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MsTCB

Question about Salads - keeping lettuce fresh

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MsTCB

I am wanting to add green leafy salads to my daily menus, but here's my problem that I'm hoping someone can help me with.

Problem: I go to the grocery store once a week and if I buy lettuce (usually in the re-packaged bags), I can usually get 2 salads out of before the rest of the lettuce in the bag turns to slimy mush. If I buy 2 bags, a lot of times, that second bag of lettuce is already turning kinda brown and I can usually just get 1 salad out of that bag before the rest turns to mush. I have yet to figure out a way to be able to have a fresh lettuce salad every day for a week without having to go to the grocery store every other day.

 

I would love to hear any and all ideas about how you all manage to eat fresh salads every day or nearly every day. Currently, I go days and days without eating any veggies and I want to change that. I take lots of vitamins, but I know it's much better to get it from the real food.

 

I would appreciate your help. :)

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rwallen

MsTCB,

 

My wife will buy a head of lettuce and that will keep longer. To me, that's too much work. We have bought McDonalds' side salads for some of our meals. They're on the dollar menu and 2 of them are usually enough for my wife and I. I eat 1 1/2 and she eats 1/2. Of course, we have a McDonalds close by.

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MsTCB

lol...I agree - Chopping up stuff is too much work for me too. :) I usually eat on the run, so I'm a "grab and go" kind of person. So, the idea of the McDonald's side salads sounds VERY doable. We have one very close by as well.

Thanks for sharing - I'm gonna try that. :)

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Vilya

Check your supermarket's veggie section and see if they offer lettuce in little bins, rather than bags. At my store they have a variety of different lettuces in containers which are store brand, not national brands like Dole. I buy Romaine leaves. They're not chopped up, but the head of lettuce has been pulled apart and washed. All I do is the tear the leaves up into a bowl and enjoy. I get 3 salads out of 1 bin. It's more expensive than buying the unprepared head, but I know I would end up wasting a lot of it if I had to wash it and break it down myself.

 

I hate the bagged lettuce; it gets slimy so fast!

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jwags

I think the heads of Romaine do last longer but I also buy the salad bags. I used to buy the bigger bags at Costco but ended up throwing a lot of it away. I find the darker salad greens last a lot longer. The ice berg goes bad quickly. My MIL used to wrap her lettuce leaves in paper towels to absorb moisture, you could try that. Also once you open a bag, roll it closed and squeese all the air out of it and clip with a clothespin.

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IrinaHarr

I also shop once a week, I buy boxed spinach (it keeps better) for the beginning of the week. On day 3-4 I have broccoli and zuccini, on day 5-6 I have frozen asparagus veggie mix in microwavable steam bags. Works well for me.

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Hooterville

I guess that's one reason I'm constantly at the store. :D I was kind of addicted to salads and couldn't keep lettuce in the house. I recently discovered that my store, Raley's a Nor Cal regional chain, now has their own Raley's brand of bagged lettuce and they seem to stay fresher longer. I also like to get the bags of romaine hearts. They seem to last longer and don't require as much work as a regular head of lettuce. I'm super picky about lettuce! I have to examine ever piece of bagged spinache looking for anything black & slimy.

 

I buy heads of cauliflower and wash the whole head and break it up in flowerettes and put them in a gallon zip baggie with a paper towell in the bottom. That will keep for a week or so for easy raw veggie munching. I try to always have it on hand. Just had that for lunch dipped in bleu cheese dressing with a hamburger patty. Was going to have a 1/2 an apple as well but skipped it.

 

Celery is another good thing to wash up and cut in advance and store in a baggie with a paper towell so it's always ready to go. Good for dipping in peanut butter or I like to buy a big thingy of goat cheese at Costco and add my own herbs de Provence and chopped garlic and dip celery in that.

 

I don't like asparagus. I always want to like it but just don't for some reason but I love pickled asparagus! A sweet, talented co-worker told me that if I'd buy the asparagus, she'd pickle it for me. I bought a bunch and have been hoarding those jars. That's another go-to veggie for me.

 

Just some ideas on how to have easy veggies around...

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MsTCB
Check your supermarket's veggie section and see if they offer lettuce in little bins, rather than bags. At my store they have a variety of different lettuces in containers which are store brand, not national brands like Dole. I buy Romaine leaves. They're not chopped up, but the head of lettuce has been pulled apart and washed. All I do is the tear the leaves up into a bowl and enjoy. I get 3 salads out of 1 bin. It's more expensive than buying the unprepared head, but I know I would end up wasting a lot of it if I had to wash it and break it down myself.

