Annette Sym
Annette Sym Contributed

Tasty tips for traditional salad

FOR anyone wishing to lose weight or go on a healthy diet, salads are normally an important part of meal times.

Salad ingredients have little if any fat and are really low in kilojoules which means they can be eaten often without restriction.

We should aim to have at least five serves of vegetables a day, so having a large salad at lunch and a pile of veggies with dinner will easily help you to reach your daily requirements.


To keep salads interesting and healthy let's take a look at what are the best options for slimmers:

1)  MAYONNAISES AND DRESSINGS - Make sure you only use the low-fat varieties such as 97% fat free mayonnaises and the no-oil dressings.

2)  NUTS - Need to be used sparingly on salads. Even though nuts are good for you they are high in fat and so must be eaten in moderation. Roast raw nuts as this gives them more flavour which means you need less. For example 50g of cashews equals 25g of fat.

3) AVOCADO - Just like nuts, avocado is also a healthy addition to a salad but be careful as avocados are high in fat - for example 50g equals around 11g of fat.

4)  CHEESE or EGGS - Always a popular choice to go in a salad but can increase the fat count considerably. For example, every egg added is around 6g of fat and 50g tasty cheese is 17g of fat and 50g is not a lot of cheese.

5)  OIL - Most salad dressings use oil as their base ingredient so either choose the low or no oil dressings available or use sparingly. Virgin olive oil is the healthiest of all oils to use on salads. For cooking use sunflower oil.

6)  FRIED CROUTONS - A popular addition to a salad, especially the Caesar. My best tip here is to make your own as they normally are fried and high in fat. The slim way is to toast bread slices, cut into squares. Bake in oven until dried. Not difficult and way lower in fat.

7)  Other options that go great in a salad are sliced mushrooms, sprouts, salad onion or shallots, corn kernels, mung beans, washed canned kidney beans, chick peas, sliced carrot and celery sticks, capsicum, diced apple or sultanas.

8)  There are several varieties of lettuce which can give a salad a colourful look, or slice some green or red cabbage through the mix and for something a little different use English spinach instead of lettuce. For more great ideas check out my cookbooks which have some great salad recipes.


Annette's cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-7 are sold in all good newsagencies.

Visit Annette's website for more tips and recipes.

You can also join Annette's Facebook page at Symply Too Good.




Caesar salad
Caesar salad


  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup 97% fat-free mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • 3 slices multigrain bread
  • cooking spray


  • ¾ cup (90g) bacon short cut
  • 1 large cos lettuce
  • 1 punnet (250g) cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

To make 1 cup of Dressing: Boil egg for 6 minutes, cool slightly then shell. Place all ingredients except egg into food processor or blender, blend for 30 seconds. Add egg, blend for 10-15 seconds.

To make 1 cup of Croutons: Heat oven to 200°C fan forced. Toast bread, then cut into small cubes, place bread on baking tray. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until brown and hard.

To make Salad: Cut bacon into small cubes, microwave or dry fry bacon, drain on paper towel. Wash lettuce leaves, break into chunks and place in a large salad bowl. Scatter tomatoes and bacon over lettuce. Add ½ cup dressing (refrigerate remaining dressing for another time). Toss ingredients together. Sprinkle croutons and cheese on top. Serve.



Nutritional Information

PER PERSON                             CAESAR                   CHICKEN

FAT                 TOTAL                       6.7g                             5.7g

                        SATURATED                        2.4g                             1.7g

FIBRE                                                 3.8g                             3.8g

PROTEIN                                           9.3g                           20.6g

CARBS                                             16.9g                           16.7g

SUGAR                                              8.1g                             7.8g

SODIUM                                         604mg                         411mg

KILOJOULES                                698 (cals 166)             852 (cals 203)

GI RATING                                       Low                              Low

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