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Author Topic: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads  (Read 13017 times)

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ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« on: June 13, 2012, 12:31:42 PM »
well summer is here, and it's HOT! I am looking for salads that I can make 1-2 times a week and keep in the fridge. I havea  few salads that I already make (like cabbage salad, carrot salad, fennel), but I'm looking to expand my repertoire (and maybe some other ehellions can enjoy these salad ideas!)

my guidelines:

1. healthy and light. no heavy mayonaise/cream dressings. as much fresh veg as possible

2. Kosher so that means no pork products and no shellfish, and salads need to be EITHER dairy or dairy /fish OR meat (beef, chicken turkey). (If you have a salad that includes bacond etc, that's fine - i'll figure out the substitution).

3. Prefer lo-carb

any takers?

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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 12:39:21 PM »
I don't have any ideas, but I'm looking for similar recipes. Would you mind sharing your recipes? I'm really curious about the fennel salad. What does fennel taste like? I am trying to branch out and try different veggies and combinations.


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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 12:43:04 PM »
1) Workday salad bar

Each week I prep a variety of salad veggies, lettuces, meats, etc and store in plastic bags/ bins.  I pull out what I want put in container and dress accordingly. I will also mix all the cut up veggies with the meats and take the lettuce separately in a baggie.

2) Asian salad - you could change ratios to be low carb.  Stirfry chicken, slivers of red pepper, cabbage, celery and carrots with some soy sauce. Make a light vinagrette with rice wine vinegar, sugar and hot sauce. Add dressing to taset - serve with nuts. If you can afford the carbs, rice noodles are dandy.

3) Tuna / chickpea salad. Can of tuna, greek dressing, some chickpeas and I usually serve wit h lettuce.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 12:48:15 PM »
I do a pasta salad that I make healthier by using 1 box of whole wheat/grain pasta and one box of the tricoloured veggie pasta.  I'll throw in some chick peas or other beans, lots of peppers, celery, onions, whatever else strikes my fancy veggie wise, some low fat feta and lightly dress it with a balsamic or greek dressing.  I find it tastes even better when it has sat for a day or three.

It doesn't meet your low carb. criteria but at least it has decent fibre and vitamin content.  If you are used to WW/WG pasta, you might not need to cut it with the tricoloured stuff.

What about a mixed bean salad with lots of peppers, onion and other veggies?  It is another one that improves with sitting in the fridge.

I like lettuce salads.  I wash up the lettuce (romaine, spring mix, spinach, whatever combo), cutting it into bite sized pieces, using a plastic knife so it doesn't go brown.  I store it in a container that will keep it for the week.  Then when I'm ready to eat, I pull out the lettuce, add whatever stuff I want to add, that has also been preprepared, toss with dressing and enjoy.  One of my favourites right now is to toss in some low fat feta, some toasted slivered almonds, some mandarin orange slices and dress with raspberry vinegrette or a mandarin orange based dressing.  It would be good with just oil, vinegar and lemon juice, too, I think.  So in this case, you would do your prep work ahead but store the components separately and mix as you go.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.

Oh Joy

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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 01:24:28 PM »
This is more of a tip than a recipe, but it might work for you.  I used to pack my salads in advance, putting the green & crisp vegetables in a Tupperware-style container, then laying a sheet of plastic wrap over it so the edges were outside the container, then putting my wet stuff on that, then putting the lid on.  When it was time to eat, I took off the lid, dumped the wet stuff off the wrap into the big bowl, and dug in (or put it all on a plate if I was feeling fancy).  I didn't use dressing, but you could use a bottle from the fridge, or pour some in a little container or jar and place in the bottom if you wanted it all ready to grab.

For example, I might do this with spinach & other greens, a bit of red onion, mushroom, and sliced red bell pepper in the bottom, then a pile of sliced strawberries and grilled chicken on top of the wrap.  I think you could use ingredients that you like and meet your needs with this method.

Best wishes!


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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 01:27:00 PM »
I don't have any ideas, but I'm looking for similar recipes. Would you mind sharing your recipes? I'm really curious about the fennel salad. What does fennel taste like? I am trying to branch out and try different veggies and combinations.
I am a "little of this/little of that" kind of cook.

*cabbage salad - i take a cole slaw mix and add sliced scallion or chopped onion, then dress it with oil, lemon juice, a drop of sugar, black pepper and salt.  it can stay for about 5-7 days.

*fennel - i sliced them in quarters lengthwise. dress with lemon juice, salt, pepper. OR I add additional julienned vegetables like cucumber, carrot, radish, kholrabi.

