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Making Salads Portable

Do you guys miss baking the way I do?  Without my camera (Fritz has it for the weekend while he’s in Montreal with his dad for the Grand Prix), and without my husband, baking has seemed a little superfluous.  Between trying to get through all the greens and leftovers in the fridge by myself, and having no one to share baked goods with, I just couldn’t make it seem necessary.  However, Fritz is coming home tomorrow and today is looking like its going to be a perfect day for some serious baking.  I’m thinking cookies, or bread, but probably cookies.  Mom gave me some giant nonpareils that would look so cute squished atop some peanut butter cookies.

Sorry that you won’t see them.

Last week, when I knew I’d be camera-less, I took some extra pictures so I’d have something to blog about.  Today’s topics:  making salads portable.

With Fritz and I both in school all day long, it’s even harder to eat healthily–especially on a student budget.  When I first started school, all my classmates bought their lunches in the hospital cafeteria, which adds up really fast.  A prepackaged salad there costs between $5 and $8!  Definitely not acceptable.  I brought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day (I’ll admit it, I still love a good ol’ PB&J) which wasn’t the most nutritious of lunches to eat daily.  This year, we’ve started to bring leftover dinners to school for lunches, along with our standard easily packaged sides (yogurt, baby carrots, fruit, cottage cheese, trail mix, etc), and now–salads.

When I started trying to make salads portable, I was making rookie mistakes such as (don’t laugh) putting the dressing on them at home and eating them five hours later.  The horror!  Wilted, slimy lettuce and a salad that’s half the size it was when I first packed it.  I also crammed a big salad (these are entree-sized salads, here) into too small a Tupperware, making them difficult to mix and messy to eat.

Finally, I’ve got it down.  For someone who didn’t really like salad that much in the first place, it took a lot more trial-and-error than you’d expect to make me actually want to enjoy a salad at school.  For all you salad-haters out there–it is possible!  Stick to it.

Here’s some of my “making salad portable” tips:

1)  Mix your lettuces.  I get bored of salad pretty fast, so if you can combine lettuces in the same salad, or rotate lettuce types daily, it’ll really help.  In this salad I started with the red Boston lettuce, and added in a handful of baby mixed salad greens.

2)  Be creative with your toppings–and don’t get stingy.  This is a meal, remember.  For this salad I used white salad turnips and turkey, and I topped it off with a handful of sesame seeds.  I was making this salad quickly in the morning, and wanted a protein–even sliced deli meat is better than nothing!

Other tried and true combinations are strawberries/raisins/walnuts, carrots/bell peppers/tomatoes, and any leftover grilled chicken or steak we have lying around.  Since I am still a rookie salad maker, I’ve yet to get into adding hummus, lentils, beans, etc.–but I can promise that will happen.  One step at a time, here.

3)  Dressing.  So important.  Get a non-leaking small container that’ll hold 2 T of dressing, and take advantage!  Also have a few interesting dressings in your fridge so you don’t have to make one yourself every day, and you can change up the flavors.

4) A big enough container.  I use a pretty giant container, but it holds my salad and all the extras–the dressing container, a fork, other toppings I want to add later (in a baggie), everything.  That way it’s okay that it’s giant.  You can take all the extras out, add the dressing, and shake it up!

So far, salad has really grown on me.  Summer of the salad is turning into a successful venture!

Today is really looking like a good day–it’s cool and rainy, so it feels a bit like fall (which you know I love).  Even though I’ve been moping around without Fritz, today I woke up feeling motivated.  I’m currently watching my favorite movie of all time (Dan In Real Life), and when I’m done blogging I’m going to clean out my closets.  It’s going to be crazy.

I have so many clothes.

Someone pinned an old blog post of mine on Pinterest, reminding me of a necklace organizer/display I made a few months ago.  I have some newer pictures of it, so I thought I’d reshare for all you new readers out there.  I used to have all my jewelry crammed into a box, and the necklaces were forever getting tangled together, broken, and buried until I forgot about their existence all together.  A genius idea (if I do say so myself), a towel bar, and some shower curtain rings later, I have this:

It’s awesome, because not only is it super easy to pick out the necklaces I want to wear, but it looks really cute and bright, and never will a necklace tangle again.  And if you get more necklaces, buy a few more shower curtain rings!  I have a million necklaces on there, and it’s not overcrowded yet.

