Recreating a commercial salad bar at home is easy, and with a little planning, you can quickly throw together a healthy salad any day of the week.
For a perfectly balanced salad bar (and salad), stock your fridge with an array of fresh, savory, sweet, crunchy, salty and tangy ingredients. Keep ingredients in separate containers, ready to meet for lunch, dinner or snack time.
If packing salads for on the go munching, store salad ingredients in an airtight container with a damp paper towel placed over the fresh vegetables to keep them hydrated; discard the paper towel before enjoying your salad. Pack dressing in a separate container and pour over the salad just before serving.
Ingredients for the perfect salad bar
- Something fresh: Color is key; choose a variety of colorful raw or fresh vegetables, along with super-charged greens such as spinach or arugula.
- Something savory: Healthy, lean proteins like tuna, poached chicken breast or beans lightly seasoned will curb your umami craving.
- Something sweet: Fresh or dried fruit will add sweetness and balance to your salad.
- Something crunchy: Sunflower seeds, sesame or pumpkin seeds or even crushed whole-grain organic cereals will add crunch and nutrition to your salad.
- Something salty: A sprinkle of Parmesan or shredded cheddar will add that salty bite, without a lot of sodium.
- Something tangy: A bright lemony dressing or tangy apple cider vinaigrette will add the zing every salad needs.
Greek wedge salad recipe
- 1 large head romaine lettuce
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise into quarters
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped, 1/4-inch
- 1 small red onion, sliced paper thin
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut lengthwise into quarters
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup crumbled feta, divided
- Trim 1/4-inch from the bottom stem of the romaine and discard. Cut romaine in half, lengthwise. Cut each half in half lengthwise to create four wedges; set aside. In a medium bowl, add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Toss to coat; season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Place each romaine wedge on a serving plate. Spoon 1/4 of the dressed tomato mixture over each salad wedge. Top with 1/4 cup of feta. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Lemon juice can be used in place of vinegar. Traditional recipes incorporate green or red bell pepper, and sometimes Greek pepperoncini. Feta is available with vegetable rennet or animal rennet; be sure to check labels if you want to keep it vegetarian.