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Looking for something lighter? These 5 salads at Vancouver eateries worth the trip

Salads under $20 make healthy eating easy, delicious, affordable

By Rachel Pinsky, Columbian freelance food writer
Published: January 19, 2024, 6:02am
5 Photos
Mediterranean Salad With Chicken from Ingrid&rsquo;s Good Street Food.
Mediterranean Salad With Chicken from Ingrid’s Good Street Food. (Photos by Rachel Pinsky) Photo Gallery

Now that holiday feasts are over, we’re ready to turn our intentions toward eating better. Here are five great salads that make healthy eating easy and delicious. Even better, they’re all under $20.

Beach House Salad

Beaches; 1919 S.E. Columbia River Drive, Vancouver; open 3 to 9 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

This Vancouver classic ranks among other iconic salads, like Caesar and Cobb, but strangely hasn’t caught on outside of our city. Served as an entree ($15) or a starter ($10), the not-so-secret ingredient to this mix of greens, candied cashews, jicama, snow peas and sesame seeds is the dressing. Beaches owner Mark Matthias shared the recipe for this Asian-inspired honey mustard dressing with Columbian food columnist Donna Ferguson in a 2020 article. The dressing is a tangy combination of Grey Poupon, cider vinegar and unseasoned rice vinegar sweetened with honey and blended with an egg for creaminess. It makes this salad irresistible.

Mediterranean Salad With Chicken

Ingrid’s Good Street Food and Paleo Grill; 1701 Broadway, Vancouver; open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

This year Ingrid Kenny and her husband, John Kenny, celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their Vancouver-based food business. They’ve extended hours on Tuesday through Friday to 6 p.m. so customers can grab one of their nutrition-backed flavorful salads, bowls, or wraps for dinner.

Ingrid’s generously portioned Mediterranean Salad ($15) comes with choice of chicken, falafel or gyro on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce, tomatoes, sweet red onion, feta cheese and Greek olives with a side of Ingrid’s tzatziki sauce made of Greek yogurt, fresh dill, lemon and garlic. On a recent visit, I chose to top my salad with chicken — warm and juicy sliced breast meat slathered with an aromatic spice blend.

Kale and Cherry Salad

AC Lounge; 333 W. Columbia Way, Vancouver; open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

The AC Lounge at the AC Hotel on Vancouver’s waterfront offers Caesar ($8-$12) and Cobb salad ($8-$14) along with some seasonal salads. Kale and Cherry Salad ($8 -$14) is currently featured. It comes as a crunchy blend of shredded kale, radicchio and cabbage mixed with funky bits of blue cheese, tart dried cherries and candied pecan coated in bracing white balsamic vinaigrette. I had the smaller salad ($8) which was a fairly generous size and very nicely priced. One perk of dining here is that parking in the hotel lot can be validated by your server.

Chopped Salad

Grassa; 780 Waterfront Way, Vancouver; open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

I’m obsessed with this salad. For me, it offers the perfect mix of freshness (from the crisp pieces of lettuce and chopped fresh herbs) and saltiness (from the strips of salami and provolone). The tender cannellini beans and chopped pepperoncini add layers of creaminess and fire. This dish comes drizzled with a zesty vinaigrette, coated with grated Grana Padano, and sprinkled with cracked black pepper and oregano. The meat, cheese and lack of veggie variety may nudge this to the edge of what’s considered healthful, but a bit of decadence mixed with fiber and protein fits within my resolution for this year.

Harissa Roasted Cauliflower

The Sedgwick; 801 Washington St., Vancouver; 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that The Sedgwick is open for lunch. The restaurant’s Harissa Roasted Cauliflower salad is one of my favorite dishes in Vancouver. This colorful mix of fruit and veg offers loads of flavor and nutrients. Florets of charred harissa-rubbed cauliflower come covered in smashed avocado, peas, mint and confit garlic, dotted with sweet and puckery candied blood orange and kumquats, and spiked with coconut curry and herb oil dressing. Pea shoots grown on site are strewn on top. This beautiful, hearty and flavor-packed dish is the perfect salad for people who don’t think they like vegetables.

Columbian freelance food writer