 

I hate the bagged lettuce; it gets slimy so fast!

I'll check to see if we have those bins of lettuce. I agree - they get slimy so fast.

I don't mind spending a little more b/c at least this way I will actually eat it.

I've bought heads of lettuce in the past with the best intentions of making salads, but usually end up throwing it away after it goes bad before I use it.

Thanks for the idea!

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MsTCB
I think the heads of Romaine do last longer but I also buy the salad bags. I used to buy the bigger bags at Costco but ended up throwing a lot of it away. I find the darker salad greens last a lot longer. The ice berg goes bad quickly. My MIL used to wrap her lettuce leaves in paper towels to absorb moisture, you could try that. Also once you open a bag, roll it closed and squeese all the air out of it and clip with a clothespin.

 

If I can't find the lettuce in the bins, I'll start buying darker greens. Thanks for the idea!

Also love the paper towel, rolling, squeezing and clothespin ideas!! Will do. :)

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MsTCB
I also shop once a week, I buy boxed spinach (it keeps better) for the beginning of the week. On day 3-4 I have broccoli and zuccini, on day 5-6 I have frozen asparagus veggie mix in microwavable steam bags. Works well for me.

 

Great idea about titrating to frozen by week's end. Spinach! I forget about fresh Spinach - I used to love that stuff. :)

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MsTCB
I guess that's one reason I'm constantly at the store. :D I was kind of addicted to salads and couldn't keep lettuce in the house. I recently discovered that my store, Raley's a Nor Cal regional chain, now has their own Raley's brand of bagged lettuce and they seem to stay fresher longer. I also like to get the bags of romaine hearts. They seem to last longer and don't require as much work as a regular head of lettuce. I'm super picky about lettuce! I have to examine ever piece of bagged spinache looking for anything black & slimy.

 

I buy heads of cauliflower and wash the whole head and break it up in flowerettes and put them in a gallon zip baggie with a paper towell in the bottom. That will keep for a week or so for easy raw veggie munching. I try to always have it on hand. Just had that for lunch dipped in bleu cheese dressing with a hamburger patty. Was going to have a 1/2 an apple as well but skipped it.

 

Celery is another good thing to wash up and cut in advance and store in a baggie with a paper towell so it's always ready to go. Good for dipping in peanut butter or I like to buy a big thingy of goat cheese at Costco and add my own herbs de Provence and chopped garlic and dip celery in that.

 

I don't like asparagus. I always want to like it but just don't for some reason but I love pickled asparagus! A sweet, talented co-worker told me that if I'd buy the asparagus, she'd pickle it for me. I bought a bunch and have been hoarding those jars. That's another go-to veggie for me.

 

Just some ideas on how to have easy veggies around...

 

Thanks, Hooter -- I love all these ideas!

We are the opposite on the celery vs asparagus. I love asparagus, but I can't tolerate celery. I have always wanted to like celery - especially since you dip in lots of stuff like peanut butter. But, somehow it takes bitter to me.

But, I do love me some raw cauliflower. Haven't tried bleu cheese dressing, but that sounds wonderful.

 

Thanks for the ideas!!

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sodajerk

We get a head, I break out the core then tear it up in chunks. I then wash it and spin it dry in a salad spinner. I think that is the trick, get all the excess water out. We then keep it in the frig in a covered bowl. I last up to a week.

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Moonpie

I buy a head of lettuce ( any kind) wash it, spin it & then pat it dry, store in a ziplock, with more paper towel in it to keep it dry. This way it lasts for weeks ( we don't eat salad every day) And I liek to have the whole leaves ready to eat as a wrap for my snacks. Red or green cabbage keep longer too, either pre chopped, or just chop up as needed. I also sometimes buy the hydroponic lettuce, with the roots still attached, that keeps well too.

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MsTCB

Soda....A salad spinner - I had not heard of such a device. Thanks!!

 

Moon... I did not realize that it was the moisture that was turning the lettuce "bad" so fast. I really like the idea of keeping the whole leaves ready for a lettuce wrap.

I've never tried raw cabbage in salads either. I've just used cabbage cooked in vegetable soup. I like that idea as well.

Thanks!!

