Monday, February 13, 2012

Lifehacker Salad

Do any of you read Lifehacker? It not, they often have great tips on shortcuts you can take in organization, eating and just life in general that save time and make you more efficient.  I got this idea from Lifehacker and it really is a good one.

I love taking salad to work for lunch; however I do not love taking the time to chop veggies and find ingredients the morning before work or the evening before. Additionally, if you do it the evening before, there is a good chance your salad will be wilted and soggy. Following the Lifehacker method, you can make 3-4 days of salads at once and they do not end up soggy and gross. The key is to use a jar and to layer your ingredients correctly. The jar seems to seal better than tupperware and keeping the dressing as far from the lettuce is possible is key to having a fresh salad.

The dressing goes on the bottom. I make my own dressing by using a 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio, and adding flavor enhancing ingredients like salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic, shallots or my favorite herb. Next you want to pick a hearty veggie that can withstand sitting in the dressing such as onions (the dressing will actually take the bite out of the onion), beets, or mushrooms. Oh, and if you use beets, there is a good chance every ingredient in your salad will turn pink/purple. The order of the middle ingredients is less important, but your lettuce should be at the very top, as far from the dressing as possible. I also like to put the protein closer to the top as the dressing can break down the proteins, which will effect taste and appearance. It also looks like I don’t have a lot of spinach, but you can really pack it in there and it actually is a lot of spinach as you can tell from the salad in the bowl. When you want to eat your salad, just turn it upside down. The dressing will come down, coating your ingredients. You may need to use a fork or knife to ease the salad out. If the salad is going to be my entire lunch, I make sure to add some protein like hard-boiled eggs or quinoa.

Anyways, the Lifehacker method to making salads is a clear winner in my book. I do not get sick of them because I can make a different salad each week. I do all the veggie chopping at once, so it does not have to be a daily chore. It also is incredibly healthy, especially if you make your own dressing. I can’t wait to have my Lifehacker salad for lunch.