Fast food has a reputation these days that rivals that of Justin Bieber. However, while some of the criticism falling on the unhealthy lifestyle fast food promotes is warranted, there are some delicious fresh and healthy options as well in the form of salads. These can also be found at the new batch of “fast casual” restaurants, which typically don’t have a drive thru, but allow you a quick in and out if you call your order in ahead of time. So before you ditch the option of getting a fast meal on the go, here are some delicious salads to consider.
McDonald’s Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken, 290 calories, 8 grams of fat, 27 grams of protein. This hearty salad is full of flavor with ingredients like fire-roasted corn, black beans, roasted tomatoes and poblano peppers. It is garnished with a lime wedge and tortilla strips for crunch. Just make sure you get it with grilled chicken (they also offer crispy) and choose a reduced fat salad dressing.
Wendy’s Asian Cashew Chicken Salad, 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, 35 grams of protein. This unique salad contains edamame, spicy roasted cashews, warm chicken and a light spicy Asia chili vinaigrette dressing. It is a salad with unique flavor that truly packs a punch.
Panera Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad, 350 calories, 13 grams of fat, 29 grams of protein. Panera is known for high quality ingredients and this salad lives up to that reputation, with fresh strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, pecans, antibiotic-free chicken, romaine lettuce and fat-free poppyseed dressing. This fresh and colorful salad tends to be seasonal during warmer months, so get it while you can!
McAlister’s Savannah Chopped Salad, 440 calories, 16 grams of fat, 32 grams of protein. McAlister’s salads are generous in size and this one is no exception as it bursting with grilled chicken, gorgonzola cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, cranberries and honey roasted almonds. To keep it healthy, I always order this salad with the fat free chipotle peach dressing which complements the ingredients nicely.
These salads are great examples of how eating fast doesn’t always have to be a bad choice. Not only are they low in fat and calories, but also full of nutrient rich lean meat, vegetables and some fruit. However all salads are not created equal, so check the nutritional information before venturing into other options. Some salads can be just as full of fat as the cheeseburger you are trying to avoid!