First off I really am that person who takes the time to wash and chop vegetables and greens immediately after shopping…in fact I often fill the sink and throw them in water as I am putting away the rest of the groceries. Once they are in the sink there is no getting out of it. It takes five minutes to quickly chop, spin (invest in a salad spinner if you don’t have one…one of my favourite kitchen tools) and bag. I have some washable mesh bags but admit sheepishly I also use large zip locks (I reuse them but even so I feel a bit icky about it). The weeks I don’t do this are the weeks we eat far less salad.
The veggie content in the fridge is large and a varies but we always have the following staples (if the organic option is to expensive we don’t buy it that week)…I am also adding a few other favourite salad ingredients here…
- LEMONS (truthfully if I run out of lemons I can’t make a salad…I can’t really make anything)
- Tomatoes (this time of year usually grape or cherry)
- Red onions
- Green onions (scallions)
- Spinach (I go through a ton of spinach)
- Iceberg (I love the crunch of iceberg in the mix)
- Purple cabbage
- Bell peppers (yellow and red)
- Hot peppers (love)
- Mushrooms (all kinds- whatever catches my eye)
- Potatoes (make it into dinner salads sometimes)
- Green or yellow beans
- Sprouts (I am on a bit of a sprouting kick again- mung beans are so good and dead easy to sprout)
- Any kind of legume (love chickpeas in a salad)
- Organic hemp hearts (they add a great nutty flavour and a protein hit)
- Nutritional yeast (a great addition- adds kind of a cheesy flavour and it’s full of B vitamins)
- Pickled beets
- Garlic (fresh)
- Ginger (fresh)
- Herbs (I always want cilantro)
- Olive oil (The best I can afford)
- Salt (anything but iodized table salt- I love salt and have a bunch of options- chunky sea salt is a front runner, especially for salads)
Ok so here is where the simple comes in. I don’t make salad dressing anymore. I put all the greens into a big bowl and toss them with fresh lemon juice, sea salt and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. In the photo above it’s kale, spinach, chard and romaine. I then grab all the other veggies etc..I want to include and chop them equally into as many bowls as there are customers for the salad (usually two- wish I could say my kids were eating these but they are not…they love the lemon and sea salt but just on romaine…it’s a start).
So this is where the fair part of my salad story comes in. I’m certain my dedication to equal salad ingredient distribution is both mocked and admired by those who watch me meticulously count out carrots rounds, but I truly enjoy eating and serving to others more, a salad that has been prepared this way. Knowing that every bowl has exactly the same amount of every ingredient gives me pleasure.
Next grab your favourite bowls. Serve out the greens at the bottom and top off with all the other ingredients. Once tossed together add hemp hearts, fresh garlic, herbs…sprinkle with nutritional yeast. The sky is the limit. I love capers, olives or even chopped dill pickles in a salad (nice salty additions..especially if you are missing cheese).
You get the idea and I am really not telling you anything you don’t already know but I remind you to keep it simple. Don’t drown your salads in dressing and make them fair. Your family, friends and every cell in your body will thank you profusely.