How to Use Cheese and Avoid Making a Salad Monster

Fresh Chicken Sausage Salad

It's a common misconception that all salads are healthy.  Salads can carry as much fat and carbohydrates as anything off the value menu.  Cheese and mayonnaise are the two biggest fat culprits, and carbohydrates abound in the guise of salad dressings, croutons, and fried toppings such as fried onions, tortilla strips, and chow mein noodles.  Watch out for these things, and use only in moderation, if at al

It is not often that one is served a simply beautiful plate of vegetable salad.  It is commercially difficult for restaurants to provide that type of fresh food, as its spoilage rate is money lost.  It is far easier and cheaper to shove a plate of chopped romaine with a sprinkling of bacon and cheddar, and a dab of ranch, as much less is lost to decomposition.  For the same reason, the “fresh vegetable of the day” is often very limited, and prepared from frozen vegetables. 

These types of issues lie at the core of the reasoning for cooking for oneself.  In the pursuit of health, and beautiful culinary experiences, doing the shopping wisely and consistently, and cooking one's own food gives such a huge variety of options that restaurants and prepackaged foods just cannot logistically or financially match.  Just about anyone can manage a roasted beet and apple salad on lettuce.  There is no great learning curve to the process.  Beets and apples keep well in the refrigerator.  So why go and have the wedge salad at the local chain restaurant, at 4 times the cost and 4 times the calories?

Learning to shop, getting the produce into one's house and workplace, and learning to store and prepare it so that it is something to look forward to is a big commitment.  It is also one of life's great pleasures.


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