Salads - do you love them, or loathe them? Do you eat them because you enjoy them, or only when you're on a health kick or trying to lose weight? These days, there is such a wide variety of salads available, they can be enjoyed by everyone as a complete meal in itself - not just when we want to lose a few kilos. When I was growing up the options weren't as tempting as they are today - it was just plain old garden salads, potato salads and pasta salads to choose from. These days however, you may find pomegranate, citrus, seeds, salmon, roast vegetables, lemon or almonds lurking under all that curly, pesticide-free lettuce.
If you want to try something new this summer, then check out the following venues around the city who are renowned for their creative, tempting and popular salad ranges. Finding a good salad for less than $10 can be tricky to find - but not impossible!
Enjoy a wide range of flavours at Thr1ve. Image: Thr1ve Facebook
Thr1ve is a healthy takeaway franchise with 10 outlets around the country, including 1 in the Canberra Centre. They have a wide range of salad options, with many that adhere to the paleo lifestyle. Their salad menu changes seasonally, with most of the options around the $11 - $14 mark, however they usually have at least one $10 option on their menu. At the time of writing, the Spring and Summer menu for 2017 has three $10 options - Clean Pesto Penne, Saigon Salad and Nicoise Salad. The flavours are well matched, extremely flavoursome and although the salad may seem a little small when you take off the lid, they are the perfect serving size and calories for a healthy lifestyle. See here for details and here for the latest menu.
Prices: $10 - $15 per bowl, one size.
Saigon Salad - Gluten free amaranth noodles, superfood slaw, spinach, spring onions, coriander, toasted peanuts and ginger and soy dressing ($10)
Top Juice is renowned for their juices and smoothies, however they also have a small range of affordable salads to enjoy them with. The choices are listed on their website, however each outlet that I have been to in Canberra have just 3 choices. I must admit to only trying one - the Chicken Dukka Salad. I have all the good intentions of trying a new salad each time I visit, however I enjoy the sweet and savoury combination so much that I just keep going back for more! It is particularly delicious and also the most affordable on this list at $6.90 for a small salad - bargain! See here for store locations - with a Belconnen store coming soon.
Prices: Small - $6.90, Medium - $7.90, Large - $8.90.
Chicken Dukkah Salad - chicken breast, dukkah, couscous, parsley, red capsicum, green capsicum, carrot, sesame seed, raisin and shallot. Dressing: vegetable oil, tomato sauce, salt, ground pepper (small size for $6.90)
Soul Origin can be found in most of the large shopping centres in Canberra - the Canberra Centre, Gungahlin Marketplace, Belconnen Westfield, Woden Westfield and Tuggeranong Hyperdome. Each of these franchises have an impressive and long display of salad options piled high, with over a dozen choices on offer. If you are looking for something to fill you up at lunchtime, then try the Crumbed Chicken Pasta, with chicken schnitzel and penne pasta in a mild sauce - with a hint of chilli. It is guaranteed to fill you up past the 3pm slump! See here for details. Also check out Sumo Salad for their tasty options.
Prices: Small - $8.50 (2 choices), Medium - $9.90 (up to 3 choices), Large - $11.90 (up to 4 choices).
Crumbed Chicken Pasta - crumbed chicken, penne pasta, fresh capsicum, red onion and parmesan, mixed in a chilli mayo dressing ($8.50)
The Goods Wholefoods opened up in mid-2017 and is a popular salad destination for local workers in the west of the city. This café is popular for both takeaway and eat-in options, with choices of small, medium or large takeaway boxes or bowls - which they will fill with as many types of salads you like. This venue just sneaks into the "less than $10" cut-off, as the small size is $8 for the salad and you can add proteins for an extra cost if you wish. See here for details and here for a full article on The Goods Wholefoods.
Prices: Small - $8, Medium - $11, Large - $14.
Small roast vegetable & caramelised onion and herbed potato salad ($8) - I also added free range chicken on top for an extra $3.50
Organic Kitchen is located at the back of Mountain Creek Wholefoods in Griffith. This unassuming, tucked away little organic salad bar has a few delicious salads to choose from - which match perfectly with their quiches, vegan patties and organically-made delicacies. It doesn't matter which one you pick, it will be exploding with fresh, organic flavour. The small takeaway container at Organic Kitchen is $9 per salad - just sneaking in under $10. See here for details.
Have you got a favourite takeaway outlet that you visit for a salad - for less than $10? If so, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your local tips. I don't know about you, but my favourite salads are the ones which have the most obscure and creative ingredients lurking underneath the greens...
Spot the organic blueberries in this delicious salad! A kale, quinia and blueberries salad from Organic Kitchen, Griffith (small size $9)