Sunday, January 6, 2013

Long Live Your Salad!

Baby Romaine Salad with Fresh Raspberries and Sliced Almonds
By Madeleine Dee

You were so proud of yourself - you made a beautiful salad at home, felt so healthy... Took a few bites, covered it tightly with plastic wrap, put it in the fridge for another time...

A couple days went by. You headed back to the kitchen to munch your gorgeous creation, peeled back the plastic... You were so excited!

But what you uncovered wasn't the same salad you once knew - it was slimy, wilted, fresh no longer. A love affair gone awry. 

You threw your head back and wailed. Life was so unfair! You were gonna be healthy, you really were gonna stay on that diet this time!!

Wanna know what you can do to keep your salads fresher longer?
Do you want to keep that New Years resolution of eating healthier meals?
Well, stop crying. :)

Here's what to do:

1. Don't dress your salad until you want to eat it!
Leftover dressed salad gets soggy and gross in the fridge.

2. Keep small containers of yummy toppings stocked and stored in your fridge!
When you get a little time on a Sunday, grill some chicken, slice some mango, toast some nuts... You get the idea. Keep a variety on hand. You'll always have salads that are exciting to eat, and you'll be much less likely to order a pizza instead. You DO have time. I promise.

3. Buy the freshest and sturdiest greens possible!
Greens like arugula will get funky more quickly than greens like romaine. Pick the freshest lettuces you can find. No bruises, no slime, no gross spots. Be sure to keep them loosely covered. Those bags of chopped salad greens are a great idea, but only if you plan to eat them within a few days of your purchase. Whole lettuces are a better bet.

4. When you cover greens or an assembled salad with plastic wrap, 
poke 2-4 small holes to let some moisture out!
I do this with every bag of greens I buy and every salad I make. Moisture trapped inside of a covered salad is one of the main culprits for the greens going bad, so if you poke some holes in the cover, a lot of that moisture can escape! Doing this step will keep your lettuce fresher (and drier) longer.

Good luck with that resolution! ;)

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Executive Chef and Owner of No Place Like Home in Louisville, KY. Writer, actress, chef, professional cook and professional eater.