If you are looking for the best salad in Dubai, you may find it hard to choose. Healthy salads come in a range of flavour profiles with a variety of ingredients, making it hard for many to settle on just one as their preferred healthy salad in the city. Before you settle on a favourite, here are 10 of the best salads you should try while in the UAE.
1. Caesar Salad
The Caesar salad is one of the best-known options available. Most restaurants feature at least one version of this classic, ranging in size from traditional appetiser or side to full-scale entrée.
Most Caesar salads start with a healthy base of romaine lettuce, providing a strong foundation and a satisfying crunch. Croutons and Parmesan are also quintessential ingredients, as well as the distinct dressing and a healthy dose of fresh pepper.
To take this salad out of the starter category and into the entrée arena often involves the addition of protein. Some healthy salad options include grilled chicken or turkey bacon in some versions that come with higher fat and calorie counts.
2. Goat Cheese Salad
A goat cheese salad showcases the distinct flavour of a hard goat cheese across a bed of mixed greens. Healthy salads in this category traditional use dark leafy greens as they offer more vitamins and minerals than options like an iceberg.
Cherry tomatoes can add a sense of brightness along with balsamic vinegar featured either as part of a vinaigrette or reduction. Walnuts are also a wonderful addition, providing an additional flavour, a sense of slight sweetness, protein, and healthy fats.
3. Spicy Thai Beef Salad
Thai spices such as basil, coriander, and chilli can be used to elevate a healthy salad into a flavourful dining experience. Lightly grilled beef cut into thin slices is placed over a bed of mixed greens, adding protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Cherry tomatoes add a light sweetness while lime provides a hint of acidity to balance the dish. Sesame seeds add a layer of flavour, and an Asian dressing brings the full profile together.
4. Moroccan Lentil Salad
For those interested in a healthy salad with a Moroccan flair, a Moroccan lentil salad can be an ideal option. Healthy lentils create the base of the salad and are cooked with regional spices to create the full flavour profile. Often, these salads also include grilled and roasted vegetables like zucchini and red pepper, helping to bring the flavours forward with a subtle sweetness. Cherry tomatoes add a level of brightness when combined with citronette dressing, a form of citrus vinaigrette. A bit of feta cheese adds some creaminess and mint helps highlight the other Moroccan spices.
If you are interested in adding more protein, grilled chicken works well with the other flavours involved. You can also select vegetarian options like almonds or walnuts.
5. Cobb Salad
Cobb salads come in a variety of flavour profiles, some of which create fairly healthy salads for those interested in something beyond a simple vegetable salad. Most begin with a bed of romaine lettuce and a range of toppings based on the style. Some classic additions include hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and avocado. For those looking to make a healthier version, egg whites may be used instead of whole hard-boiled eggs.
Healthy salads made in Cobb salad style also include skinless chicken breast or roasted turkey and may use turkey bacon. Most Cobb salads also feature cheese, with blue cheese being the traditional option. However, it can be removed if you want to make sure your healthy salad version doesn’t have the added fat associated with a cheese topping or you can choose a lighter option like white cheddar.
6. Mexican Style Salad
Whether you lean towards a traditional taco salad or prefer to Mexican flavours in a healthier variant, Mexican style salads combine ingredients like avocado, sour cream and salsa with other classics like sweet corn and black beans.
Some Mexican style salads are served over a bed of greens while others choose options like rice or a version of a tortilla chip. Grilled chicken can be a healthy addition and also serves as a way to add additional spice to the overall experience.
7. Couscous Salad
A couscous salad is often based on a classic garden vegetable salad. To up the flavour profile, the restaurant adds couscous spiced with an Arabian flair. This provides a satisfying meal full of healthy vegetables and high-quality whole grains. When the spices in the couscous are used properly, the need for additional dressing is limited, helping to create a healthy salad that tastes like so much more.
8. Watermelon Salad
A watermelon salad traditionally combines sweet and savoury aspects, creating a well-rounded flavour and a refreshing overall experience. Watermelon provides sweetness without a lot of calories since it is primarily made of water. Add some feta for a creamy texture and added depth of flavour and some greens for crunch. Then, you have a full culinary experience that still remains on the healthy side.
9. Crunchy Noodle Chicken Salad
For those who enjoy a distinct crunch in their salad, a crunchy noodle chicken salad can create a healthy option when properly made. Grilled chicken is placed over a bed of red and green cabbage, providing classic Asian flavours to serve as a foundation. With the addition of sesame and sunflower seeds along with toasted almonds, the flavour profile is expanded. The experience is finished with a honey soy dressing to add a combination of sweet and salty flavours, rounding out what can be a highly satisfying meal.
10. Garden Salad
A garden salad is the ultimate incarnation of a vegetable salad, featuring a range of greens and other popular vegetables to create a classic salad experience. Items like tomatoes, carrots, onions, radishes, and avocado can all be used to create a flavour profile that is sure to please. Then, if your goal is to create a healthy salad, add some light salad dressing and some seeds or nuts for crunch.
As you can see, there are numerous healthy salad options available, making it hard for many to choose on as the best salad in Dubai. However, you can do your best to decide by trying many of the healthy salad options listed above or more. If you are interested in exploring some of the flavour profiles included in the list, the Circle Café offers healthy versions of many of those included above. Come in and explore everything the Circle Café has to offer and then choose a favourite for yourself.