Make the Most of the Salad Bar

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 2.59.53 PMIn an attempt to avoid the freshman 15 — or any other weight gain for that matter — many of us head to the dining hall salad bar day after day. And after a while, the lack of variety makes salads seem boring, and we may be tempted to binge out on some less-than-healthy options later on. To avoid salad-bar-boredom, here are some creative options to make eating at the salad bar a little more exciting.


1. Taco Bar Salad

The “make-your-own taco and quesadilla night” provides all you need for a flavor-filled taco salad.

What you’ll need:

– Pre-cut grilled chicken (taco bar)

– Greens (salad bar)

– Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers (salad bar)

– Toppings from the taco bar: Guacamole, salsa, cheese, onions

Mix ingredients and crush tortilla chips on top for crunch.

2. Chef Salad

This simple and quick salad is perfect for a lunch break in between classes.

What you’ll need:

– Greens (salad bar)

– 2 hard-boiled eggs (salad bar)

– Cherry tomatoes and green peppers (or any desired vegetables from the salad bar)

– 1 slice of swiss, cheddar, American, or provolone cheese (sandwich station)

– 2 slices of cold cuts; turkey, chicken breast, ham, or roast beef (sandwich station)

– French or ranch dressing (salad bar)

Mix ingredients and sprinkle dressing on top.

3. Chicken Pasta Salad

Avoid the pre-made pasta salad that is usually soaked with oil and unwanted fats. With a few steps you can make your own chicken pasta salad!

What you’ll need:

– Penne pasta (pasta or gluten-free bar)

– Grilled chicken (bbq station)

– Steamed broccoli and peppers (Stir-fry station, no added sauce)

– Spinach, cherry tomatoes (salad bar

– Fat-free itallian or balsamic vinegar dressing (salad bar)

Slice the chicken and stir ingredients until dressing is evenly distributed.

4. Strawberry Mandarin Salad

Try this salad on a day when you need something that is as refreshing as it is unique. 

What you’ll need:

– Greens (salad bar)

– Strawberry and mandarin slices (fruit bar)

– Walnuts and almonds (nut and peanut butter station)

– Sliced turkey (sandwich station), tofu (vegan station) or grilled chicken (bbq station) for protein

– Raspberry vinaigrette dressing (salad bar)

Mix ingredients.

By Nora Patwell