* carrot salad (this one is spicy) - 3-4 medium carrot, grated. add crushed garlic, one green hot pepper (pith/seeds removed, sliced),  3 slices of fresh lemon, chunked (with peel), 1/2 lemon - juice, 1-2 tablespoon olive oil. mix well.

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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 01:28:01 PM »
thanks for the ideas and keep 'em coming. i should've mentioned that i already do the big lettuce salad with veg and added protein (chicken, feta, tuna) but am getting bored.

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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 02:48:11 PM »
But that is my answer to everything!  ;D


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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 03:35:28 PM »
 Broccoli slaw has become very popular.  Here is a recipe:

Or, how about a Greek salad with tomato, cucumber, green peppers, onions, feta, and olives?  I like olive oil and lemon juice on this.


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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 05:28:18 PM »
Oh! Oh! I Know!

How about a fresh-blanched bean salad with slivered almonds and a honey-mustard vinaigrette dressing! ;D

A spin on doodlemor's recipe:

Chopped broccoli
Chopped cauliflower
Chopped carrots
Finely chopped red onions

Mix everything together and store as you would other fresh veggies.

Before serving add Raisins (golden are better, but I've used the black) and Sunflower seeds.

Serve with a Red wine vinager, sugar and mayo (only a tbs. or so) dressing.

I've also used the above chopped mix (omitting the raisins and sunflower seeds) with a can of tuna . . . even tastier with some elbow noodles. Add the tuna and noodles before serving (noodles can be made in advance.) I'm a mayo lover, so my dressing of choice here is a spiced mayo, but will probably be really good with a lemony vinaigrette.

Or, instead of tuna, add chicken breast chunks.

eta: Most all of my other specialty salads are pasta-type. If you're interested, let me know.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 05:33:26 PM by jpcher »


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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2012, 05:35:03 PM »
I really like my Curry chicken salad

Boiled, baked, grilled or how ever else you like to cook it shredded chicken
sprinkle liberally with curry powder (store bought is fine or make up your own)
mix in plain Greek or nonfat yogurt (whatever you like is fine)

diced apples
halved red/green grapes
shredded carrots
diced green/yellow/red peppers
crushed nuts

seriously add or leave out whatever you want (except doesn't work with this at all).

I have a friend who adds raisins and cranberries to hers, but I don't like it that way.

I also have another good chicken salad:

baked shredded chicken (season with rosemary, thyme, marjoram and Cayenne pepper)
mix in plain yogurt or mayo
sweet cube relish (Mt. Olive taste the best in this)
diced celery with the leaf portion
apples (I like gala or granny smith, peels left on)
dried cranberries
crushed walnuts or pecans

also good with grapes
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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 05:45:18 PM »
For side salads, I like

tomatoe/cucumber/feta with a lemon/basil/olive oil dressing.  Keeps for at least 3 days.
black beans, corn, onion, tomatoe with a lime/olive oil/cilantro dressing
marinated mushroom salad

To make any of these a maindish, simply toss with some salad mix and add a protein if yo like.  I like seared scallops with the bean/corn salad.

A also really like this recipe from Cooking Light.  The salad holds up in the fridge really well.
I keep fig vinegar on hand just for it, but find lots of other uses for it. 


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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2012, 07:06:56 PM »
This isn't a salad but a method. It works great for me, but I don't know if it would work for you. Feel free to use it if it does.

I buy if I don't have on hand three-four heads of lettuce (red leaf, green leaf, butter, romaine), green onions, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, Moroccan olives, a mango, red bell pepper, celery, cucumber, and whatever else looks good. I tear up the lettuce in bite-size pieces in about six batches, wash it in the colander, spin it dry, then wrap it in towels. I then roll those up tightly and bend them to form a kind of "U" before putting them in the refrigerator for at least two hours. I wash everything else and dry it too in towels. Green onions are chopped as is the bell pepper, celery and cucumber. These are put into glass canning jars (the jars holding the pepper and cucumber are lined with a paper towel first.) Radishes are washed but not sliced. Tomatoes are left on the counter, the mango skin is washed before being refrigerated.

I take the already torn lettuce and stuff it tightly into several quart-size glass canning jars. (I don't use plastic because I don't like it, and glass seems to keep the produce fresher anyway.)

So for seven or eight days I have a salad I can easily throw together after work. It takes so little time and is easy to add to if I want shrimp or chicken in it.

