Friday, July 23, 2010

Baja - Ahhh.....

You know I try to cook for myself whenever possible, and when I'm unable to I aim for the freshest, healthiest restaurant fare available. However, there are those occasions when for whatever reason that's not possible. Last night was a perfect example. We were in the car headed to Ormond, already late in our departure. It was dinnertime, there was nothing portable at home to tote along, and I was hungry. Oh, and we had a wolfdog in the car, thereby limiting our dining out options considerably. Beren grabbed a bologna sandwich (ewww!) and some potato chips (groan) but I wasn't going to settle for that so I waited, and pondered. After about an hour on the road I asked him to pull into Wendy's. I'd seen ads for a new line of salads and wanted to give them a try. Perusing the drive-thru menu while holding back an overly-friendly dog who wanted nothing more than to greet the terrified attendant, I settled on the Baja Salad.

Looks pretty good, right? Until you check out the nutritional content: 740 calories and 47 grams of fat! Whoa, Baby! That's quite a bit of calories & fat for a "healthy" salad, don't you agree? Fortunately I was able to make some alterations. Since they forgot to include the packet of tortilla strips (maybe Loki had something to do with that) I didn't add those, nor did I eat the chili. I'm not a big meat-eater anyway, and honestly couldn't imagine dumping a bowl of hot chili on top of the cool crispness. By eliminating those items and only using half of the dressing, I brought the calories down to only about 450 calories. Still a bit high but avocado is good fat and I thoroughly enjoyed this salad, would definitely purchase it again should I find myself in a similar predicament.

Now, what I'd prefer to do is make my own (similar) version after a tiny bit of research I've found that I'm able to do just that! Thanks to Cooking Light, they never let me down!

Southwestern Cobb Salad

Other Time: 20 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil

3 slices center-cut bacon
Cooking spray
8 ounces skinless, boneless turkey breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 cups torn romaine lettuce
1/2 cup refrigerated fresh pico de gallo
1/2 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1. To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk; set aside.

2. To prepare salad, cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Increase heat to medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle turkey with salt. Add turkey to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until done.

3. Arrange 2 cups lettuce on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 2 teaspoons bacon, 5 tablespoons turkey, 2 tablespoons pico de gallo, 2 tablespoons avocado, 2 tablespoons queso fresco, 1 tablespoon onions, and about 1/3 cup beans. Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over salads.

CALORIES 293 ; FAT 13.6g (sat 2.5g,mono 7.2g,poly 3g); CHOLESTEROL 44mg; CALCIUM 117mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19.9g; SODIUM 455mg; PROTEIN 22.4g; FIBER 6.6g; IRON 3.1mg

Cooking Light, JULY 2010

With all of those calories I saved, I'll be able to enjoy a low-cal margarita for Happy Hour! Olé!!

Have a Beauty-Full Day,


  1. Oh my!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cob salad and I LOVE Baja salads! I must try this!! It looks so yummy! Love the picture! You look great!! :)

  2. Looking BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks for sharing the info about the recipe @ Wendys ~ OMG!!! The calories!! And thanks for sharing what looks to be an awesome recipe that I will have to give a whirl this wkend!!! Blessings!

  3. That is amazing isn't how many calories and fat grams can be on a salad! Might as well have a big mac! Your recipe sounds delish!
    Have a pretty day!

  4. No joke -- email me your mailing address and I will send you some fresh avocados -- right off the tree. I am fortunate enough to live in the avo capital of the U.S. and have trees ripening as we speak. No joke. You can email me by way of my website, and I'll match the print to your comment on my blog.

    Every salad deserves a REAL avo :-) True.

  5. It's crazy that there is hardly anything to eat at fast food places. That doesn't stop, sadly.

    Bologna and potato chips ~shiver~

    Great blog!

  6. Orange Kitteh, thank you, sweetie! xoxoox

  7. Thank you, Jen! Do let me know how you like the salad. Blessings to you, too. xoxoxo

  8. BigGiantHat, thank you for visiting my blog! As you can see, I occasionally like to wear big hats, too. ;)

  9. Kristin, hope you have a pretty day as well! xoxoox

  10. Roy (Emergefit), what an incredibly generous offer! Are you sure you have enough to spare? Hmm...wondering if I have anything growing that I might exchange with you. How do you feel about mango?

  11. It really annoys me when food outlets turn, what should be healthy alternatives, into calorie filled disasters.

    Well done for finding a healthier recipe.

  12. Mark, I agree, it's annoying and unnecessary!

  13. I have to admit that about twice a year I allow my trashy side to indulge in baloney sammiches and tater chips.

    But your Southwestern Cobb is something I'd eat every single day!