Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A First Step....Salad

After being away from home for 4 days, I hit the ground running on Monday as I had previously scheduled a, well, I don't know what to call it exactly, but a cooking lesson / consultation kind of thing, with a former KB client who is now interested in taking her nutrition more seriously, and she needed to get some ideas and direction on how and where to start. Now, I'm not a "cooking" expert, and I don't know what's going to be the best or easiest way for anyone else to, 1) lose weight, or 2) conveniently eat more nutritiously by cooking and preparing their own foods and therefore improving their health....the two going hand in hand....but this is how I did it, and I did manage to do both of those things very successfully.

The first thing I knew about my own weight loss was I needed to consume less calories...way less! No one had to tell me how bad the processed foods, that were the majority of my diet, were for my weight, but also for my health, good health means being of a healthy weight. So I knew the quickest way to losing weight was to provide myself with homemade foods and meals, bottom line...and since I knew myself well enough to know I had a large appetite, my main approach was to eat all the fresh veggies I could learn to incorporate into each meal, endless amounts, if I wanted.

Maindish salads topped my list. Salads require no cooking, but they do require fresh veggies, the fresher the better. So what do you do if you don't have the time or energy to make a salad, fresh, everyday, or fresh every meal? One of the solutions is to pre-prep your salad ingredients and even creating a salad mix ready to go, that can last 4-7 days in the fridge. Cabbage based salad mixes are my staple, because you can pre-shed cabbage without it wilting for many days and you can even pre-dress cabbage salads lighty without the same effect (no wilting). This is also the reason I take a cabbage or broccoli based salad to work or on travel with me.

With proper prep and storage most veggies will last 4-7 days in the fridge. Proper prep and storage requires, upon arriving home, washing and drying your veggies and then storing them indivually in towel lined plastic bags in the fridge (I use flour sack cotton towels, or you can use paper towels). This is also how you store fresh herbs. The dry towel inside the plastic absorbs some of the leftover moisture from washing the veggies, while creating humidity within the plastic bag to help keep the veggies fresher.

I routinely preshred a cabbage salad mix that starts with green cabbage, and carrots. These two veggies last the longest (raw broccoli too) and even if this is all you have, makng a simple dressing of 1/2 plain yogurt, 1/2 mayo, some sort of vinegar (apple cider or even plain white) and, or lemon/lime juice, maybe a tad bit of honey or sugar S& P....or a low calorie store bought all you need, anything extra is a bonus. And adding protein, like diced chicken, tuna, etc., turns it into a maindish salad.

I add lots of other stuff to my cabbage salad mix, mostly using other veggies I already have in my fridge, one or another or all! Here is a list, in order, of the other ingredients I add,

red cabbage
broccoli (chopped fine)
green onion

The amounts don't matter. For instance today I had more red cabbage than green, I only had one carrot and one jalapeno, I had tons of green onions and a small amount of broccoli, no cilantro, but italian parsley. I made enough salad mix for about 3 salads, two of which I'll take with me on my trip tomorrow. I'll dress 2 salads lightly and bring extra dressing, this salad requires no immediate refrigeration, I'll eat one for lunch and one for dinner. (I need to be at the airport by 10am, leaving at 12 noon).

See Food and Thought for my favorite, most requested, Curry dressing, and more info on washing, storing and prepping fresh veggie ingredients.

Life is good, salads are good, pre-prepped, fresh veggies are good.


Amy Jurrens said...

Your cabbage salad looks like my cabbage salad! I eat a ton of the stuff. I make it on Sunday and eat it every day for lunch along with hard boiled eggs. I never get tired of it because I change the dressing every week as well as the veggies. I use everything from brocolli to cauliflower to carrots.

Hey, are those Keens I see on your feet in that bottom picture???? I have those same flip flops. Love my Keens (all 12 pairs)!

Anonymous said...

Have I mentioned I love the shoes!!

Thanks for posting this about the is how I got started and I learned that from you and you inspire me. There are not words to express the gratitude I have for that.

Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Don't you mean YOUR cabbage salad looks like mine? LOL! I love any kind of coleslaw mix, my curry yogurt dressing, with fresh diced pineapple and dates!

But like my KB training the basics are the same (swings), just different combinations.

And yes, I love my Keens too!

I'll be posting the picture I have of the two of us soon, because I regret not buying that stinkin' 1/2 cup ice cream scoop thing, and now I have to track it down online, lol! I loved that kitchen shop, thank you so much for taking me.

Tracy Reifkind said...


No you never mentioned tat you loved the shoes, lol!

You put so much more thought into the foods you choose, and the fact that you trusted me about anchovies, lol, shows how motivated and interested you are about expanding your food experience and nutrition. Good for us!

Anonymous said...

I am going to have to check out these Keens! great shoes that you and Amy Have! LOL

Thanks Tracy! I taught this lady at my job about salad on the stick and she is now drinking more water and no more regular soda, and she suggested I try that with fruit. ever try that with fruit? fruit on a stick. I don't even need dip, I like it so much I froze them so after my workouts I eat it, it so beats those popsicles they sell in the store.

Oh yeah.. I realized it is not the diet coke I crave but that fake sugar! I am not kidding, I gave it up for 7 days and found it wasn't the caffeine I missed it was the sugar. I also found that I did not really miss the diet coke. I found myself wanting to drink anything that had splenda in it. But I resisted and instead began to eat some fruits ( I wasn't eating fruits hardly at all!) I now make smoothies with yogurt_-which was another idea you taught me and I have the diet coke once a week! its a treat I look forward too, I know its not good for me, but I have it, I enjoy it and than I move on.

I never ate an anchovy before I worked with you! and learning new stuff is what makes life grand! Thanks to you I am learning that eating is also about enjoying the tastes, smell and looks of healthy organically grown fresh food, and spices and great for us!