A better option than bagged salads…

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When I first started out on this healthy eating journey, I purchased a LOT of bagged salad mixes. I would rifle through the bins and pick the one with the absolute latest “BEST BY” date and bring it home on Sunday afternoons. I would prep my salads ahead of time, but always found that the lettuce turned brown and started wilting well before the “best by” date.

As I don’t have time to prepare my lunches each morning, I choose to make them all ahead on Sunday afternoons for the week. One week while grocery shopping, they didn’t have any good bagged salads so I decided to purchase some romaine lettuce.

It looks like this:

and it is a BARGAIN at only $1.77 each.

If you prefer just the Romaine hearts, you can purchase this:

For these three Romaine hearts it will cost you around $2.98.

So that one week when I purchased the Romaine lettuce, I brought it home and soaked it using my Homemade Produce Wash. Then I spun it dry and made our weekly salads and it LASTED ALL WEEK with no wilting, no brown spots for a fraction of the cost of what we had been spending. WIN!

Ever since then, I follow this same process each week.

1- Get a large cutting board and Cut the Romaine into smaller pieces (I don’t like large pieces of lettuce in my salad)

2- Place it into whatever container you will be using to wash it (or soak it). I use my OXO Salad Spinner bowl.

3- After soaking/draining it, remove lettuce from the water and look at what you just washed off!

4- Next you have to dry it well. Again, I use my OXO salad spinner. The kids love to jump in and help with this part. Spin, spin, spin- the more water you get out, the fresher it will be during the week.

5- At this point, I have a ton of beautiful lettuce to use for the week in our salads. I either go ahead and assemble this into individual bowls, or I put all of it into one large ziplock bag so it’s ready to be used at any given moment.

Here’s the important part- make sure the lettuce is as dry as possible before putting it into the bag, then take an absorbent paper towel, fold it and stuff it into the bag. Then, squeeze out most of the air and seal it up.

If you’ve done a good job getting the lettuce dry, it will last ALL WEEK long.

Lately I like to also add other greens and lettuces, so I’ve been buying this brand:

It costs $2.50 at Wal-Mart and adds some variety to our lettuce.

I follow the same process with it as I do the romaine.

1- Chop

2- Rinse/Soak

3- Drain-

4- Spin Dry

4- Pack into bag with paper towel and store for the week

*I know that it takes time to do it this way when you could have just purchased a bag of salad and shaken it into your bowl. But this way, I KNOW that it has been washed well and I know that it will cost less and last longer.

*Another note, don’t skip the step for soaking/washing and draining. With these two batches, I found two baby green worms, three dead fruit flies and all sorts of nasty debris and dirt.

Little green worms on the lettuce leaves

I can’t tell you how much more likely I am to eat a salad when I’ve got clean, chopped, ready-to-eat greens in my fridge.

Hope this helps you a bit if you are tired of wilted, brown salads!

Love y’all! Happy eating!

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