Salad Bars to Signature Chopped Greens: Stay Healthy in the D

By: Amber Ogden | January 9, 2015

When pangs of hunger hit, there’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into… a crispy forkful of spring mix lettuce. You thought I was going to say something like “a juicy burger,” right? Not this time of year! We’re on the fast track to fitness, and that means no burgers for the time being.

If you’ve made a promise to yourself that this is the year you get yourself into shape, I will not torture you with anything besides healthy food articles for as long as I can handle. However, the salad joints I’m about to share with you will probably leave you drooling on your keyboard just as every other food article does. They may not be deep fried or battered, but they sure are delicious.

Who says you can’t eat well and still enjoy it? These salads are packed with so many flavors, not to mention so many nutrients; you’ll be ordering them all through 2015. Here are a few places to check out:

7 Greens Salad, 1222 Library St., Detroit, just opened last year and has tons of fresh, locally sourced and seasonal salads on its menu. This place doesn’t even have a freezer!

Try a 7 Greens Classic salad, such as the K Foxy (crisp romaine lettuce with shaved Parmesan, butterons and 7 Greens’ Caesar sauce), Detroit Greek (crisp iceberg lettuce, roasted beets, local feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, cucumbers and 7 Greens’ beet Greek sauce), or Woodward Cruise (mesclun with nappa cabbage, goat cheese, bacon, pistachio nuts and 7 Greens’ creamy balsamic sauce).

You can also build your own salad and top it with any one of 7 Green’s original homemade sauces, including chipotle ranch, creamy maple, green goddess and pomegranate sumac sauce. Don’t forget to try the granola while you’re there!

Salads UP, 611 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, is the project of two restaurant newbies who attended the University of Michigan (go green!), and came up with the idea for a restaurant that served healthy food made with local fruits and vegetables.

Signature salads include Robb’s Cobb (romaine with roasted chicken, egg, turkey bacon, grape tomatoes, feta crumbles and shallot balsamic vinaigrette), Kale Caesar! (kale with roasted chicken, grape tomatoes, shredded Parmesan cheese, croutons and classic Caesar dressing) and Maize and Bleu (arugula, kale, roasted shrimp, corn, sundried tomato, bleu cheese and shallot balsamic vinaigrette).

If you choose to build your own, start with a base of romaine, spinach, arugula or kale, then pick up to four ingredients, including homemade lavash chips, organic sunflower seeds, green apple, red onion, mixed peppers and diced sweet potatoes. For an upgrade, you can add premium ingredients like shredded white Cheddar cheese, raw tofu, organic quinoa and avocado. Top it with a dressing (spicy Sriracha vinaigrette? Yes, please), and you’re good to go!

Chop Fresh Salad Company, 100 Renaissance Center Level A, Detroit, opened its doors in 2013 and has been serving up fresh “do it yourself” salads ever since. You can create your own salad with up to six toppings for under $7. If that’s not a steal, I don’t know what is!

Be sure to peruse the chop signature salads before you begin building your own, though, because there are plenty that are seriously enticing. The Chop Spinach Chardonnay (spinach, bleu cheese, walnuts, red onion, mushroom, dried cranberries and mango chardonnay dressing), Chop Signature Salad (spring and iceberg mix with roasted red pepper, Mozzarella cheese, cucumber, tomato, scallions, black olives and house vinaigrette dressing) and Chop Vietnamese Noodle (spinach, noodles, Parmesan cheese, cucumber, carrot, red onion and Asian dressing) all fall into that category.

If you’ve burned enough calories on the elliptical for the day and feel like rewarding yourself, every salad on the menu can be served as a wrap with lavash wrap.

Insalata, 1919 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, is another great on the go option with a salad bar where you can create your favorite crispy, crunchy healthy bowl of goodness. The self-serve bar includes iceberg, romaine, field greens and spinach, which you can top with over 40 different toppings: fruits, veggies, croutons, you name it. If you’re picky about dressings, Insalata offers 15 different varieties, so it’s more than likely you will find something to fit your fancy.

Pile up as much as you can, and keep in mind that your healthy meal will only set you back $6.50/pound.

There’s no need to cry into a wilted bowl of lettuce when you have all of these fresh, healthy options at your fingertips, Metro Detroiters. Stick with those healthy aspirations and you’ll be meeting your goals in no time!