Just because you’re eating a salad, doesn’t mean you’re making a healthy choice.  Who wants to lessen the benefits of eating all those beautiful fruits and veggies by topping it off with a dressing that’s loaded with fat and empty calories?!

Men’s Health released a list of the worst salads in America for 2009.  I enjoy eating at P.F.Chang’s once in a while, and I’ve definitely had the following salad that made the list (oops!):

P.F. Chang’s Chicken Chopped Salad with Ginger Dressing
940 calories
68 g fat (10 g saturated)
2,225 mg sodium

What makes this salad so unhealthy?  Men’s Health explains it perfectly by saying, “The ginger dressing gives this salad a tangy Asian-style kick; it also packs in a whole day’s worth of sodium. Order this salad as a starter and you’ll be consuming the caloric equivalent of 3 ½ Snickers bars before your main meal even hits the table.”

Here’s the whole list of the Worst Salads of 2009.

The dressings you find at supermarkets have all sorts of bad ingredients in them as well (many of which I can’t pronounce).  The easy alternative?  Make your own dressing!  It’s so easy, so why not?  Here is my new favorite:

Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1/2 cup of honey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1 clove of garlic or 1 shallot (minced)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic/onion. Slowly whisk in olive oil to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper. 

This week I made it with a salad of mixed greens, thinly sliced fennel root, and 1 julienned granny smith apple.  Enjoy!

Shout out to Martha Stewart and White House Executive Chef for the recipe!