Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Salads and Zalads

In the past 5 days I have had the unfortunate experience of eating a Subway salad and a Zaxby's salad.  I had to stay late at work and had not brought food from home.  The salad from Subway was nothing special, and I was still hungry after eating it.  At least I did not feel gross and bloated like I did after eating the Blackened, Blue chicken salad from Zaxby's.  Both salads contained mostly ice-burg lettuce, anemic tomato slices, and a few other random veggies.  However, the chicken from Zaxby's was coated in a salty spice mix and by the time I was done eating it I felt like drinking a gallon of water.  The blue cheese crumbles probably didn't help, however I feel better about eating those than processed orange american cheese.  Also, the buttered toast was too much for me to resist... If I ever have to decide between one of them again, I think I'll just go to Wendy's instead and get a side salad and baked potato.  Today I'm making my own salad, so here is my calorie and cost breakdown.  I'm rounding to the nearest $ that I paid since cost will differ depending upon where you live.

Subway salad with grilled chicken breast and FF honey mustard dressing: $6 for 160kcal, 2.5g fat, 395mg sodium or... 0.0375 cents per kcal.

Zaxby's Blackened Blue Zalad with 1/2 packet of mediteranian dressing: $7 for 588kcal, 27g fat, 1712mg sodium or.... 0.0119 cents per kcal.  (ACK! I can't believe I ate that).

My salad with fresh romaine lettuce, mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, raisins, red bell pepper slices, walnuts, feta, and homemade mustard vinaigrette and a small piece or homemade cornbread with orange jelly: $2 for  469kcal, 25g fat (Almost all unsaturated), 635mg sodium or...0.00426 cents per kcal.

While the ingredients and produce to make your own salad may initially seem expensive, when you break it down into one salad, it comes out much less expensive and much much healthier.


  1. Thanks for doing this cost analysis. We've been eating lots of salads at home recently and my wife figures they cost about $10 a plate (US dollars). But she hasn't actually done the calculations except in her head.


  2. No problem Steve. I like playing with the numbers, and using my foodservice skills. Thanks for the feedback!