Arugula salad with goat cheese can be a light and nutritious meal option, but the calorie count ultimately depends on the specific ingredients and amounts used. In general, an arugula salad made with moderate amounts of vegetables, goat cheese, dressing, and other mix-ins will range from 200-400 calories per serving.
A typical serving of arugula salad with goat cheese contains around 250-350 calories. The arugula itself contains only about 5 calories per cup. Goat cheese adds around 100 calories per ounce. The type of dressing and amounts of vegetables, nuts, dried fruit, or other add-ins also impact the total calories.
Calories in Arugula
Arugula, also known as rocket or roquette, is a nutrient-dense leafy green vegetable. It provides vitamins K, A, and C, as well as folate, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants.
One cup (about 20g) of raw arugula contains only about 5 calories. Arugula is very low in fat and carbohydrates and high in water and fiber content, which accounts for its low calorie density.
Nutrition Facts for 1 Cup Raw Arugula
- Calories: 5
- Protein: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 0.7g
- Fiber: 0.3g
- Fat: 0.1g
The small amount of calories in arugula comes mostly from its protein and carb content. However, these nutrients are minimal in a typical serving.
Calories in Goat Cheese
Goat cheese, also known as chèvre, is a creamy cheese made from goat’s milk. It has a distinctive tangy, tart flavor and soft texture.
Goat cheese provides healthy fats, calcium, probiotics, and other nutrients. However, it is relatively high in calories since it is made from milk.
One ounce (about 28g) of goat cheese contains around 100 calories. The calorie count can vary slightly based on factors like the goat breed and cheesemaking process.
Nutrition Facts for 1 Ounce of Goat Cheese
- Calories: 104
- Protein: 7g
- Carbohydrates: 1g
- Fiber: 0g
- Fat: 9g
Goat cheese gets most of its calories from fat. Even low-fat varieties contain around 70 calories per ounce.
Calories in Salad Dressings
The dressing used on an arugula and goat cheese salad can significantly increase the calorie content. Thick, creamy dressings tend to be higher in calories than lighter vinaigrettes.
Here are the calories for 2 tablespoons (30ml) of some popular salad dressings:
- Ranch Dressing: 150 calories
- Caesar Dressing: 120 calories
- Balsamic Vinaigrette: 70 calories
- Italian Vinaigrette: 60 calories
- Olive Oil and Vinegar: 80 calories
Choosing a simple oil and vinegar dressing or lemon juice can minimize the calories added from dressing. Using a sparing amount of even higher calorie dressings also helps keep the total down.
Calories in Salad Add-Ins
Ingredients mixed into the arugula salad in addition to goat cheese can significantly increase the calorie content. Some common add-ins include:
- Nuts like walnuts, almonds, or pecans: 180-200 calories per ounce
- Dried fruit like cranberries or raisins: 80-130 calories per quarter cup
- Seeds like sunflower or pumpkin: 150-200 calories per ounce
- Cooked grains like quinoa or farro: 150-200 calories per half cup
- Fresh fruit like berries, apples, pears: 30-60 calories per half cup
- Bacon or prosciutto: 40-50 calories per slice
- Roasted vegetables: 75-100 calories per half cup
- Hard boiled egg: 80 calories each
Choosing just a few add-ins from the lower calorie options, like berries and vegetables, can keep the calories down. Limiting amounts of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and grains helps prevent excessive calories.
Arugula and goat cheese salads can be part of a healthy diet when made with nutritious ingredients. Some benefits include:
- Arugula provides vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, and antioxidant compounds called carotenoids and flavonoids.
- Goat cheese is an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin B12.
- Add-ins like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds can increase fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
- Using olive oil, lemon juice, or vinegar based dressings provides beneficial compounds like vitamin E and polyphenols.
Balancing arugula and goat cheese with lower calorie ingredients ensures the salad provides maximum nutrition without unwanted calories.
Low Calorie Salad Recipe Ideas
Here are some ideas for putting together a lower calorie arugula and goat cheese salad:
- Arugula, goat cheese crumbles, strawberries, red onion, pumpkin seeds, balsamic vinaigrette
- Arugula, goat cheese, roasted beets, pecan pieces, apple cider vinaigrette
- Arugula, goat cheese, grilled peach, prosciutto, olive oil and lemon
- Arugula, goat cheese, pear, dried cranberries, walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette
- Arugula, goat cheese, avocado, soft boiled egg, sunflower seeds, champagne vinaigrette
Getting creative with different flavor combinations keeps the salad exciting while controlling calorie density.
An arugula salad with goat cheese can range from 200-400 calories depending on serving sizes and ingredients used. Arugula itself is very low calorie, while goat cheese adds around 100 calories per ounce. Controlling the amounts of higher calorie nuts, seeds, dressings, and other add-ins helps keep the total calories moderate. Choosing wholesome ingredients makes this salad a healthy meal option within an overall balanced diet.