17 March, 2014
8 steps to make the daily salad on a budget
A couple of friends requested me to post ingredients of the salad I make on weekday mornings. No fancy dressing, just whole ingredients that I buy once a week within a budget of $10. It takes me less than 15 minutes to put everything together in the morning, fresh and delicious for lunch (serves up to 2 people).
1. Choose your greens- organic Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, chard varieties. beet greens. Iceberg lettuce, although tasty, does not have much nutrition value. Be aware that arugula, raw spinach, kale greens are goitrogenic, meaning they are not good to consume raw for those with a low thyroid condition. So it is good to eat them in moderation if you’re predisposed to a thyroid disorder.
It is more economical to get the whole leaves (organic), rather than the packaged “salad greens” that are pre-cut and washed.
2. Other veggies: organic whole carrots, cucumbers (mini cukes are very easy to peel and cut), organic bell peppers, green onions, lime. Organic carrots do not need to be peeled.
3. Keep a stock of pickled goodies. I always have roasted bell peppers, capers, pepperoncini, artichoke hearts, etc. from Whole Foods- with no sulfites or other preservatives added.
4. Throw in some sprouts for protein, if you have it ready. Mung and alfalfa sprouts can be added raw; other beans may need prior cooking. Do not buy sprouts from the store, they have the possibility of mold and other contaminants.
This is optional, though; other protein sources are hemp seeds, cheese, cottage cheese and nuts.
5. No time to make a complicated dressing? Just use lime juice! Fresh lime juice is just about all you need. Soak chopped green onions in the lime juice to get rid of the unpleasant smell of raw onions. Also keep some healthy dressings handy.
If I’m out of limes, I like use Organic Ville dairy-free Ranch dressing, which is great.
6. Use spices if you like them. I like to add red chili flakes/black pepper, parsley, garlic powder to the lime juice dressing. Soak for 2-3 minutes while getting other ingredients ready.
7. Useful additions: dry fruits, nuts, flax seed powder, nutritional yeast, grated cheese. I like to use vegetables, pickles, spices and nuts in rotation to break monotony.
8. Top it off with croutons. However, if you pack your salad for lunch, pack the croutons separately or they will lose the crunch!
Do you have suggestions, recommendations to improve this recipe? I would love to hear them!