One of the benefits of cooking at home instead of eating out is that you eat healthier. And I’ve definitely been eating healthier the last few weeks. One thing I’ve started doing is packing a salad for lunch every day. If I add protein, it can serve as an entree, though I’m more likely to leave out the protein and have it as a side dish along with leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.
I’m all about the speedy packing, however, and I’ve established a system for packing a quick salad the night before. The first thing I do is drain and rinse a can of black beans. I have a small colander that comes with a bowl, so I use that. The second thing I do is chop a package of steamed beets. I get these at Trader Joe’s – they come vacuum packed, and there are approximately five steamed beets in each package. I dice the beets and store them in a plastic container.
Each night, I put about 1/3 cup beans and 1/4 cup beets in the bottom of a plastic bowl with a lid. (I use the bowl that came with this Lock & Lock set but any similar container will work.) If I want dressing, I’ll add some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to the bean and beet mixture. Then I fill the rest of the bowl with lettuce, and top the lettuce with some shredded cheese (usually part-skim mozzarella). If I want protein, like shredded chicken or kalua pork, I add that on top with or instead of the cheese. Because the wet ingredients are at the bottom of the bowl, the lettuce won’t wilt (just make sure that it’s dry before you pack it).
In the morning, all you have to do is grab the container and go!