We have probably eaten a million tossed salads in our lives. Well maybe not a million, but we bet that’s a pretty close number!
What’s a great way to add more nutrition to a meal? Serve the meal with a tossed salad! A green lettuce salad can bump up the nutritional value of your meal without adding a lot of fat or calories.
What makes the best tossed salad? Fresh ingredients!
A basic tossed salad recipe consists of the same main ingredients.
4 Most Common Types of Salad Lettuce: Butterhead, Iceberg, Leaf, and Romaine.
- Lettuce – a good lettuce choice like leafy healthy Romaine or green leaf lettuce. A nice crisp head of iceberg lettuce is great for making a classic wedge salad. Try adding some leafs of red lettuce as well for more of a nutritional boost.
- Tomato – a nice ripe tomato of your choice. This can either be slices of a whole tomato or little cherry or plum tomatoes.
- Cucumber – slices of fresh peeled cucumber.
- Radishes – Radishes are often overlooked but are an important part of a basic salad. We will show you how to cut the radishes so you will enjoy them more.
- Celery – Low in fat and high in fiber. Celery will also give you that bit of extra crunch.
- Olives – black or green.
- Cheese – There are many options here but two of our favorites for a basic tossed salad would be blue cheese crumbles or shredded mozzarella. Go with a nice fresh feta cheese for a lower calorie option.
What About Salad Dressing?
Experiment with different fresh salad dressings by making your own. Remember when using salad dressings – less is best. Salad dressings can add tons of fat so be cautious when using them. Bottled dressings are also a great choice and there are tons of varieties to choose from. From organic dressings to yogurt dressings, you are sure to find one that is a perfect fit for you.
How to Make A Basic Salad
STEP 1 . Wash your lettuce in a colander using a light spray of water. Wash both sides of the lettuce. Shake the colander to remove most of the water from the lettuce or use your salad spinner. If there is still a lot of water, wipe with a clean paper towel. Cut any ends off of the bottoms.
STEP 2 – Lay Romaine lettuce on your cutting board and even up the ends the best you can. Start cutting from the right side in small swipes/slices.
Step 3. Once you have all the lettuce evenly chopped, toss it in your bowl and lightly salt & pepper. Don’t forget the salt and pepper! This is an important step in a great tossed salad.
Step 4. Cut your cucumber and tomatoes. If it is a salad for one person then (1) small tomato is fine. If it’s for a larger salad then use a large tomato or 4 smaller ones. Peel the cucumber and cut both ends off at the tips. Slice cucumber in half, and using a small spoon, gently scrape away the seeds. Cut the cucumber into small pieces for your salad.
The Basic Tossed Salad is now Complete!
Using your sharp knife, cut everything one more time into small pieces. Pour on your favorite dressing and a little more salt & pepper.
Now add your radishes, olives and cheese for some extra salad fun! Maybe toss in a few nuts or seeds!
Learn how to cut your radishes for salads so they are enjoyed by everyone. You can read more about that here –> Eat More Radishes in Your Salad
Do you know the most used salad dressing? Take a guess! RANCH DRESSING!
- Try adding some dark leafy greens to your salad like chopped up spinach or kale. Dark leafy greens are loaded with folate. Folate is a B vitamin that promotes healthy red blood cells.
Bagged Lettuce Vs. Fresh Lettuce
Is there a big difference between bagged lettuce and fresh lettuce? We recommend buying fresh lettuce from a trusted vendor vs. bagged lettuce. Commercially bagged lettuce can contain lettuce grown from various locations. If there is a problem with the lettuce in the bag, the source is not always easy to identify.
SALAD TOOLS WE LOVE
Salad Spinner! – Get the Water off of Your Lettuce Easily!
We have made about a million salads here at DinnerPlanner.com, and we definitely love using a salad spinner to a crisp salad! You can find our favorite spinner here –> Salad Spinner
You will also want to check out this nifty Smart Planet Eco Collapsible Salad Bowl – perfect for those salads on the go! You can find one right here –> Salad Bowl
Save Money and Keep Your Lettuce Fresh by Storing it Properly –
This is what we use – it’s a “breathable” storage container that definitely helps to keep your produce fresher longer.
Take that Salad to Go! Travel Container for your Favorite Salad!