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Lose Weight with Your Own Salad Bar

Updated on April 20, 2013
This is my finger food salad bar, no lettuce needed! So easy to snack and munch before and/or after your lunch!
This is my finger food salad bar, no lettuce needed! So easy to snack and munch before and/or after your lunch!

Your Personal Salad Bar is the New Fast Food

At some point in my twenties, like a smack in the face, I realized that my previously fast metabolism must have slowed down without notice.

I had been exercising, but my eating habits were less than light. I wanted to eat healthy but I wanted it to be fast and not cost too much. I didn’t think I was asking too much.

I realized, after visiting an excellent salad bar, how easy it would be to eat healthy and lose weight if I had access to that type of a spread at home. That in mind, I came up with my own HOME Salad Bar where I could quickly and easily make fresh and interesting salads all the time with minimal prep time and no clean up.

You know what? I started eating a lot more salad instead of snacks or heavy, starchy, fattening meals and foods and I began to lose weight!

Eating out of your salad bar every day will help the pounds peel off naturally. Due to the low amount of calories, you can fill up on more food without packing on the pounds.

I encourage anyone who has ever wanted to stick to a light salad based diet but finds themselves leaning toward quick and easy food, to try a salad bar and watch their waistline whittle down.

This is the type of container you can use to get started

Get Your Containers Ready

You may want one large container for salad lettuce

AND, containers for your different vegetables and toppings...

Large, divided food containers with lids are my favorite way to set up a salad bar.

You will need to put together some sort of system to make it as easy as possible for you to open up your personal salad bar several times a day. I like the one above, and the Prodyne one below. I also like to use a variety of containers in my food storage system.

You could use 1 large container, instead of divided ones, you could use a few smaller square or rectangular food containers that will fit snugly inside the large container!

The KEY is to make it EASY for you to get into, so the work doesn't discourage the payoff.

Divided Containers for Your Salad Bar

This is a Great Salad Bar Container

This is the one I use for nuts, sunflower seeds and dried fruit. Plus you can put ice under the cups and use the pop up lid if you want to enjoy your salad bar outdoors.
This is the one I use for nuts, sunflower seeds and dried fruit. Plus you can put ice under the cups and use the pop up lid if you want to enjoy your salad bar outdoors.

The Salad you put in your Bar

  • Lettuce can be in a separate container(s), cleaned and shredded so it is ready to go. Use some of the purple cabbage for color and crunch!
  • In a multi-compartment bar - fresh vegetables like carrots, onions and peppers sliced or chopped, zucchini and yellow squash shredded, cucumbers sliced.
  • Add a variety of canned vegetables and legumes like green beans, beets, corn, garbanzo and black beans.
  • A variety of dried fruits, unsalted nuts and seeds can be in their own divided bin.
  • Jars of pickles and or/pickled pepperoncini or banana peppers are great to have on hand.
  • Keep a good selection salad dressings to keep you interested. Don't feel bad if you don't like some dressing! Stick with one you like and be aware of how much a serving is!
  • Salads can easily be put together by opening several containers instead of dealing with dozens of containers, washing, and chopping each time. The salad bar minimizes the chore of eating light.


Tips and Tricks:

  • One salad can be put together in one container for lunch and a completely different salad can be made for dinner.
  • Of course meats, tofu, seitan, fish, poultry and cheeses can be added, just go LIGHT on the cheese. Figure out the size of a serving and limit yourself to that!
  • Try 2 or 3 different dressings and don't feel bad if you don't like a few of them. When you find one that you like, you will eat healthier salads instead of meat, cheese and bread.
  • Be creative and look to cultural foods for ideas to maximize variety on vegetables, fruits and legumes.
  • Marinated, cooked, and pickled foods can increase interest and suit certain tastes. Plus they last longer!
  • Be sure to eat or clean out the food before items spoil!
  • Eat your veggies hot! Throw veggies in a cast iron skillet or frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and toss with a bunch of spices once they are cooked.
  • The important thing is to stay committed to this project. The food must be consumed and restocked and lunches, snacks and dinners should often start at your salad bar.

I like to make a protein, like my Santa Fe Tofu, pictured, to go with my sliced veggies. You could make chicken, seitan or legumes for protein!
I like to make a protein, like my Santa Fe Tofu, pictured, to go with my sliced veggies. You could make chicken, seitan or legumes for protein!

Suggested Salad Foods

Here is a list of the healthiest foods to inspire your salad:

  • Carrots
  • Red, Green or other color Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Shredded Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Jalapenos
  • Jicama
  • Olives
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Kidney Beans
  • Garbonzo Beans (or Chick Peas)
  • Black Beans
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Apples
  • Manderine Oranges
  • Avocado
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Rasberries
  • Blackberries
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Beets
  • Corn
  • Quinoa
  • Baked Tofu

So many combinations for endless possibilities!


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    • LauraGT profile image


      6 years ago from MA

      Love it! I too eat a ton of salad. My favorite salad is a hodge-podge. I open the fridge, see what's there, and toss it all together. Left over roasted veggies, some beans maybe, some grilled chicken or fish, a little cheese and some dressing, and voila! Dinner!


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