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How to Eat a Big Salad Every Day and Love It

We all know we should eat our vegetables, but some days it can feel hard to fit them in. One way to make sure you do is to prep these elements—especially on Sunday, when you’re getting ready for a busy week—so you’ll have them on hand. If everything is right in front of you, it’s easier to make a salad than make excuses.

  1. Keep washed greens handy. You can buy the mesclun mix that comes in bags and big clamshells, but it’s really nice to have a few other greens to add more texture and flavor. Buy your favorite heads—soft butter lettuce, spicy watercress, crunchy radicchio or endive—and wash and dry them in a salad spinner. Wrap the the leaves in paper towels and store them in a plastic bag, and they’ll still good for the whole week.
  2. Consider the crunch factor. Buttery croutons, bacon bits—what do these delicious ingredients have in common? They provide a welcome crunch to a fresh green salad. You can add crunch in easy ways—nuts, sunflower seeds, crushed tortilla chips. All of these will hold their texture, even when tossed in dressing.
  3. Plan to add fat. Fat is flavor, but stick to healthy fats like nuts, a little cheese, or avocado. When it comes to avocados, it helps to plan ahead. Buy them green and hard from the store, then let them sit on your countertop to ripen for a few days. If they’re already soft at the store, they’re likely to be bruised.
  4. Stock up on proteins. If you want to make a salad your meal, add a protein like eggs, shredded rotisserie chicken, or beans (like canned chickpeas) to make it hearty and satisfying. To make life easier for yourself, boil a batch of eggs on Sunday, as many as you think you’ll need over the next 5 days and keep them refrigerated. Just wait until you want to eat them to remove the shells
  5. Make dressing by the batch. Bottled dressings are full of added sugars. And making your own is easy and so much more delicious. Toss the ingredients in a jar on Sunday and you’ll have enough to last the week—just shake or whisk before using. Here are three low-sugar dressings to keep in your back pocket:   

Mustard Vinaigrette

Makes about ½ cup

Sugar content: 0 grams sugar

  1. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  3. 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  4. 1 small garlic clove, minced
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

Miso-ginger-soy Vinaigrette

Makes about ½ cup

Sugar content: 0 grams sugar

  1. 2 Tbsp. neutral oil (like peanut, grapeseed, safflower, canola)
  2. 2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
  3. 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  4. 1 Tbsp. miso
  5. 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  6. 1 small garlic clove, minced
  7. ½ tsp. grated fresh ginger
  8. Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  9.  

Whisk together all ingredients or place in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until emulsified.