Cheeseburger Salad

I had such a good salad for dinner tonight. Several of you mentioned a cheeseburger salad on the salad toppings post, and I hadn’t yet gotten around to clicking the link before Paul said he was going to grill burgers. I asked for mine without a bun, and asked for ten minutes’ warning to assemble the rest of the salad. I put the rest of the big bag of mixed spring greens into the bowl, and filled in the gaps with iceberg lettuce (I hadn’t realized the bag of spring greens was so low). I added a handful of grape tomatoes cut into quarters or sixths (some of them are biiiiig grapes). Then some shredded cheddar. Then, today I’d bought some bacon bits, so I added those too: BACON cheeseburger salad! Then the burger was done, and Paul cut it into a lot of little pieces (he asked how small I wanted it cut, and I said I wanted, like, 40 pieces). I put that on top of everything else.

I wondered what to do about dressing, and decided on mustard and ketchup, even though Paul acted grossed out by that. I didn’t use very much of either one, and I mixed everything together, so there was no visible ketchup/mustard anywhere—just a suggestion of the taste. (It made me remember a vegetarian co-worker of mine who said he would sometimes eat a toasted hot dog bun with ketchup and mustard and relish on it, because that was what he was REALLY craving when he felt like he was craving a hot dog.) I think if I’d thought about it more beforehand, I might have whisked together mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard to make a dressing. [Note: I did this on future salads and it was exactly delish.] Ooo, and maybe some dill pickle relish!

It was very, very good, and took a lot longer to eat than a cheeseburger. I didn’t really notice the bacon, so I’d probably skip that next time (though maybe when I take it out I’ll notice the salad isn’t as good). I’d add more cheese instead: I’m not sure how much I put in, but it wasn’t enough.

If I’d thought of it in time, I might have broiled a hamburger bun to make croutons. Instead, I put on a handful of crushed Doritos, and that was SO GOOD.

I’m finding that one downside of eating salad is that everyone, everyone, everyone associates it with weight-loss attempts. So when I put cheese and Doritos on my salad, I feel as if Paul is giving me the side-eye (even though he says nothing, does nothing with his eyes, and this could be all in my imagination)—as if I’m trying to self-righteously pretend I’m Eating Light when actually I’m eating many calories of cheese and bacon and chip. It feels hard to explain that what I’m actually doing is turning a cheeseburger with a side of Doritos into a big heaping helping of greens and tomatoes, plus the burger and Doritos, plus the joy of eating MORE.

[Follow-up: The next week, I added a cut-up dill pickle. SO GOOD.]

15 thoughts on “Cheeseburger Salad

  1. Brigid Keely

    Salads are SO GOOD. I hate that they’re associated with Moral Eating and Weight Loss because they’re great. If you like black and blue burgers then blue cheese dressing would be great on that burger salad.

  2. jill

    Did you use regular mustard? I’m thinking you could use any number of mustards- brown, Dijon, horseradish… Okay now I am hungry.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Yes, regular yellow. Paul too thought I should experiment with fancy mustards, but I wanted Hamburger Flavor!

  3. Carolyn Allen Russell

    One of my favorite salads is a mix of chicken, Frank’s red hot, cream cheese, and ranch dressing, then with a bunch of mozzarella melted in it. (I think those are the same ingredients to make a buffalo chicken dip, I just make it a bit thinner and then put it over lettuce and tomatoes and it’s SO DANG GOOD THAT WAY! Like having buffalo chicken dip . . . . but with a ton of veggies!) ;)

  4. Christy

    What’d I say about crumbled up Doritos? They make everything so good!

    I *am* very glad someone else gets how nice it is to eat more and then get credit for eating leafy greens and vegetables! I actually had a cheeseburger and a salad for dinner tonight and it didn’t even occur to me to combine the two. Putting that on the list for next time!

  5. velocibadgergirl

    I almost always order a salad when we eat out because dinner salads from real restaurants are SO GOOD. But I always suspect people think I’m suffering through it because I’m dieting. No! Good salads are GOOD!

  6. Robin

    You know that French dressing is just mayo and ketchup, right? You could just use that!

  7. Karen L

    Generally, I prefer soup to salad for upping my veg intake. But. I wonder if switching to salad would get the kids to eat more veg. Have you been involving the children in the salads?

    1. Swistle Post author

      Not yet, but I’m planning to. I’ve been thinking what I might do is make them little side salads as I’m making my big salad.

      1. BKC

        I think half the fun of salad is getting to choose. So even though it’s 100% more work, I bet making a little salad bar with options would get them jazzed about it.

  8. Phancymama

    Yes, we used to have a “chef salad” night growing up and I loved it. We each for a plate of lettuce and then there were bowls of cut up things on the table and we got to assemble. I always put the ham cubes around the edges of the plate and then the egg pieces and on up the pyramid of lettuce. A lot of fun to me!

    1. Kate

      We never had a make your own salad at home, but on the rare occasion we went out to eat, we kids used to make a beeline for the salad bar. I still do! My point is, I think the kids would get into salads at home this way.

      1. Kate

        Oh yea, I think a cheeseburger salad sounds amazing. Maybe with some sautéed mushrooms in it. Yum.

  9. Jess

    The “salad associated with weight loss attempts” point is such an interesting one. I can’t really eat bread because of my lap-band, and as a result I often get things in salad form, or get things like a burger without a bun, or just set the bun aside, and am constantly having to ask for a knife and fork for things like sandwiches that most people consider to be finger foods, and, well. I have a lap-band; OBVIOUSLY the point is to lose weight – but at this point, six years out, yes I am still losing weight (also thanks to the two pregnancies that have happened in the last six years) BUT that isn’t really the point, for me, anymore. I’m just doing those things because they are my dietary requirements, because if I eat bread I will be very uncomfortable and possibly throw up. But of course the assumption is that I’m, I don’t know, gluten free, or on a fad diet, or something, and you know what? Fine. Assume that. But no side-eye, please.

  10. kd

    Ohhhh YUM! I definitely want this for dinner tonight! Bacon bits were a GENIUS addition!!

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