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dice22

I buy the boxed spinach to use as my lettuce( It's already pre washed) & it's keeps longer than bagged spinach ( like 2-3 days longer ) usually I put paper towels between my spinach & on top to "extend" its life also. FYI: the red color you see on lettuce when its cut is it's natural decomp.; if you still like lettuce better get you a Tupperware lettuce keeper; I believe it has a special knife included to core the lettuce with( that knife I speak of is not a traditional knife) it's a plastic sere-rated knife that came with the lettuce keeper or maybe you could pursed it separately, but go to E-bay & type in vintage Tupperware in the line where it has category put Home & Garden or just type in Tupperware .com into your'e search engine & browse there catalogs. P.S. they have change a lot of Tupperware products since I sold it.

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IrinaHarr
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I am not a big fan of asparagus myself, but the frozen veggie mix with asparagus has lower amount of carbs. Asparagus has no definite taste for me, I am an onion and pepper girl :)

 

As for lattice leaves being crunchy and last longer - the caterers' trick is to wash the leaves, wrap them in a towel and place in large plastic bag in the fridge. I usually wash leaves and lay them in one direction on a cloth towel, then I put plastic wrap over the towel and I put this bundle vertically (stems down) on the refridgerator shelf. This way the rest of the water trickles down and is absorbed by the cloth towel. Whole lattice leaves do keep longer, and so does spinach in a bag or plastic box because leaves are not torn or cut.

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IrinaHarr

I am not a big fan of asparagus myself, but the frozen veggie mix with asparagus has lower amount of carbs. Asparagus has no definite taste for me, I am an onion and pepper girl :)

 

As for lattice leaves being crunchy and last longer - the caterers' trick is to wash the leaves, wrap them in a towel and place in large plastic bag in the fridge. I usually wash leaves and lay them in one direction on a cloth towel, then I put plastic wrap over the towel and I put this bundle vertically (stems down) on the refridgerator shelf. This way the rest of the water trickles down and is absorbed by the cloth towel. Whole lattice leaves do keep longer, and so does spinach in a bag or plastic box because leaves are not torn or cut.

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MsTCB
I am not a big fan of asparagus myself, but the frozen veggie mix with asparagus has lower amount of carbs. Asparagus has no definite taste for me, I am an onion and pepper girl :)

 

As for lattice leaves being crunchy and last longer - the caterers' trick is to wash the leaves, wrap them in a towel and place in large plastic bag in the fridge. I usually wash leaves and lay them in one direction on a cloth towel, then I put plastic wrap over the towel and I put this bundle vertically (stems down) on the refridgerator shelf. This way the rest of the water trickles down and is absorbed by the cloth towel. Whole lattice leaves do keep longer, and so does spinach in a bag or plastic box because leaves are not torn or cut.

 

Ah, an "onion and pepper girl" - that explains it. I like very bland-tasting foods and Asparagus has a very mild taste to me. I'll have to look for a frozen veggie mix with Asparagus. This past summer I was eating lots of fresh Asparagus, but it was getting too expensive for me. I tried to find frozen Asparagus, but couldn't find any. I went to 3 different local groceries. It was strange. BUT, I never looked for it in a veggie mix. Thanks for the idea!

 

AWESOME - I LOVE that "caterers' trick" method. I do love salads - I even crave them. So, I am so HAPPY to know now to store it to enjoy it all week long. :)

Thanks!

 

I just noticed your weight loss in your signature! WOW - 30 lbs in just 2 months!! And that was over the Holidays. Not many people can do that.

CONGRATS!!!

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dccc

To get the core out of a head of lettuce just hit it on the counter, core down and it should break and come right out. For celery I wrap it in tin foil and it stays colder and doesn't get soft, will last a good while and stay crisp. Darker leaf lettuce's do stay fresh longer, I hardly ever buy regular old lettuce anymore. Red cabbage thinly sliced is great in salads and soups. Love the color effect.

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Janknitz

Google "Salad in a Jar". It might keep longer in the jar (1 qt canning jars) and you could make up salads for the entire week, then just grab and go.

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Mrs.Topdog

I am new to diabetic eating, but have a way that keeps lettuce fresh. I like the prepackaged SpringMix with fresh herbs. I buy one bag of this and one bag of mixed vegs. I like brocolli and cauliflouer (sp.. it's late). I have a large plastic sealable round container and use what's called a "green bag". I put the green bag into the plastic container and fill the green bag alternately with the lettuce, then vegs, then a little more lettuce, then vegs. Close up the green bag inside the plastic container and seal with top. Whenever I want salad, I pull out a handful or two. The lettuce really stays fresh for a long time.

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