Above the necklace rack is a Frangel that Fritz’s mom made for me.  Beautiful, huh?

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13 comments

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  1. Jennifer

    I was the one who pinned it when I was looking through your recipes the other day and came across your awesome necklace holder. Loved the idea and have plans to do it here at my house, too. Thanks for the idea!!! I’ve seen lots of people repin it since. You’re a trend setter :) Thanks for the updated pictures!!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      haha thanks! I’m impressed you went back that far!!

  2. tharrie

    LOve your idea of salads-on-the-go…..goign to make myself right now! (psst I see there is some room left for more necklaces….hooks begging for some decoration….yippee!!!!!!)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      there will ALWAYS be room for more necklaces!!! :) enjoy your salad (we’ll definitely be eating lots when you get here next weekend!)

  3. Erin

    Love this! By the way… I literally searched far and wide for YEARS to find the perfect salad dressing container that was the perfect size for dressing and also leak proof. I have yet to find one better than the “Smidget” from Tupperware (discontinued, but you can find them on Ebay or here: http://www.amazon.com/Tupperware-Smidget-Set-5-Green/dp/7506277328/ref=pd_sim_hg_3). Tupperware also has a slightly larger container (the “Midget”) that is equally awesome (I have some of these too): http://order.tupperware.com/pls/htprod_www/tup_show_item.show_item_detail?fv_item_category_code=10201&fv_item_number=P10068217000. I cannot tell you how many things I use these for – meds and vitamins in my purse (instead of 5 bottles), condiments, seeds, etc. etc. etc. LOVE THEM. Highly recommended.

    I’m glad your love for salad is growing. It’s definitely one of my favorite lunches! Love you!! xxx

    1. Erin

      PS – if you do opt to try out the “Smidget,” don’t get them from Amazon – you can get them MUCH more cheaply on Ebay, but I didn’t want to link there since the listings change on a daily basis. I got 5 or 6 “Smidgets” for about $8 shipped.

    2. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks erin! i definitely need a few more of those so I’ll check Ebay when I get a spare moment!

  4. my0wneyes

    I do the same exact thing with my salads for work…huge salad bowl…baggie of croutons, dried cranberries, maybe cheese or tuna…small tupperware(the same exact on in your pic) of dressing. I love salad. I love chicpeas and kidney beans in there too maybe some beets…very filling. Great post

  5. losangelas

    Very good organization skills with the salads to go! Hope your BF had a good day with all the rain….

  6. uforicfood

    The salads look lovely – but the necklace rack looks awesome!!! I have been trying to think of a great way to keep my necklaces in an orderly fashion. I have tried a few different things – but nothing really works as well as your fabulous idea! When we are in a permament place, I’ll be rigging one of these up. Pure genius!!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      it will change your life :)

  7. Amy

    Wow, great idea! I was searching on google for a DIY necklace holder and came across this. I make jewelry and buy jewelry at least once a month and am running out of places on my desk to hang my necklaces and this is certainly something I need to do. I’ve got just the spot too, I am short and have a tall mirror over my dresser so I think for the wasted space that I can’t fill when looking in the mirror will be replaced with a curtain rod (as I don’t think a towel rod would be long enough) for my necklaces to hang. I also think I’ll make a picture frame earring holder with screen mesh to replace the glass.

  8. Anne

    For earring holders, I recommend using plastic mesh (as for needlepoint) to fill a picture frame rather than screen mesh, which is easily snagged. Just staple-gun it in. If you really want to get fancy, add an extra strip that is stapled only at the top and use that for studs and other non-fishhook styles. (Otherwise you have to take the holder off the wall to attach the earrings. The only drawback I have found to the plastic mesh is that the sizes are more limited. Otherwise, it’s sturdy and looks fine.

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