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Show of hands – who regularly packs salads for work lunch? Now, how many of you actually enjoy these salads? Thought as much. There is definitely a way to have your salad and eat it too – here’s 6 common mistakes to avoid when packing a salad.
Most people I ask seem to take the same thing to work for lunch almost every day – a salad! And most seem to agree that they can be easily persuaded to ditch it! Whether it is too bland or too soggy, there isn’t a whole lot of salad love going on out there.
I can remember working in an office and seeing people eat the saddest looking green salads. If that was my lunch I wouldn’t have even bothered taking it out of the fridge!
Luckily, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t packing salad for lunch that’s the problem. It’s how you are packing it!
Take a few extra steps when throwing together your salad before work and you can end up with a masterpiece you will actually want to eat!
1. You are being boring with the ingredients
Salad’s do not have to be boring. Sure, you can stick with the basics, but why not add some grains like quinoa or farro; or some extra protein like eggs and feta cheese; or even some crunch in the form of pumpkin seeds or fried noodles. You will want to eat it so much more if it resembles something tasty! Get creative!
2. You aren’t storing it correctly
If you are trying to follow the “salad in a jar” trend, make sure you are following the correct method. Dressing, followed by the heaviest ingredients that are the least absorbent (think carrots, cucumbers, capsicums etc), then work your way up to the lightest ingredients with your salad greens at the very top.
3. You aren’t drying your greens
Thou shall not put soggy greens in a salad. Especially one you are transporting for later consumption! You don’t have to own a salad spinner to make sure your greens are dry. You can also use a clean kitchen towel to spin or pat dry the lettuce, or place in a colander to drip dry.
4. You aren’t salting your greens
I recently learnt this trick and it has amped up my salad game. I’ve read that Chef Bobby Flay claims that adding salt and pepper to your greens can help draw out their flavours, and I can say wholeheartedly that it certainly makes my salads taste better. Go ahead and try seasoning your naked greens!
5. You are dressing it too early
Don’t put the dressing on before you are ready to eat it. Period. If you really can’t resist, do so at your peril. That sounded ominous, didn’t it? Really all you are trying to avoid is soggy sad salad that will have you running for the nearest takeout.
6. You are eating it out of Tupperware
Here’s a pro-tip – dress your salad in a large enough bowl that will give you the room to make sure that everything is fully mixed in. You want a salad that is consistently dressed. Trying to dress your salad in Tupperware is a sad state of affairs.
Are you stuck in a salad rut and want some inspiration? Here’s 5 totally-not-boring-and-absolutely-delicious salad recipes to try right now:
- Pumpkin, Haloumi & Avocado Salad
- Roast Pumpkin & Chickpea Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato, Avocado & Feta Salad
- Crunchy Kale Salad with Lemon Tamari Dressing
- Rainbow Balsamic Salad