Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
The List

The List: Salads that will make you smile

I'll begin this list with a much shorter, sadder list.

Corn.

That's it. That's the long version of the list of vegetables I would eat before I met my wife, Kayla. And, to be honest, corn joined the list when I was about 18. Let's just say that, while growing up, I was about as finicky as eaters get.

Today, I have another list.

Onions.

That's pretty much the only veggie I won't eat (happily).

The key? Like any loving, creative caretaker, Kayla came up with unique ways to work veggies into recipes. Slowly, but surely, I was able to remove the cheese, dressing, etc., and enjoy many vegetables on their own, many of them even (gulp) raw!

As I entered my 30s, it got harder and harder to keep the extra pounds off. Exercise alone wouldn't cut it anymore. So I started enjoying a salad for lunch a few days a week. OK, maybe I didn't enjoy it, initially. Today, I love my salads, and I love thinking outside the plate with my combinations.

Here are five combinations that might just help picky eaters take them down with a smile. With a light hand, any of them can check in at fewer than 500 calories. If you're looking to lose weight, measure everything, and track it. Take it from a father of 8-month-old twins: I understand it sounds time-consuming. But eventually, you'll be able to eyeball your ingredients.

1) The Entry-Level: This was my starter salad, and I still go back to it frequently.

• Crisp greens

• Grilled chicken, salted, and peppers and cut into strips

• Cooked bacon, chopped small

• Sharp cheddar cheese, grated

• Light ranch dressing

2) From Asia, With Love: To streamline grocery shopping, I usually make all of my salads with my green of choice, spinach. But this one would be great with crisp greens and cabbage.

• Grilled chicken, cut into strips (marinate it with soy/sesame oil, if you have the time)

• Mandarin oranges

• Chow mein noodles

• Sesame dressing (I'm a big fan of Kraft's light toasted sesame)

Optional: Throw in some edamame for protein. But go easy. They're packed with calories, albeit good ones.

3) The Indoor Tailgate: Nothing like deconstructing a brat into salad form. Even non-Wisconsinites will feel their mouths water over this one.

• Spinach

• Grilled brat, cut into medallions

• Hot cauliflower (I found this little miracle at Kroger. Anything picked is great to cut through the greasiness of that brat)

• Red/yellow/orange bell peppers, chopped

• Light ranch dressing

4) The Green Hawaiian: If you like the pizza, you'll love, ... well, at least like ... the salad.

• Baby kale

• Cooked bacon, chopped small

• Cubed ham (You can go without this, by all means. You can do it, Capt. Carnivore)

• Fresh pineapple chunks

• Roasted almonds

• Chickpeas (canned or fresh-cooked and drained)

5) The Bleu Apple: Totally ripped off this one from one of Kayla's favorite blogs, theKitchn.

• Baby spinach

• Chicken breast, grilled or sautéed

• Apple, chopped and submerged in water (drain before using)

• Blue cheese crumbles

• Pearl barley, cooked

Your turn. Which salad recipe do you crave most?

Loading more