Luscious Local Eats Part I: Salads

Houston isn’t exactly known for having a variety of healthy restaurant options. Sure, we have a few outstanding spots, like Ruggles Green, A Moveable Feast, Ziggy’s, Field of Greens, and a handful of others, BUT! There are some fantastic places that have little hidden treasures of healthy, delicious noms for those of us trying to eat well when we’re out. These are a few of my favorite inner loop salads.

El Rey‘s Grilled Chicken Salad

El Rey's Grilled Chicken Salad (w/ fish instead)

Go ahead, click it. You'll fall in love.

Grilled chicken; grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper; fresh tomatoes and avocado; pico de gallo with mango; all on a bed of fresh field greens. If you’re pesce (like me), you can sub grilled fish or shrimp for the chicken. This amazing salad is only $7.99. Seriously. That makes this salad the least expensive (with meat) on my list.

Chatter’s Salmon Nicoise

Chatter's Salmon Nicoise

Yes, that salmon is exquisitely rare on the inside

This is a great blend of a classic and modern Nicoise, except it is topped with seared salmon instead of canned tuna. Also included are a boiled egg, raw tomatoes, artichoke hearts, blanched green beans, boiled new potatoes, kalamata olives, and raw red bell pepper, all on a bed of crisp romaine. Their balsamic vinaigrette is almost drinkable. This gorgeous girl is $12.95. If you’re watching carbs, ask them not to bring out the soft…. warm… homemade pita that comes with it.

Ruggles Green Texas Goat Cheese Salad – baby greens, arugula, toasted almonds, sliced Granny Smith apples, and warm Texas goat and parmesan cheeses tossed with a homemade sun dried tomato vinaigrette dressing. I literally dream about this salad while I sleep, and I will let nothing stand between it and me. Do you see that? Warm goat cheese covered in toasted, thinly sliced almonds. The only reason I don’t have a photo is that I cannot abide this salad just taunting me while I photograph it. This fantasy of a salad is 10.95 as is. You can add grilled chicken for $3.95 or grilled shrimp/Atlantic salmon for $5.95.

Star Pizza‘s Greek Salad – romaine, artichoke hearts, feta, capers, Roma tomatoes, red onions, and kalamata olives, comes with another great vinaigrette. I know it’s risky to walk into a pizza joint when you’re trying to watch what you eat, but this salad is worth it. Let’s call it a test of wills, or do like I do, and order it delivered. You can get this baby for $6.50. Yes, I said SIX EFFIN FIFTY! Add rosemary and garlic chicken for $2.75, and you’re still under $10!

What are some of YOUR favorite salads around town?

An Indoor Day

Even though I train most of my clients in the studio, I almost always exercise outdoors, use my own body weight to challenge myself, lots of cardio, etc. I also almost always work out with a friend or two or ten. I wouldn’t say that I actually dislike working out alone, but I definitely prefer to have company. Today my workout partner had family obligations (Kills’ sister just had a baby! Congrats, yo!), so I stuck around the studio for a change and did a gym (gasp!) workout… all. by. my. self (double gasp!).

So. This is how it went down…

warm up – 6pmh on the treadmill for 10 min, no incline

10 pullups with 40 lbs. assistance


12 butterflies – pec flies w/ 12 lbs each hand while simultaneously doing straight-leg reverse crunch w/ ballast ball between ankles

alternating w/

Squat side kicks – 12 each side

3 sets of each


Hanging knee tucks – 10 each side

alternating w/

10 broad jump burpees

3 sets of each


15 hip thrusts with leg raises

alternating w/

30 walking lunges while w/ 10 lbs each hand doing hammer curl to overhead press

3 sets of each

It was a perfect, not-too-intense morning routine to start the day, but not annihilate me so that I’ll have reserves for parkour training tonight at Rice.