It’s Salad Time

I wish I could show you the salad I’m eating right now. It’s amazing. I mean, techinically I could take a picture and stuff, but then I’d have to stop eating it, and we know that’s not going to happen, so you’ll just have to use your imaginations.

Hubby has recently started working for a Bar B Que restaurant, and was getting a little sick of eating mostly meat every day for lunch. Also, he has no microwave available at work. In addition, there’s the constant battle for both of us to lose weight, and people’s New Year’s resolutions, and then I saw this idea on pinterest:

The advice is to make salads in jars ahead of time for a whole week of work lunches. Why did I never think of this? I’m not going to use jars, just tupperware that we can eat directly out of, but still, this is genius.

Last night I made 5 salads all at once for lunches this week. I would have made more, but was hampered by a lack of clean tupperware. I used one head of romaine lettuce which cost about a dollar, making the cost per salad twenty cents. I can’t really quantify all the other stuff I put in the salads, but I’m guessing I spent between $1 and $1.50 per salad.

I bought a ton of different salad toppings, and put different things on top of each one to give them variety. I chopped up a bunch of veggies at once while I was chopping and cooking our dinner (chicken vegetable curry). A couple of the same items went into both dishes. Here are some ideas for salad toppings:

Radishes
Cucumbers
Soy Beans, or Edamame (you can find this in the freezer section, cook them, then keep them in a tupperware in the fridge to throw into salads)
Peas (you can throw them in frozen if you make these ahead, and they’ll be thawed in time to eat)
Chick Peas (I used rinsed canned ones, or you can make them from dry)
Carrots
Celery
Cauliflower
Avocado
Cherry or grape tomatoes (instead of chopped tomatoes to keep salad from wilting)
Black Beans
Corn
Onion
Snow Peas
Sunflower Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Bacon Bits
Leftover cooked veggies
Cheeses like feta, blue cheese, or shredded cheese
Olives
Mushrooms
Chopped lunch meat
Leftover meat from other meals
Broccoli
Cooked grains, like quinoa
Nuts like almond slivers, or walnut pieces
Different lettuces and green, like arugula, spinach, or kale
Raw herbs, like basil
Some people even put fruit in salads. I’m not here to judge.

And just now I flung salad dressing all over my desk, reminding me that dressing is important. I like red wine vinegarette. I bring it to work with me in a small container separate from my salad.

Salads are a great way to use up small amounts of leftovers. I know I always end up with a tablespoon or two of leftover taco meat, refried beans, or sauteed zuchinni somehow. Leftover salsa, or even cooked grains, like barley, are awesome, and create variety. You can also marinate chick peas and other beans to add more flavor.

If you’re going to put things in your salads that might not last long, like avocado, put that into the ones you’ll eat the next day, and put more durable ingredients in the others, like cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and cucumber.

Salads are usually good for you, as long as you don’t add a mountain of meat and cheese and a gallon of dressing. I also like them because they are a nice light lunch that enables me to continue working instead of sliding into a food coma.

I will acknowledge that I have gotten a lot of ideas on Pinterest lately. For those of you who don’t know, pinterest is an online tack board. You can find things you like all over the internet and add them to your pinterest, or you can flip through pinterest and see what other people have added. I have several friends that peer-pressured me into joining, and I’m now severely addicted. They have categories for everything, but I’m hooked on the arts and crafts stuff, obviously. Beware of pinterest!

*UPDATE* When I recently made a large batch of salads, I did the math on how much they cost. Here’s the break-down:

Romaine lettuce (on sale) = $1.00
Tomatoes = $1.00
Cabbage = $0.25
Radishes = $0.25
Cucumber = $0.50
Green onions = $0.50
3 mushrooms = $1.00
Soybeans (one package) = $3.00
Sunflower seeds = $0.50
Pumpkin seeds = $0.50
Fake bacon bits = $1.00
Feta cheese = $2.50

That totals up to $12 for ten salads, or $1.20 each. That is damn amazing to me. The soybeans are the most expensive ingredient, so when I use black beans, lentils, or chick peas, they are even cheaper. That kicks the ass of any fast food ever!

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December 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Cooking, Thriftiness is Cool.

4 Comments

  1. Rebekah replied:

    Another Pinterest fan here! I have been wanting to try the salad in a jar idea for awhile, so I am glad you tried it out for me. Let me know how the salads taste after a couple days. And dried cranberries and apples are delicious in a salad. You probably don’t need the cook frozen peas before adding them to the salad. Miss E loves peas in her lunch, so I just put them in frozen, and by lunch time they are thawed and ready to eat.

    • thatcleverchick replied:

      That’s good to know about the peas. So far the salads have been great, even eaten 3 days after being made. I think not having cut tomatoes in there helps a lot. I guess I could try mandarin orange slices also. I’m marinating some chick peas in red wine vinegarette right now, so I’ll let you know how those turn out too.

  2. Mini Frittatas « My Attempts at Cleverness replied:

    […] Sriracha, and frozen spinach. Each one has a different combination of those things in it. Like the salads I’ve been having for lunch every day, variety is […]

  3. Look, Ma! No stove! | My Attempts at Cleverness replied:

    […] Salads – pretty obvious, but doesn’t make it a bad idea. You can make salads with a variety of toppings to prevent boredom. […]

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