First things first! Happy Easter, I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend! I thought about posting something Easter inspired today but then I thought… that’s likely what everyone else is doing so I’m going to go against the grain and do something different… here goes!
There’s this salad, it’s called the “500 Salad” from a restaurant chain called JOEY. It’s amazing. I’ve probably ordered it a dozen times (no joke). It’s called the “500 Salad” because it is supposed to contain 500 calories.
Now, 500 calories isn’t a bad thing, the salad is full of fresh, healthy ingredients, but that “500” doesn’t include a protein, and I always like to include an animal protein to balance out my meal, so… essentially, the salad really becomes the 600 to 700 salad in the end.
Unfortunately, for little ol’ me, that’s just too many calories for one meal, especially because I eat 5 to 6 times per day! Although I’m not super nit-picky about my calorie intake (been there, done that, not fun), I do keep an overall awareness and mindfulness of what and how much I eat each day to maintain my overall health and feel good, not sluggish like I do if I overeat.
So, I took it upon myself to recreate this amazing little salad and revamp it a little to turn it into a “400 Salad” (perfect for me!) with protein included! I was really impressed at how much my version tasted like the restaurant salad even with a few hundred less calories and still a great amount of nutrition.
I bet you’re wondering…what does this amazingly delicious salad consist of?
Well, it begins with a bunch of kale and arugula tossed with diced cauliflower, cucumber, and a sprinkle of fresh mint in a sweet mustard vinaigrette (yum!). Next comes diced avocado, heirloom cherry tomatoes, crunchy chopped almonds, thinly sliced watermelon radish (which I got in my SPUD delivery this past week!), grilled, then chopped chicken breast, and another bunch of arugula for that added flair!
The combination is divine – fresh, crunchy, juicy and light with a hint of tangy sweetness! Can you see why I’ve ordered this salad over and over again?!
I decided to make some changes from the restaurant version by cutting down the sugar and oil in the dressing (the dressings in restaurant salads seem to always be the biggest culprit for unnecessary added calories), and omitting the quinoa, barley, and currants. Quinoa and barley are wonderful, healthy grains, but I wanted to ensure I was able to fit in a serving of protein while keeping this salad in the 400-calorie range. Plus, the array of vegetables add a nice amount of carbohydrates for energy and tie in well with the healthy fats and protein.
The salad dressing is light and simple! A combination of olive oil, vinegar, shallots, honey, and mustard; a perfect mix of sweet, tangy, and salty! I love when my salads are just lightly dressed (no sloppy salads please!) so I only use about a tablespoon of dressing. Although the portion may be small, the flavour goes a long way!
If you have a JOEY Restaurant in your city and you haven’t tried the “500 Salad” it’s definitely worth ordering (with easy dressing…), and if you don’t have one… just make my revamped version and experience the deliciousness at home!!
- 8oz baked or grilled chicken breast, chopped
- 2 cups kale
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- ½ cup finely diced cauliflower
- ½ cup cucumber, diced
- ½ cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
- ½ small avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
- Cook the chicken as preferred, chop and set in a bowl in the fridge to cool.
- In a large bowl add the kale, arugula, mint, cucumber, cauliflower and mix to combine.
- In a small jar add the dressing ingredients and shake vigorously until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the kale mixture and toss to coat.
- Divide the kale mixture among two plates.
- Divide the tomatoes, radish, avocado, and almonds between each plate by layering over the kale mixture.
- Garnish with a few springs of arugula.
Do you have a restaurant salad or meal that you just love and have revamped yourself at home? I’d love to hear about it!
Have a wonderful Easter Sunday!
Nutritionist in the Kitch