Almost every day I eat the exact same thing for lunch. Bagged Salad. They are so versatile and easy! They can be thrown together in under 5 mins and can easily be made ahead of time. I sometime make up 3 or 4 salads in mason jars to get me through the week. I don’t always have time to prep some exotic exciting and nutritious lunch so I rely heavily on these salads.
The chopped variety are hands down my favorites. I find they tend to hold up well when prepped ahead of time then the more delicate salad greens, and they offer different veggie combinations, instead of the standard romaine lettuce. The sweet kale and Brussels sprouts variety is my absolute favorite. It comes with chopped (actually it mostly shredded) kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage with a poppy dressing and dried cranberry and pumpkin seed topping. The cruciferous veggies (kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage) supply a healthy amount of vitamin a, c, k and folate. Also, when eaten raw like in this salad, they are high in sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a potent phytochemical that research has shown to have a positive effect on cancer and certain neurodegenerative diseases.
I’ve been able to find these salads at my local grocery store, Target and Costco. All different brands, but comparable in taste and nutritional breakdown. Obviously the Costco sized one is the largest, but I’ve never had a problem finishing it before it has gone bad.
I just add in my own protein and croutons (because a salad MUST have crunch). Most nights, when making dinner, I cook an extra serving of protein (chicken breast or thighs, pork chops, steaks, etc.) and then I use the left over protein for the next day’s salad. When assembling the salads, I tend to use a higher veggie to dressing/topping ratio then the bag recommends. Helping keep the fat and sugar content lower. So if the bag says it contains 4 servings, for me that is usually 2-3 servings of veggies, and I just save the dressing and toppings for another salad.
For meal prepping, layer these salads in a mason jar. (Like I talked about here) First put the dressing in, then the salad mix (if using the hardier Brussel sprout and kale mix. If using more delicate greens, layer them last), next put in your protein, then top with the cranberries and seeds. Last but not least, put in whatever you need for crunch (I always add in 10 croutons). Lunch is made! In under 5 minutes and if you meal prepped, it’s done for the week.