Have a salad day
It’s summer now (on the days the weather agrees anyway), a time of year to eat outdoors with a BBQ or picnic in the park, days to take your lunch or tea to the quiet spot by the river or canal, or just to avoid getting hot and sweaty in a warm kitchen.
How about a salad? Salads don’t have to be a boring, healthy, or taste free option, they can use up all sorts of leftovers and mix up lots of flavours. They’re quick to make, easy to store and can be eaten anywhere. Try a few of these salad friendly ideas…
Almost half of the 1 million tonnes of food and drink waste that is thrown away whole or unopened is fresh vegetables and salads. So when you buy salad items here are a few simply tips to stop the mould, wrinkles or slime setting in before you get to eat them:
Bagged salad – either add half a piece of kitchen roll to the open bag and seal it with a bag clip or elastic band or take everything out the bag and put in an airtight plastic container lined with kitchen roll. This could give you up to another week of fresh salad leaves.
A head of lettuce – you could take all the leaves off the stalk and treat it like bagged salad or just keep it standing in a bowl of cold water in the fridge, the cold water helps keep it crispy and without brown bits for just a bit longer.
Carrots, celery and cucumber – the cold water trick also works well for these if they’re a bit limp.
Use your FridgeFreezer superhero – almost everything keeps fresher for longer in the fridge. Lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, peppers, apples, oranges, cheese, leftover meats…
Save a slice
Add a bit of crunch to your salads, as well as adding carrots, peppers or slices of apple you can also add croutons or serve with some nice crunchy toasted bread. Making croutons is not as hard as you may think, here’s a Love Food Hate Waste salad recipe for croutons which also gives you lots of tasty variations. For other tips to stop one of the 24 million slices of bread thrown out every day check out our saveaslice campaign.
Not forgetting to Save a Spud too
If you’ve cooked too many spuds or have some going a bit sprouty then put them in a salad. Take a helping of cooked, cold potatoes – add a dollop of mayo and then see what else you could add… apple or carrot for a crunch, a spoonful of chopped nuts, a slice of ham or sausage, a helping of leftover cold meats, a sliced boiled egg, cubes of cheese – these are the sorts of foods that we end up ignoring because they don’t make a meal in themselves – but combined into a salad they become a quick, tasty lunch or dinner which makes those unappealing leftover Spuds a delicious, easy meal to make.
For other tips to stop one of the 5.8 million potatoes thrown out every day check out our saveaspud campaign.
All dressed up with nowhere to go?
How many bottles or jars of salad dressing, sauces or pastes are hiding in your fridge? Be honest now! The trouble is, it’s hard to remember when they were opened so how to tell if it’s still safe to eat? A top tip is to use a marker pen to write on the label when it was opened so that you know how long you have to finish it up.
If you put dressing or sauce on your salad it creates a whole new taste. If you’re making a salad for lots of people though try to avoid putting the dressing on it. Instead put the options next to the bowl so people can add the tastes they like to their plates and if there’s salad leftover you can put it in an airtight container in the fridge for use a few hours later or the next day and it won’t go slimy.
Here are just a few of the recipes out there, search online, watch cooking programmes, check in recipe books, ask your friends or just make it up as you go along!
- Simple hearty salad from Cordon Vert vegetarian cookery school – use up whatever veg is in season or is in your fridge
- Beef and bean salad
- Vegetable mayonnaise salads – popular in South America
- Curried rice salad
- Panzanella – check it out if you’ve never heard of it
- Waldorf salad
- Chicken Caeser salad the Jamie Oliver way
- Limp lettuce soup – use up spinach, watercress and lettuce to make this soup