There is a Seinfeld episode revolving, in part, around a Big Salad that Elaine asks George to buy for her. (Yes, I'm fully aware that shows my age.) Since that episode, when my husband and I opted for a salad as a main course, we've always called it "A Big Salad."
A main course salad or Big Salad, topped with a protein, and served with some good crusty bread is an excellent way to have a light meal. It's also a good way to serve higher priced proteins such as shrimp because you don't need as much as you would if you served shrimp as the main course.
In the summer we frequently have a Big Salad for supper, topping it with steamed shrimp, sauteed chicken breasts or grilled steak. If I were serving shrimp with something on the side, I'd usually plan for half a pound a person. However, in a Big Salad, I can get away with about a quarter pound per person.
The Big Salad in this post was made with fresh lettuce mix, tomatoes (both from the community market), a few radishes (from the garden), mushrooms, carrots and around a quarter pound of steak. At the table we added dressing of our choice and a small bit of shredded cheese. The steak was leftover from an event at the church where I work and I was able to buy it at cost. (Remember, on a budget, never, ever turn down free food). Total cost for two salads was $5.00.