. Verdict? Pretty good, especially for the macros and it’s not all thick and fake-syrupy like TJ’s FF balsamic (though I eat that a lot, thinned out with more vinegar).
This Marzetti one is 40 calories: 3f, 2c and 0p for 2 tablespoons. It was next to the bolthouse at my normal grocery store (Stop & Shop here in CT).
Meant to add too I ate this with Joseph’s pita for only 60 calories! Toasted, they are really quite good topped with salad!
I need to give it a go… I use them for quick small lunches after church when dinner’s in like 2 hours. ha. But I can never bare to swap them in for the big soft one. But I kind of believe you.
Oh this is SUCH GOOD feedback. I’ve seriously been debating doing some kind of poll to find out what the good bottled dressings are. I’m so sick of buying a new random on a whim and it’s just one more eh. I have so many in my outside fridge that I haven’t had the heart to toss yet but I’ll never grab. THANK YOU! You’re definitely speaking my dressing language.