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500-Calorie Salad Menus

Salads are an easy way to minimize calories at a meal, and maximize nutrients.

From the WebMD Archives

We love topping greens with chicken or lean beef to make a salad hearty enough to be a main course. Browse through these salad recipes to choose your main dish, then pick from the suggested side dishes, desserts or drinks to round out your 500-calorie meal.

Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette

mixed lettuce salad with vinaigrette Keep your salads interesting by experimenting with different types of greens. Here, mild and delicate oak leaf and baby romaine lettuces pair wonderfully with peppery radishes and chopped hard-boiled eggs.

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Claire's Mixed Green Salad with Feta Vinaigrette

claires mixed green salad with feta Sweet cherry tomatoes make a satisfying "pop" in your mouth. Pair them with salty feta vinaigrette and spicy arugula and you have a winning combination. Adapted from Chef Steven Obranovich of Claire's Restaurant in Hardwick, Vermont.

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Baby Greens with Spicy Mediterranean Vinaigrette

Baby Beet Greens with Spicy Mediterranean Watching your weight doesn't mean you're stuck with Spartan salads. This one feels positively indulgent, with sweet-tart cranberries, smoky cheese, crunchy croutons and a spicy-sweet dressing.

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Spinach Salad with Japanese Ginger Dressing

spinach salad with japanese ginger This spinach salad tossed with spunky ginger dressing was inspired by the iceberg salads served at Japanese steakhouses across the U.S. Try topping it with cooked shrimp and you've got a healthy one-bowl lunch.

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Japanese Cucumber Salad

japanese cucumber salad This Japanese-inspired, cool, crisp salad is as elegant and well balanced as it is simple. Sesame seeds add appealing crunch, but if you don't have any handy a light drizzle of toasted sesame oil will work instead.

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Creamy Chopped Cauliflower Salad

creamy chopped cauliflower salad This caraway-flavored salad with crunchy cauliflower and apple is perfect in the fall or winter. Try it with Honeycrisp apples while they're in season.

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  • Simple Sautéed Spinach (68 calories)
  • Sliced strawberries (1/2 cup) with 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt (66 calories)

Hot & Sour Slaw

hot and sour slaw This creative combination of thinly sliced vegetables is tossed with a dressing full of the classic flavors of Chinese hot-and-sour soup -- vinegar, soy sauce, sesame, ginger and white pepper.

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Melon, Tomato & Onion Salad with Goat Cheese

melon tomato and onion salad This riff on the traditional tomato, mozzarella and basil salad is gorgeous and refreshing. Any variety of pale green- or orange-fleshed melon will work well. Compose the salad on a large platter for a crowd or assemble it on individual plates.

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  • Grilled whole-grain baguette (2 inches) (132 calories)
  • Quinoa with 2 teaspoons chives and a squeeze of lemon (1/2 cup) (111 calories)

Roasted Apple & Cheddar Salad

roasted apple and cheddar salad Roasted apples and Cheddar cheese turn an ordinary mixed green salad into something extra-special. You can use pears for this recipe as well.

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Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken

chopped greek salad with chicken This super-fast salad is a great way to get dinner on the table in a hurry. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand -- try substituting other chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers, for the tomatoes or cucumber. Use leftover chicken or quickly poach a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts while you prepare the rest of the salad.

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Grapefruit Chicken Satay Salad

grapefruit chicken satay salad This salad has a delicious dressing inspired by the peanut sauce served with Thai satays.

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  • Quinoa with 1 teaspoon each olive oil and chopped fresh mint (1/2 cup) (153 calories)
  • Garlic & Herb Pita Chips (117 calories)

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Spinach & Beet Salad with Chicken

spinach and beet salad with chicken Real maple syrup is the key to the richly flavored dressing on this elegant salad. The darker the syrup the better, for its deeper flavor goes a long way.

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  • Toasted whole-grain baguette (2 inches) (132 calories)
  • White wine (5-ounce glass) (116 calories)

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Smoky Ham & Corn Salad

smoky ham and corn salad Look for frisee, a light-green chicory with frilly leaves, for this dinner salad. Its sturdy texture and slightly bitter flavor hold up well when tossed with the smoky, creamy tomato dressing. This is a great salad for summer, when fresh corn is at its best. We call for store-bought croutons in this recipe to keep it quick, but if you have the time and extra bread try making your own.

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  • Nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt (1/2 cup) (95 calories)
  • White wine (5-ounce glass) (116 calories)

Thai Beef Salad

thai beef salad The steak for a Thai salad is often marinated before it's broiled and that's a shame, because most of those flavorings simply drip off. For the best taste, first sear the steak, then let it sit overnight in the marinade before tossing it with the greens.

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  • Curried Carrot Soup (123 calories)
  • Quinoa with chopped fresh mint and lime zest (1/2 cup) (111 calories)

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Asian-Style Grilled Tofu with Greens

Asian Style Grilled Tofu with Greens Here's a dish that will turn you into a tofu-and-greens lover! Try Asian greens (tatsoi, mizuna and/or pea shoots) packaged as a salad mix; their slightly bitter flavors stand up well to this aromatic, vinegary dressing. We use carrot juice in the dressing for a touch of sweetness -- look for it in the produce section of the supermarket.

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WebMD Menu from EatingWell
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