Since I’m currently on a bit of health kick lately, I’ve become well accustomed to a homemade salad. As much as I know the economic benefit of making my own, it can all get a bit dull so when Greggs* got in touch and asked if I’d test salads from different retailers for a taste test, I was well on board.
Pret A Manger
What: Chef’s Specials Italian Chicken salad
Quite honestly, this one didn’t look like it was going to be that appetising. I was also horrified at the price – nearly £5 for a salad? It’s hard enough to convince yourself to eat healthily as it is! Pret’s salad had a lot of lettuce compared to all the other components when really, you want a bit more of a balance. More chicken and sauce was definitely needed though I really liked the added touches of the olives and pistachios – it made lunch feel a whole lot fancier.
What: Firecracker chicken and giant couscous
Ok so there was never going to be a way I could possibly make this dish photograph well whatsoever. But what can you do eh? It was certainly packed with flavour, containing chilli, soy and apple bulgogi sauce, red pepper, mange tout and chargrilled chillies. The variety of textures was a welcome change from the much crunching you do with a traditional salad. While this was certainly an alternative salad, I didn’t enjoy the couscous however and it actually made me appreciate the humble lettuce.
What: Honey roast ham, egg and potato salad
While it certainly didn’t look the most exciting, it pleased me to discover that Gregg’s salad was freshly made that day. It’s not nice to think food products such as salads have been hanging around on the shelf for a few days. Extra points are awarded here for including a fork as well as a pot for the dijon mustard. There was a lot of different components to dig into with this salad and I approved of the addition of the potato salad which tasty to eat with the vegetables.
What: Basil chicken with creamy tomato pasta salad
I was impressed with the lovely big portion of salad from M&S. I didn’t finish it all and feel it would work nicely as a side dish for another meal if so desired. The creamy sauce was sweet and tangy but there was quite a lot of it. I prefer sauces like this to come in a pot so you can be the boss and decide how much or little you want. The flavours worked incredibly well together and I loved the basil chicken, it was just a shame there wasn’t very much of it! I really like the little bit of everything in this salad though and found it made my healthier eating a lot more enjoyable.
And so concludes my week of salad testing! M&S just about scooped the top spot with their tasty basil chicken although as with everything, personal preference is always going to play a role. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and reckon I could make a career of it…though perhaps chocolate tasting?
*This post is in collaboration with Greggs. Read more on my disclaimer here.