By Rennie Aranda, Skinny Gene Registered Dietitian
Want to pack a lunch for work or school but feel as if you don’t have any time? Trying to think of a healthy meal to make for the week that won’t get too routine or boring? A salad is a perfect choice! They’re easy to assemble, modifiable to fit your preferences, and packed with nutrition to leave you with a burst of energy to get through the rest of your day. Follow these 5 time saving tips to make a variety of fun salads for the week:
5 Time Saving Tips
1. Wash and portion out greens
- Wash & dry all of the greens at once, either with a salad spinner or paper towel, and divide into individual containers. (Make sure these containers are large enough to add toppings.)
- Place a paper towel at the bottom of the containers to absorb any condensation that forms over the week to keep your greens fresh.
2. Prep a variety of toppings
- Focus on variety, so that you don’t get tired of eating the same exact salad every day. Prep enough of each topping for just a few, not all, of the salads. The sky’s the limit for salad toppings!
- To make your shopping list and prep time easier, make a long list of every topping you love and then choose a few for that week. Use the rest as ideas for other weeks.
- Roasted vegetables or chopped fruits deliver great flavor. Use leftover fruits and vegetables from breakfast and dinner.
- Also great choices include nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cubed or sliced meats, tuna, and cheese. Choose a protein source to make it a nutritionally balanced meal.
3. Store toppings together
- Store the salad toppings together in containers or plastic bags for quick assembly. Place bags or containers in the middle shelf of the refrigerator, near the front. This will keep delicate ingredients from freezing with as little condensation as possible.
4. Invest in small dressing containers
- Avoid dressing a salad before you’re ready to eat it to prevent sogginess. Use smaller containers to hold just the right amount of homemade or premade dressing. Taking your own dressings each day allows you to mix and match, especially if they’re already filled and ready to go.
5. Grab and Go – in only 1 minute!
- When making your lunch, all that’s left to do is grab the container of portioned-out greens and the bag of desired toppings prepared previously. With your dressing all ready to go, you’re all set to head out the door! It only takes 60 seconds. When lunchtime rolls around, or whichever meal you choose, your salad is fresh and ready to eat in no time!