Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Salad bars have great options for eating soy-free! As we talked about in our summer chef salad recipe, vegetables are great since they don't have soy and eating at a salad bar gives you complete control over what you eat. Plus, the majority of the options are safe to consume!
Since most things at a salad bar are safely soy-free, let's focus on what you need to be careful with to avoid soy. The vegetables, raw nuts, cheese, and other toppings (including most meats) at a salad bar are very likely to be safe to eat. What isn't likely to be soy-free? Really, only four categories of food should be avoided:
- Meat with a sauce or cooked in oil (mainly chicken breast) - It can be difficult to tell if this type of meat was cooked in oil or a marinade. It is best to avoid this sort of food unless you know for certain it is soy-free. Other deli-like meats (think ham and turkey) are safe to eat at the salad bar!
- Dressings - You can't tell if the dressings are made with soybean oil, and most are. Choose the safe option and avoid items that are likely to have hidden ingredients. This may mean foregoing dressing in some cases.
- "Fancy toppings" (like macaroni or bean salad) - These types of foods often contain soybean oil. We recommend avoiding them unless you know for certain they are soy-free.
- Croutons - Croutons can be hit or miss when it comes to containing soy. Since you can't tell at a salad bar, avoid these unless you know for certain they are soy-free.
One last thing to be careful of when eating at a salad bar: be careful about cross contamination when scooping up food. Since foods can drop into the other containers at the salad bar, make sure you are getting only the food you want and don't unintentionally grab something with soy that's in the wrong container.
Now eat at the salad bar with confidence!