Making salads easy
Sometimes I feel like the hardest part of making a delicious meal is actually just getting started… the other day I was craving a big fresh salad and almost didn’t start because I knew I had to chop the ingredients. In the end I got myself moving and it only took me about five minutes!
Having the right ingredients on hand makes this easier. I love to buy baby cos lettuce (also called gems) which is really pretty easy to cut and wash then throw in a few handfuls of simple salad toppers that require little or no preparation. A few tricks:
Shop smart: Baby cos lettuce makes a wonderful sweet and crispy base for any salad, or try baby spinach or a bag of mixed salad leaves – they are normally washed and ready to go.
Treat yourself: Blueberries or raspberries are sweet and delicious whole in salads. Cherry tomatoes, grapes, pitted olives, or pitted cherries can be easily halved. Some goat cheese or feta from the deli is easy to crumble and add.
Use leftovers: If you’re making a roast, chop an extra sweet potato or a few extra carrots, or whatever it is you are making that night, to roast and save them for tomorrow’s salads. Pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, beetroot, onions, and parsnips, just to name a few, are all amazing roasted and keep well for a couple days.
This mango and blueberry salad (one of my new faves!) is a great example of a quick and simple salad that you can throw together and enjoy, knowing it is bursting with antioxidants.
Basically, salads are always best when they are freshly prepared (a recent study gives us a good idea of exactly how long fruits and vegetables may retain nutrients after being cut), but it really is a matter of common sense. If the option is between eating pre-cut produce or not eating salads at all, buy the pre-cut stuff. But generally, it is best to select certain ingredients, such as lettuce, that are specifically packaged to retain nutrients better, and use your valuable few minutes on the ingredients that really count, such as tomatoes, dark green veggies, and citrus fruits.
Do you have some great shortcuts or easy salad toppers that you use during the busy work/school weekdays? How did you get in your fresh colors this week? Let us know how you’re going!