100-calorie salad boosters

I’m always on the lookout for new salad inspiration – you know I love my salads!

Last week, I received an email about the Cooking Light Big Book of Salads with a few salad ideas. They suggest starting with 1 1/2 cups of fresh greens, adding a tablespoon of vinaigrette and then give suggestions for boosters that are about 100 calories. I loved these ideas (and pictures) and wanted to share them with all of you. As listed, the salads are portioned for a side salad but I also included ways that you can turn these into a meal.

Asian Salad: 

To turn this salad into a meal, add 2-3 cups additional greens, 1/2 cup red pepper slices, 1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage and 4-6 oz of cubed and baked tofu.

Pear Salad: 

To turn this salad into a meal, add 2-3 cups additional arugula, 1/2 cup sliced cucumber and 4-6 oz baked salmon.

Southwest Salad: 

To turn this salad into a meal, add 2-3 additional cups of romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1 Tbsp diced red onion and 4-6 oz grilled chicken.

What are your favorite salad toppings?


  1. says

    That’s an interesting concept, but I use about 3-400 calories worth of boosters. If my salad is going to stand alone as a meal, it has to be pretty hefty! I love avocado + corn + bean + cheese combinations or a stinky cheese + nuts combo. All of the sudden I have a craving for a strawberry/pear gorgonzola salad – thanks!

    • Emily says

      Yes, I agree. If it is a meal salad, you could use double the boosters plus some protein. Strawberry + pear + gorgonzola sounds amazing!

  2. says

    I love this post! I eat salads as meals quite a bit–Taco Salads on Tuesdays are nearly a given with grape tomatoes, avocado, olives, black beans, corn, etc. But I will literally throw just about anything left over in my fridge or pantry on a salad. Grapes are one of my favorite salad components and I, too, would love to recreate Panera’s Strawberry Poppyseed salad at home this summer. I’ve never had a salad with tofu on it…something to try soon!

    • Emily says

      Beets are what it needed, I was racking my brain and couldn’t figure out what else would “go” with that salad – beets are perfect!

  3. says

    I saw that email and thought, what a great idea. My lettuce salads have been so boring that I like the ideas of little extra flavors to add without a ton of calories.

  4. says

    Mmm, I love adding fruit to salads. I recently had a warm goat cheese and walnut encrusted salad and it was delicious – I need to make it at home, it looked super simple!

    • Emily says

      I wish I had garbanzo beans, I would try that today for lunch! It sounds like a wonderful combination.

  5. says

    I love putting feta on my salads since it’s so much more flavorful than other kinds of cheese (I need to be able to taste it!) with some kind of fruit (grapefruit segments are a favorite) and sliced/chopped nuts. And of course, you could put avocado on a shoulder pad and I’d still eat it.

  6. says

    Mmm… love these ideas, especially the pear + goat cheese + salmon one! My fave salad lately: arugula + kale + raspberries + avocado + hard boiled eggs :)

  7. says

    I absolutely LOVE Cooking Light magazine…It’s the one and only magazine that I actually read back to front (I subscribe to many healthy living magazines that just get recycled for some reason!)

    Fav salad toppings? Almonds, goat cheese, apples, dried cranberries! How can you tell I live on the sweeter side of life? ;)

  8. Jamie says

    This is great! I love my salads too. I have become obsessed with throwing roasted beets with goat cheese and walnuts on a salad. The beets cut down on the need for extra vinaigrette because they are so juicy mixed with the creamy goat cheese! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>