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Salads – The Big Lie

March 18th, 2010

Whenever it’s time to lose some weight, millions of people resort to the big lie. That salads are somehow low calorie and good for you.

It is theoretically possible to eat a low-calorie salad. But no one ever actually eats one. If anything, the big lie allows us to satiate our hunger, while pretending that we’re being well behaved.

Now I sense that you doubt my completely accurate and correct theory, so let me try to convince you.

Fact: Everything that tastes good is highly caloric.

Let’s face it; the first thing that makes salad tasty is salad dressing. Lettuce is the most boring food item ever discovered by man, and without a pint of salad dressing, it has the flavor of crunchy water. It’s only one step better than tofu (I look forward to your emails)

But salad dressing isn’t enough is it? Yes, sometimes we start with the best of intentions. “I’ll just dress my salad up with some carrots. How about some tomatoes? Maybe some cucumber? But the blandness is the top of the slippery slope.

It begins with the croutons. How bad can they be? Not realizing that the garlicky goodness is glued on with butter and Parmesan, and that they are little chunks of carbohydrates.

And don’t they always say, “everything in moderation?” So a little cheese couldn’t hurt, could it?

Wait a minute! Aren’t I supposed to be eating more protein? Wouldn’t this salad have a lot more protein if I cover it with grilled chicken or that tasty chili-lime shrimp? Are those blueberry muffins to the right of the salad bar?

But this is the gateway salad. Soon you’ll be ordering Taco Salads, or salads covered in Tritip steak. Hey! This salad comes in a taco shell bowl, that I can eat! I can eat the bowl!!!

Now after reading all this, you may think I’m anti-salad. Not true! I just think we should be honest with ourselves, and realize that the veggies are just an excuse to mix our favorite things in a big bowl, and cover them in blue cheese and bacon bits.

When I worked at Akimbo, we used to go to lunch at this great little place called the Railroad Cafe. My friends took great glee in mocking me over my love of their Chef Salad, which may be one of the best lunches, ever!

The thing that made it so wonderful were the cubes of turkey, ham, cheddar and swiss cheese, which could be used to make fun shapes. Just like Legos, only delicious! And I built many a lunchtime structure.

Yes, I did make little toys out of meat and cheese, and ate the lettuce last (occasionally), covered in salad dressing.

The most wonderful of salads is made at my favorite Micro-brewery, Callahan’s. It’s called the Karate Chop salad, and it starts by bathing every square inch of lettuce with both Ranch and Italian dressing. Then they cover it with shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, turkey, and toss in some olives and tomatoes to keep up the pretense that it has vegetation.

It has to be at least 2,500 calories!

So what I’m saying is this: Salads can be tasty, whether or not they are covered in grilled chicken. But let’s admit to ourselves that if they’re tasty, they’re caloric!

3 Responses to “Salads – The Big Lie”

  1. BC Says:

    I might be able to think of one exception to this. When done right, a good Caesar salad can taste pretty darn good without an excessive number of calories, even after adding something like chicken or shrimp. That being said, pay no attention to the sodium behind the curtain…

  2. Peter Kevin Reeves Says:

    Caesar salad is drenched in a mayonaise based dressing that is doused onto every leaf of lettuce. Followed by a pile of parmesan for extra, cheesy goodness. No wonder its so tasty! Before the chicken, its pushing 1,000 calories!

  3. BC Says:

    Clarification… I have had some *low-fat* Caesar salads that were still tasty. You’re right in the fact that if made as-intended, they can get up there in calories in a hurry. Then again, 1k calories for a meal intended to replace lunch or dinner isn’t that bad!

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