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17 March, 2014

8 steps to make the daily salad on a budget

Comments : 12 Posted in : Appetizer, sprouting, Tips to make daily food healthy on by : apsara Tags: , , , , , , ,


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!


12 thoughts on : 8 steps to make the daily salad on a budget

  • March 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Apsara, I think you’ve summed up a salad pretty well. This is how we make our salads too!

    • March 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      thanks, CBs 🙂

    • March 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      thank you, Sonal. I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  • March 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Great tips! I follow many of them and definitely eat a salad every day!

    • March 17, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      I’m sure you do, Laura, with your ultra-healthy lifestyle! 🙂

  • March 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm


  • April 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I just came back from a cancer symposium and EVERYONE is eating broccoli sprouts. They have special cancer-fighting action in that they kill cancer stem cells…cells we all possess that get out of control under the right conditions!
    Great post!

    • April 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      thanks for the tip. I will check out broccoli sprouts. Does it come under the goitrogenic type?

  • Pingback: Cranberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing | EATING WELL DIARY

  • December 3, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Great article!! 🙂 One tip- including extra virgin olive oil or any other salad oil of your choice or some form of good fats from nuts or seeds is an important element of a salad, so that it helps with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.

    • apsara
      December 3, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      Abolutely! Thanks for the health tip, Sonali.

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