Last month, McDonald’s announced the return of the Asian Salad. After being off the menu for almost three years, this salad joins their line of Premium Salads and is available now through early September. I’ve never tried the Asian Salad at McDonald’s before, even when it was previously sold back in 2006-2008. I find that I have this stigma against ordering dishes with the name “Asian” or “Oriental” at American restaurants. (Partially because I could never figure out what’s so “Asian” about it.) A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sample the salad at the McDonald’s First Taste Event.
The McDonald’s Asian Salad is described as a blend of colorful vegetables, with premium spring mix greens, tender edamame, snow peas, red bell peppers, sweet mandarin oranges, as well as, sliced toasted almonds. It’s available with or without warm orange-glazed grilled or crispy chicken, and is accompanied with one pouch of Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing.
Not a huge fan of the name, but the Asian salad was pretty good. It was a good variation from the frequent Caesar or Ranch salads. Edamame and snow peas were neat additions. I’m always a fan of fruit in salads, like mandarin oranges, cranberries, strawberries, etc. It adds natural sweetness and flavors to the salad, so you can go easy on the dressing. I usually put little to none dressing in my salads. (I make up for it by using flavorful toppings and ingredients.) However, I felt the bed of greens could have been more exciting. Out of curiosity, I looked up the ingredient list for the salad. They intended it to be a “Spring Mix” – which “may contain baby red romaine, baby green romaine, baby red leaf, baby green leaf, baby red swiss chard, baby green swiss chard, baby red oak, baby green oak, parella, lolla rosa, tango, totsoi, arugula, mizuna, frisee, and radicchio” and carrots. I found the greens to be mostly lettuce and not really a blend of greens. Interestingly, I noticed a segment of the list labeled “Asian Blend”. A-ha! The “Asian Blend” consists of edamame (green soybeans), snow peas, and red pepper strips. I guess that is what makes it Asian. LOL!
The Asian Salad is part of McDonald’s initiative to introduce more vegetables and offer more well-balanced and healthy food options on their menus. Given that, it’s probably appropriate to mention that one serving of McDonald’s Asian Salad delivers: 150 calories (without chicken), 270 calories (with grilled, white meat chicken) or 410 calories (crispy chicken). The 1.5 oz pouch of dressing is 90 calories. Each serving provides about three cups of vegetables and provides calcium, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C.
At the end of the First Taste event, all attendees received a gift bag with a bunch of goodies along with a preloaded Arch card. After the event, I was provided with additional gift bags to share with my readers over the next few weeks. Enter here for a chance to win one of the gift bags.