Friday, July 26, 2013

Review Request: Pret A Manger's new summer salads

Ms. Classy and I were invited to try a few summer salad selections from Pret A Manger’s summer menu.  Before arriving, Ms. Classy researched which items looked the most delectable while still being low-calorie. Based on the menu descriptions and nutritional information, we went with these three options:

Falafel Meze Salad – This salad consists of three falafels, fresh spinach and romaine lettuce, flavorful Kalamata olives, juicy grape tomatoes, and crisp red onions.  And what summer salad is complete without crisp cucumber slices?  The hummus is centralized in one scoop and the tzatziki sauce is secured in a small cup so you can use as much or as little as you like.  All the ‘cold’ elements were fresh, flavorful, and pleasing.  Unfortunately, we didn’t care for the falafels; they were very dry.


Wild Salmon Salad – This salad was our unanimous favorite.  Unfortunately we chose this one for the mini-size selection.  The fresh sockeye salmon, the tender mesclun, the slight pepperiness of the arugula, combined with the creaminess of the tzatziki sauce make this a tasty summer salad.




Italian Prosciutto & Quinoa Salad – I’m a newcomer to the joys of quinoa.  Now blended with edamame (already an established favorite with me), there’s no going wrong there.   And prosciutto is only second to bacon in the world’s most perfect meat contest.  There is only one flaw with this salad: there’s no sauce or dressing.  There is a lemon wedge for squeezing, but it is a dry salad.  Sure you could have something added, but that would also add to the calorie count.

We came away with a mixed view of our selections.  On one hand, hardcore calorie counters will not have to spend much time counting when ordering these options.  These salads are very low-calorie, can provide a satisfying meal, and still fit into highly calorie-restrictive diets, such as the fast diet.  Also, each of the ingredients were fresh and of the highest quality.  On the other hand, we could also tell that certain sacrifices were made to keep the calorie count low.  The falafels were very dry and the Italian Prosciutto & Quinoa Salad lacked a spread/dressing/sauce to tie all of the tasty ingredients together.  But dieting does require sacrifice and discipline and these salads to give a lot of flavor with satisfying serving sizes for the least amount of calories.  Ms. Classy and I recommend the Wild Salmon Salad for anyone looking for a tasty and satisfying low-calorie salad.

-Mr. Cheap Eats
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