I love salads because they allow for the consumption of a whole lot of veggies in one single bowl. Yes, vegetables aren't the most mouth-watering foods on the planet, but when paired with unique toppings and flavorful dressings, they can be really tasty, satisfying, and super nutritious. Nevertheless, I realize salads are a problem for many people mostly because fancy salads not easy to create. At home, the fridge would have to be completely stuffed in order to accommodate all kinds of toppings, greens, and dressings to keep salad-eating interesting. In reality, when we make salads at home, our toppings are often limited. Also, salads require a lot of chopping, washing, prepping... Plus, for those who pack their lunch, salads are complicated as you need to pack a fork, a salad container, and a dressing container (and a way of preventing dressing leakage!). Lastly, salads are not suitable for those who don't like combining food nor for those who can't stand different foods touching on the same plate.
Recently I think I've come across a potential salad solution: Salad Bars.
Why salad bars work:
- Control your own portions and toppings
- HUGE variety; doesn't get boring
- Custom the salad to exactly your tastes
- No need to transport anything
- The prep work is all done
In the past week, I've frequented two salad bars while dining out with friends (the ones at Le Marche and Whole Foods). Salad bars (or build-it-yourself salad stations) make eating salads really interesting. Typically when we think of salads we think of greens, veggies, and an oily dressing... which sounds a bit boring, hence we never want to order them when dining out or we rarely make them at home. But salads can be very delicious and filling when dressed with the right toppings; a variety of add-ins can make salad delicious, bursting with different textures and flavors. Some of the unique salad toppings I had this week were: black quinoa, curried veggies and chickpeas, pea sprouts, purple kale, roasted eggplant and pumpkin, toasted seeds, kamut and wild rice, green onions, and fresh pineapple (to name a few).
With that said, here are some reasons why salad bars don't work:
- Can be very expensive
- May not be the cleanest ("communal digging" from the same topping bowls)
- May not be organic
- Not readily available (not all cities have them)
Well, while I don't yet have a perfect salad solution, I hope that this post has got you thinking about your own salad intake and about what is stopping you from including (or what is enticing you to include) more salads into your diet.