Stock Your Own Salad Bar
What is it that makes a salad bar so appealing? Choices! It’s the one place where everyone can pick and choose their favorites to build a fresh, healthy and not-at-all boring lunch, dinner, snack or side.
So why not create one at home? Transform the inside of your fridge into your very own salad bar, stocking your SNAPWARE® TOTAL SOLUTION™ FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS with an assortment of crisp veggies, sweet fruits, savory dressings and all the other ingredients that excite you.
GATHER YOUR FAVE INGREDIENTS
Get started by following this simple formula: 4 veggies + 2 fruits + 1 protein + 1 grain + 1 dairy + 1 nuts or seeds + 1 fresh herb + 2 salad dressings. Now add, subtract or multiply to make it all yours!
- VARY THE VEGGIES: Pile up a base of colorful produce, starting with leafy greens like romaine, arugula, kale, spinach or endive, then continue with sliced cucumber, diced tomatoes, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, chopped onions, diced jicama, chopped asparagus, sliced bell peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, shredded carrots, chopped celery, snap peas, snow peas or corn.
- RECRUIT FRUIT: Balance flavors with a sweet counterpoint from berries, sliced apples or pears, mandarin oranges, chopped pineapple, cherries, diced melon, mango or papaya, halved grapes, dried fruits or toasted coconut. And don’t forget about heart-healthy avocado and olives. (Yes, technically, they are fruit!)
- PICK A PROTEIN: Give your salad staying power with diced turkey, ham or cured sausage (like dry salami), hard-cooked eggs, bacon, chicken or beef strips, shrimp, salmon, chickpeas, black or kidney beans, seasoned tofu or edamame.
- GRAB A GRAIN: Make it heartier with add-ins like cooked and chilled couscous, quinoa, barley, brown rice or small pasta shapes like orzo. Or try tasty toppers like crushed whole-grain chips, wonton or tortilla strips, sesame sticks or croutons.
- DIP INTO DAIRY: Mix in a bit of shredded Cheddar cheese, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, crumbled feta, goat cheese or cottage cheese.
- KICK UP THE CRUNCH: Seeds and chopped nuts boost any salad with protein, fiber, essential minerals and healthy fats. For seeds, consider sunflower, chia, hemp, flax or pumpkin. The most healthful nuts are almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. (Go with raw or dry-roasted options if possible.)
- SNIP A BIT: Add a fresh flavor boost with chopped herbs like basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley, sorrel, oregano or dill.
- DRESS IT UP: Toss it all together with your favorite dressing, from a creamy ranch to a tangy Catalina to a chunky blue cheese to a light and versatile vinaigrette. We have tips on how to make a homemade version that’ll make it even more healthful!
CREATE A CAN’T-MISS COMBO
Be as classic or as unconventional as you like with your salads, and don’t feel like you have to make one giant entrée. You can build a satisfying meal by making several small salads using different themes and flavor profiles. Here are 5 of our favorites to use as is or as inspiration:
- FIESTA BOWL: Lettuce, corn, tomatoes, onions, papaya, black beans, tortilla strips, shredded cheese and cilantro topped with Catalina dressing.
- CLASSIC CAPRESE: Fresh rounds of creamy mozzarella topped with juicy tomato slices, fresh basil, a splash of vinaigrette, a dash of sea salt and a twist of cracked pepper.
- GREEK OUT: Mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, feta cheese and chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinaigrette or freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- A TASTE OF PARADISE: Spinach, arugula, pineapple, mango, toasted coconut and macadamia nuts with raspberry vinaigrette.
- CALI BLT: Bacon, lettuce and tomato with avocado and homemade croutons topped with honey mustard dressing.
- Make your own croutons: Cube day-old French bread, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and other herbs or seasonings. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
- Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice before storing cut apples, pears and avocado to keep them from discoloring.
- Love onions but think they’re a bit too strong? Peel, chop and soak them in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes to take the bite out.
Beat the what-to-make blues with the fun of pick-and-choose. All it takes is a bit of prep, and you’ll find yourself turning to your DIY salad bar again and again.
YOUR TURN: When it comes to salad fixings, what’s your current craze?