Have you had this conversation before?
“So, what do you want for dinner tonight?” asks the master chef of the evening. That would be me!
“Oh, I don’t know. Let’s just have a salad.” replies the one not preparing the nightly bit of sustenance.
“…JUST a salad…” I heard it. One too many times I’d heard it. And on the last – and I do mean last – time, my reaction was so visceral I even frightened myself. Seriously?!? How can someone not have a healthy respect for the prep work involved in JUST a salad? Salad almost became a bad word in our house. Poor, Jerry (yep, that’s the hubby). Being the curious person that I am I analyzed my gut reaction to the JUST a salad trigger and decided to find a solution and now have some fabulous tips to share with you!
First let’s touch on why we even give a hoot about salad. Ready? Here it is…salad ROCKS! Pretty simple to remember, but if you are like me, you want to know why.
Top 3 Reasons to Eat Salad EVERY Day
Eating salads is a super-convenient way to work in a couple of servings of vegetables and/or fruit. Practically none of us get enough fruit and vegetables every day.
Leafy vegetables are ideal for weight management as they are typically low in calories. I’ve seen it written that two pounds of vegetables is only 200 calories. I’m sure it matters which veggies you are piling on, but in general your greens and extra veggies for the added texture and flavor are very low-calorie compared to the nutrients you get!
Ok, now you have an idea why eating a salad every day, or with every meal, is a good idea and you are fully – well, partially – committed to implementing this culinary delight into the weekly meal plan. Congrats, you are on your way to rockin’ the wellness gig! Ready for some fabulous tips so …JUST a salad… doesn’t set your teeth on edge?
Tips to ROCK Salad Prep
PLAN – Planning a weekly menu helps me keep us healthy and relieves the stress of daily cooking inspiration. Let’s face it. When I don’t plan, we dine on popcorn or peanut butter. I try to plan before I hit the market, but sometimes the food gods speak to me as I peruse the shelves. Makes no matter as long as I have a plan for the week.
PICK A PREP DAY – Prep is crucial to the process. I usually do this on Sunday or when my ‘supplies’ are low. For supplies I’m talking shredded purple cabbage, shredded carrots, celery sticks, matchstick daikon radish, sliced cucumbers, etc, etc. You get the drift. Whatever tickles your taste buds and can be prepped ahead – do it! This includes the base of your salad – the glorious greens.
I know we all cringe at the thought of soggy lettuce or wasted food and sometimes opt for bagged greens for convenience, but you don’t have to! I clean, tear (or chop) my romaine, spin it in the salad spinner, put it in a stainless steel bowl with a damp paper towel on top, and then place it in the fridge to crisp up and dry out completely. Once it is good and dry, I transfer it over to Green Bags (X-Large) and BOOM it is ready for the week. It’s so much more economical to buy a 3-pak of organic romaine and clean it myself. Then I can spend those saved pennies on a ready to serve bag full of organic baby arugula – my fave!
The beauty in my new strategy is that we’ve been eating salads every day without the drama. These tips are such a time saver. Now when lunch or dinner rolls around all I have to do is pull out ‘supplies’ and dress those greens with loads of color and crunch. Another benefit is the variety in our diet. If I don’t have to clean and prep each day it gives me more time to get creative with toppings and dressings. Happy cook. Happy family.
Try this system and let me know how it works for you!
P.S. I love my green bags! They are BPA free and help cut down on spoilage. They are reusable and they really work. Check them out here:
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