Salad Toppings and Prepackaged Lettuce


Fresh Yam Bean

One of the best tricks for salad is to either pack pre-cut lettuce into paper towel lined storage bags or plastic storage boxes for easy portability, or to do the preparation into a big bowl for the refrigerator at home, topped with a paper towel to pick up the moisture of condensation.  This gives lettuce, particularly romaine, a long life in the refrigerator, and cuts prep down to once a week.  Making it convenient to have lettuce makes it much more likely that it will become part of the family diet.  The other half of this “hack” is to change up the salad dressings and toppings.

There are lots of different toppings that are great with salads, and add a huge punch of flavor for a small amount of calories. 

Dried fruit and nuts are a big salad plus.  They add vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to a salad, along with flavor, protein, fiber, crunch, and satisfaction.  They also keep without refrigeration. 

Root vegetables such as carrot and jicama keep great in the crisper.  Keeping a small knife, vegetable peeler, or hand-held mandoline around can create great textures to add to a salad.  Boiled eggs similarly add a protein punch, and last for about a week, with the shell on, in the refrigerator.  Roasted beets are also a great topper, adding color, an earthy quality, and sweetness to a salad.  They stand up well to a tart vinegar.

Pickled salads such as 3-bean or edamame salad lasts about 5 days in the refrigerator.  Adding bean salads adds protein, fiber, lots of nutrition, and give a salad more substance.  They can change up a simple garden salad to a real meal in just a moment, and they are easy to make.  Pickled salads can also be a way to dress a salad without using salad dressings, which are often fat-heavy.

Salad dressings, particularly homemade ones that have a known quantity of good quality fat, are another way to perk up a salad.  Switching salad dressings frequently can help keep salads interesting, and gives a wider range of options.

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