Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Prepared Salads

Several months ago, a friend asked me if I tore up my lettuce all at once or just enough for each day as I prepare a salad Duh, I thought, what a brilliant, time-saving idea to tear it all up ahead of time.

I never did, though, mostly because I was afraid it would wilt and turn brown.  A couple of weeks ago, though, I bough some spring mix lettuce (yum!) in a little plastic storage container.  It lasted much longer than I expected (a full week or so) and I thought, if that lettuce stayed fresh that long, surely mine would, too.

So, I saved the container, since it was such a convenient size, and the next time I bought lettuce, I washed and tore up enough to fill up my salad container.  I spun it a few times in my salad spinner to get all of the water out before putting it in the container.  I think that was probably an important step.


It worked great!  The lettuce stayed fresh much longer than I'd anticipated -- slightly over a week.  I have since realized that washing and tearing up the lettuce is the most time-consuming part of making my nearly-daily lunch salads.  Now, I try to keep as much prep work done beforehand as I can -- dicing my peppers (they must be red and orange), washing and cutting up broccoli, and washing grapes.  I still cut up my apple and avocado (yum!)  at the time that I make my salad, so that they stay fresher longer, but that's a breeze compared to my former salad assembly process.

Do you eat a lot of salads?  What are your favorite salad toppings?


This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.

14 comments:

  1. If I didn't wash that salad and cut it up ahead of time, I totally wouldn't eat a salad when the time came. Too much work! That also keeps me on track and on my eating plan. :-D

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  2. LOVE a fresh salad! My fave is romaine lettuce topped w/chicken, cucumber, sunflower seeds, craisins, a little feta or goat cheese and homemade honey mustard vinaigrette. Sometimes I'll switch it up and do a can of tuna, but I use cheddar if I do that. Apples are great in a salad too. :)

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  3. I so need to do this more. Tearing the lettuce up is the part of salad-making that I don't like. Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. I'm going to be adding salads into my lunch menu so I needed to read this. I think I'm going to have to get a salad spinner. ;o)

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  5. A tip to keeping lettuce fresher longer: Place some paper towels in the bag or container. It will soak up the extra water. As you take our lettuce, just replace the paper towels. I've had lettuce last longer than a week - almost two - with this method.

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  6. So glad to have seen the link from your other bloggy to this one! Thanks for the salad ideas (and the CFA song - we don't have them here, so I've not experienced it). Anyhoo...my favorite salad is:
    fresh spinach
    sliced strawberries
    walnuts
    raspberry vinaigrette dressing

    Simple and OH so good! Mmmm!

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  7. That's a great tip! It always takes me forever to tear up a salad so I don't eat them very often. This makes it so easy.

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  8. We absolutely love salad around here. My favorite toppings are either goat or feta cheese, strawberries and sugared nuts. Goat cheese is a big, big treat since it's expensive, but you can do the nuts on the cheap. That combo of sweet with the saltiness of salad dressing is just divine.
    PS--if I don't have strawberries, I also like pineapple on my salad!

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  9. Since I mentioned the sugared nuts, here's the recipe: just throw some chopped up nuts (walnuts or pecans work best) into a dry skillet. Sprinkle sugar over them--you don't need much, just enough to coat them a bit. Turn your heat on medium-low and stir those puppies until the sugar melts. Watch out 'cause it can go from solid sugar to liquid to burned really fast. Watch for the sugar to turn a lovely golden color (think light honey) and then immediately remove from the heat.
    Cool down and put in a jar if you can't resist eating them all on your salad right away, LOL!

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  10. I eat salad every day for lunch. I love hot peppers and sliced onions and tomatoes on it. I like chick peas for protein. And I admit, I love a little cheese on it: parmesan or feta. I usually throw other veggies on as well.

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  11. I was just thinking that I need to get some containers that I could make salads in ahead of time. I just don't have time in the middle of the day to make myself a salad and I've been eating horribly. I like grilled chicken...that's probably my favorite, but I love salads and make all kinds.

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  12. Since I mentioned the sugared nuts, here's the recipe: just throw some chopped up nuts (walnuts or pecans work best) into a dry skillet. Sprinkle sugar over them--you don't need much, just enough to coat them a bit. Turn your heat on medium-low and stir those puppies until the sugar melts. Watch out 'cause it can go from solid sugar to liquid to burned really fast. Watch for the sugar to turn a lovely golden color (think light honey) and then immediately remove from the heat.
    Cool down and put in a jar if you can't resist eating them all on your salad right away, LOL!

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  13. I so need to do this more. Tearing the lettuce up is the part of salad-making that I don't like. Thanks for the reminder!

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  14. If I didn't wash that salad and cut it up ahead of time, I totally wouldn't eat a salad when the time came. Too much work! That also keeps me on track and on my eating plan. :-D

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