January 1, 2008

Healthy Meal: Iceberg Salad with Tangy Cilantro Dressing

Tonight I’m trying to save lots of calories for all the alcohol I’ll be drinking, so I wanted something light. When I started thinking about it, for some reason I got a craving for this simple salad with a yummy cilantro-lime-onion dressing. It’s very simple and very low-cal, but unfortunately not that nutritious… can’t win them all! Usually this gets paired with a meal (I usually make chicken tortilla soup with it, and go for a Mexican theme), so it doesn’t matter too much. Just make sure you aren’t eating it by itself every day or you won’t be getting all the vitamins and minerals and protein and fat you need. I had it with a Trader Joe’s beef taquito to get just a bit of protein, without a ton of calories or cooking time.

The recipe actually calls for it to be just lettuce with the dressing, but I like to add tomatoes, cucumber, and carrots to give it some texture/substance as well as a few nutrients. I usually make it with spinach or some other kind of greens, because iceberg lettuce is just kind of filler without anything good for you. However, tonight I decided to go traditional and just use a quarter head of iceberg. As you can see, this is a TON! I had a huge salad that was really filling.

Recipe notes:
These are the notes that pertain to the dressing. I kept the lime juice and the vinegar in the same proportions, but only used 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. When I’ve add it a little at a time, I’ve discovered that 1/2 cup just isn’t necessary – I think it would be way too oily if you kept it as-is. Mine does come out thicker, but I like it that way, and it still mixes into the salad well.

Nutrition facts:
94 cals for the dressing (recipe here)
86 cals for the veggies (1/4 head iceberg lettuce, 1 tomato, 1/2 cucumber, 1 carrot)
100 cals for the beef taquito

Review: 5/5
Recipes like this always make me wonder why people get store-bought dressing – this is so easy! This is a great salad that’s fantastic as a side dish to Mexican food. If you want it on its own and want to add some protein, I think it would taste fantastic with some sliced grilled chicken on top. I love that the only ingredient that I don’t keep on hand is the cilantro – makes shopping very quick and easy when you don’t have to make a long list just to make dinner! Try this if you’re in the mood for something tangy and fresh-tasting, without a ton of calories.


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