Salad Snob

I am  self-proclaimed salad snob.  I just can’t do iceberg lettuce, or pre-made salad from bags.  Yuck!  I pack over-stuffed salads to take to work for lunch at least three times per week, and one of my favorite dinners is a big giant salad in a bowl.  (Remember the “big salad” from Seinfeld?)  

What I am particularly snobby about is lettuce.  Once I started buying lettuce at local farmers markets, I could not go back to the sub-standard varieties from grocery stores.  I always buy arugula each week, along with at least one or two other varieties, as my daughter does not care for arugula.  I did discover a great option for when I’m too busy to get to a farmers market.  There are many great local, organic options at the Food Conspiracy Co-op, and they are not expensive!  As a matter of fact I bought a bag of “local lettuce mix” at the Co-op today, for only $1.99!!  That’s less than you would pay for a measly 5 oz. bag of non-local, non-organic lettuce at a grocery store, and the lettuce I bought was recently picked just outside of Tucson, near Benson.

$1.99 for a bag at the Co-op.  Can’t beat that!

One of my co-workers calls me the Gordon Ramsay of salads.  I like to combine dried or fresh fruits with nuts or seeds in my salads, so I always make sure to have salad-staples, like dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and walnuts in my pantry.  

Today’s lunchtime salads… with arugula for me, without arugula for Logan.

Today’s salad, which we ate for lunch, had the following: arugula, mixed baby lettuce, cucumbers, roma tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds and avocado.  A little olive oil and cherry vinegar as a dressing… you don’t need to overdo it on dressing when you are using very fresh ingredients. 

Lori’s Salad Snob Tips

  • Serve your salad in a bowl instead of on a plate.  Don’t know why, but it’s just better this way!
  • Toast your nuts or seeds before adding to salad.  This brings out a lot of flavor, and only takes a few minutes.  Just put them in a dry saute pan, on high, for a few minutes, shaking the pan lightly to turn.
  • The easiest way to get avocado out of it’s peel is with a spoon.  Cut your avocado in half, use a knife twisted into the pit to remove it, then use a soup-sized spoon to get between the flesh and skin to scrape or pull it out.  You will end up with a nice, neat avocado half which you can slice.
  • Dried fruits that go well in a salad are cranberries (I buy the unsweetened variety from the Co-op), sliced dried apricots or currants.
  • Fresh fruits that go well are pomegranate seeds, sliced strawberries or sliced oranges.
  • I keep a bottle of salad dressing at work, so I don’t have to worry about putting dressing on ahead of time (makes a salad soggy), or try to package dressing in a small container.

Get creative!  It’s an adventure!

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