Salad bars. Probably one of the best inventions in the world. as I write this, my mouth is drooling just thinking about all the yummy toppings you can choose from. I mean, everything is better when you don’t have to make it yourself. And an added perk of salad bars is that they have every ingredient pre cut and ready for you to go. You don’t need to buy an avocado in case you might be in the mood for it next week- they’ve already got you covered! And no need to prepare grilled vegetables, a hard boiled egg, etc. They do all the work, you just point, pay and then eat.
So what can you get? Well, there’s a place near me that only has a $.75 difference between the small and large options, so I think the answer is pretty clear. Now, for some people, lettuce is the first and most important ingredient in a salad. But not for me! Once I discovered “toppings only” salads, my life was forever changed. I mean, when you eat a salad in general, you always start by going for the extra yummy additions. The lettuce is just there as a filler, no? So, why waste a topping on lettuce when you can just cut it out completely? Start with some normal, basic ingredients. For instance, you can have your pick of tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, mushrooms…Then, I always choose red onion for a little kick. You can also opt for scallions instead, a nice change of pace. The key with a good salad is to have a variety of textures, colors and flavors. So add in some avocado, grilled eggplant, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, pasta, croutons, craisins, fish, eggs, cheese, crunchy noodles, sunflower seeds, hearts of palm, corn, or anything else you’re craving.
Which brings me to the final piece of the puzzle. Dressings. Now firstly, there are a million salad dressings to choose from. You have Russian, thousand island (does anyone really know what, if any, difference there is between them?), Caesar, vinegarette, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil with a dash of pepper, sweet chili, pesto, garlic mayo, or a variety of other options. You can also mix and match, my personal new favorite is garlic mayo and pesto combined. And then the question becomes, do you have them mix the dressing into the salad or do you get it on the side? Now, if you get it on the side there are several benefits. Firstly, you can ensure that your salad is tasty and not doused in dressing. Also, if you’re trying to be health-conscious, this is a good way to control exactly what you’re eating. And lastly, if you’re not sure you’re going to finish your salad, leaving the dressing on the side is the best option since then the veggies won’t get soggy and you can save the leftovers for another meal. But honestly, it’s so nice when they mix the dressing in for you that you might just stick with that option.
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