Summertime is salad time. What’s easier than grabbing a salad mix bag at the grocerystore? Yet convenience can lead to boredom.
This time of year, fresh produce is abundant. Visit your local market or produce stand and pick up a variety of squashes, cucumber, cabbage (red and green), carrots, celery, and onion. These vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients, and filling.
This HastyTasty meal is not hasty to prepare. Even with a food processor, you’ll spend close to an hour washing, cutting, slicing, grating, and then assembling a salad that serves 8. But it keeps several days in the refrigerator, available for serving at a moment’s notice. It is a delicious departure from lettuce salad, too.
I take no credit for this saladrecipe. I learned it from attending Kitchen Craft Cookware shows as “demonstration salad.” It’s used to demonstrate the Kitchen Cutter, which I bought 20+ years ago. I adapted the recipe for the food processor. However you prepare the salad, you will appreciate the taste. One serving is less than 20 calories, so you can indulge in a Tablespoon of your favorite salad dressing.
Here is a Link to a demonstration salad video on YouTube.
Previously, I mentioned we have our main meal at lunchtime and prefer a light dinner. For the next several days, dinner is a variation of the chef salad. Light, yes. Quick? Well … not so much.
Unless you buy bagged salad mix, you must firstwash and chopped your produce. (Quarantinetip: save the chopped ends of lettuce in water and grow another serving) I prefer chopping lettuce and slicing tomatoes with a knife, but a food processor or Kitchen Kutter makes quick work of shredding carrots, slicing celery and onions, and whatever else you want to add.
I usually add chopped boiled egg, a bit of Parmesan cheese,and a meat to finish the salad. The meat can be a shredded cooked chicken breast, thawed frozen cooked shrimp, chopped lunch meat, or tonight’s selection, canned tuna.
A salad is a good way to get a couple of servings of vegetables, and it doesn’t have to be boring. Add grated zucchini, sliced fresh mushrooms, or even fruit. We plan to enjoy salads until we run out of fresh produce. That’s when my 30-Day challenge will get, uh, challenging.
As warm weather returns, so do the salads. A delicious salad topped with protein (boiled egg, grilled chicken meat, cheese) makes a filling meal that doesn’t heat up the kitchen. But salads are time consuming to make. Here are my shortcuts for hasty tasty salads.
Chop, wash, and spin a big bowl of your greens. I usually buy Romaine because it keeps longer than other varieties of lettuce, but buy what you like.
Make carrot ribbons from 2 carrots using a spiral vegetable slicer or a peeler. Toss with the greens.
Chop 3 ribs of celery and mix with the lettuce and carrot ribbons. Seal and refrigerate.
Boil 5-6 eggs, peel, and refrigerate.
Cook 2-3 chicken breasts (I use the pressure cooker, but use whatever method works for you), chop, and store in a sealed container. Refrigerate. Or keep deli meats handy in the refrigerator.Your choice.
Make a cruet of your favorite homemade dressing. I prefer a simple vinaigrette, but even mixing up a Good Seasons mix is better than buying a bottled brand because you choose your ingredients. Refrigerate.
Grate a wedge of your favorite hard cheese (I like Parmesan) and store in the fridge.Already shredded cheese is fine, but freshly grated has better flavor.
Wash several tomatoes and store in a basket in a cool, dry place in your kitchen. Do not refrigerate unless tomatoes get too ripe.
Congratulations! You now have the makings of at least 5 chef salads you can pull together within minutes.
This is my salad, but you may use any variety of ingredients in yours. The secret to hasty tasty salad meals is advance preparation. Assembling the prepped ingredients into a tasty salad takes mere minutes. Enjoy!