RECIPE: This is another favorite salad I love. A beautiful sliced tomato, some mango slices, red onion slices (separated into individual rings) all artistically laid out on some large basil leaves. Make a simple vinaigrette dressing. Umm!


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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2012, 10:29:18 PM »

One useful trick is to pre-prep your veggies after shopping. Separate the lettuce leaves, wash and dry, and store in a loose ventilated bag. Trim and wash celery sticks and green onions, seed the green and red peppers, peel and trim whole carrots, etc, and keep in plastic vegetable box.

Then, when you want a quick garden salad, you just have to grab the veggies you want, tear the lettuce, and chop the rest, and you can have a nice salad in five minutes or less, with your only clean-up being washing the cutting board and knife.

As an aside - I find some vegetables go a bit slimy or soggy as leftover salads, after being dressed. Lettuce needs to be freshly dressed, and cut cucumber loses its texture, unless it's well marinated.

As far as other good salads for keeping go...

Tomato salad: dice good fresh tomatoes, finely chop some onions and fresh herbs, and mix with olive oil, salt and pepper and a bit fo balsamic vinegar. Keeps well for a few days.

Marinated Cucumber salad: Thinly slice cucumbers and onions, and dress with white vinegar, a bit of salt, sugar, and dill. Keeps for days.  I do a variation of this with lemon juice, a bit of garlic and salt and the dressing, which is more like a pickle but is a good side dish.

7-day coleslaw: you can google the recipe. A vinegar based coleslaw with grated carrot, onion and green pepper.

Greek Salad: Cucumber, onion, tomato, olives, feta cheese, a vinagrette with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano, olive oil and garlic.

General Diced vegetable salad: cut up your vegetables into bite sized pieces, and dress with a vinagrette dressing. If you're using green beans, snow peas, broccoli or things like that, blanch the vegetables briefly first.

Mixed bean salad: A can of mixed beans, well drained, finely diced onion, some herbs (fresh or dried) and a vinagrette dressing. Add other vegetables if you want.

Orange Walnut Salad: Thinly slice onions, and marinate for a while in rice vinegar. Peel and segment oranges, and cut into bite sized pieces. Slice up some celery (including leaves - Chinese celery works best), and walnuts. Drain the onions and toss the ingredients, dress with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Also good with the addition of fresh pomegranate seeds.

Beet Salad #1: Roast or boil beets until tender. Cool, peel and cut into bit sized pieces. Dress with a basic vinagrette, and serve at room temperature.

Beet Salad #2: Same as above, but add walnuts, thinly sliced onion and blue cheese.

Beet Salad #3: Peel and grate a raw beet. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ground cumin. Better if made the day ahead, and also good with grated carrots.

Grated Cucumber Salad: Grate seeded cucumbers (or whole small ones) and some onion. make a dressing with yoghurt, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Also good with fresh mint or dill added.

Chickpea Salad: Chickpeas tossed with thinly sliced celery and onion, chopped tomatoes, fresh mint, lemon juice, olive oil and a bit of garlic.

Green Bean salad: Blanch green beans, dress with your favourite vinagrette.

Asparagus Salad: Same as above, but with asparagus.

Japanese Chinese Style Cold Noodles: Julienne some fresh vegetables (like carrot, celery, cucumber, green onion), dice some silken tofu, and shred some cold chicken.  Cook thin asian noodles, drain and rinse and cool. Put the noodles in a bowl, arrange the other ingredients on top. Dress with an Asian vinagrette (soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, a bit of shredded ginger).

Tuna vegetable salad: Dice cucumber, celery, tomato, onion, and whatever else you want. Mix with a can of well drained tuna, and dress with a vinagrette dressing. You can also mix this with pasta.

As an aside - if you want a creamy, healthy, non dairy dressing for meat based salads (like a chicken salad or tuna salad), silken tofu actually makes a pretty decent base. Puree it in the blender with lemon juice, garlic, and spices or herbs of your choice. A few drops of Worcester sauce works well, but I'm not sure how Kosher that is.

Chayote Squash Leaf Salad: I don't know if you can get Chaoyte squash leaves, but they're amazing if you blanch them briefly, chill, and dress with an Asian vinagrette.

As an aside, Japanese cold noodle sauce, like the kind used for Soba noodles, makes a great general dressing for noodle or tofu salads.


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Re: ideas for make ahead/longer lasting salads
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 11:11:17 PM »
Roasted and chilled (or whole picked) baby beetroot, diced, with diced feta and baby spinach leaves.  Lemony dressings or balsamic dressings go nicely.