quick salad idea ~ all in the prep!

how do you make salad at home?  do you wash and dry your lettuce, then dress and add chopped veggies each time?  that can take time and dirty up your kitchen pretty fast.

how about this idea…

wash and cut your lettuce, spin it in a salad spinner, then just leave it in the fridge, ready to go.

then, take all your veggies of choice, cut them up and add your dressing, to marinate the veggies.  you can simply use a mild vinegar (like white balsamic) and a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and let it sit in the fridge like that.  or you can make a vinaigrette and do the same.

when it’s “salad time”, simply toss the lettuce with the veggies and top with protein or cheese!  the dressing softens the veggies slightly, so you have a nice crunch on your carrots or broccoli, but you don’t break a tooth on them!  and they have TONS of flavor this way.  i also like how evenly the dressing is distributed.  the lettuce stays crisp and there’s no dressing at the bottom of your bowl!

here are some suggestions:

ITALIAN SALAD WITH TUNA

the marinated veggies: cucumber, tomato, celery, onion, corn (i had this on the amalfi coast and fell in love), carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or add jarred, pickled giardiniera for a short cut.  toss with white balsamic vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper, and let marinate in the fridge.  should last a few days or more!

toss with green leafy lettuce and top with tuna that has been packed in olive oil.  YUM!

MEXICAN FIESTA SALAD

the veggies: jicama, red onion, jalapeno, tomato, carrots, corn, red bell pepper, and black beans!  add the stems of cilantro, S&P, cumin, lime juice, olive oil and a tiny squirt of agave nectar.

toss with lettuce, fresh cilantro leaves, and top with queso fresco, or grilled chicken strips that have been rubbed with cumin and chili powder.

ooh how about this?

A FARMER’S MARKET FRESH SALAD

the veggies:  any and all veggies that are in season and yummy.  marinate in your favorite vinegar of choice and olive oil, and add tons of fresh herbs!  fresh dill, definitely!  fresh cilantro, basil, you name it.  you could put that in the food processor with the olive oil and some fresh lemon juice and garlic, and then toss the veggies with that fresh delicious pesto!  amazing!

one more!  but i could go for days here!

CLASSIC SPINACH SALAD

the veggies:  long strips or rings of red onion, pickled in red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and again, a tiny squirt of agave nectar.  just to reduce the acidity of those tangy red onions!

toss with baby spinach and top with blue cheese, candied or regular walnuts or pecans, and why not?  go crazy.  add crispy pancetta or bacon!  i won’t be doing that any time soon, but some day, when i really deserve it!!!

got any other ideas????

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