I don’t know why it took me nearly a year to make myself a salad for lunch. Clearly the salad bar at Rincon Market just wasn’t as sexy as exploring all the new lunch options available in San Francisco after 2 years of working in Sausalito. Plus a salad bar isn’t social, and most of the time, the FM engineering team goes out en masse. I’d also heard that it was hard to make a salad for less than $10 there (as they weigh everything at $6.99/lb).
Well, now that a year has passed, all the eateries around us are old hat, the team has gotten big enough that it tends to break up into multiple lunch parties depending on who’s available when, and we’re all city-confident enough to cross the street without holding hands.
And then part of it is health. I’ve been feeling like I need to intake fewer calories and more fiber in my diet. Enter: salad.
So I started making salads once or twice a week. It took a while to get the hang of it, as this particular salad bar has a multitude of options to choose from, some of which stretch the meaning of the word “salad”. But what I like is that they have all of the important bits to make a really killer salad. Or at least what I consider a killer salad. I guess I’m doing it right, because on a few occasions, people have wondered if my salad had been preprepared, it looked so good.
My first few tries cost in excess of $8 dollars, but I watched what I liked, what was too much, and what I left behind, and slowly tailored my salad making algorithm. Now I’ve got it down to about $5, and every bit of it is awesome.
Here’s what I tend to include, in order.
- bed of chopped romaine lettuce
- few scoops of spring mix
- 2 half-cucumber slices
- 2 cherry tomatoes
- 2 scoops of sliced carrots
- sprinkle of shredded red cabbage
- 3 kalamata olives
- shredded parmesan
- sunflower seeds
- drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- drizzle of olive oil
It ends up looking something like this:
Of course occasionally I mix it up. Some times I add a scoop of corn, or some of those crunchy Chinese noodles. I might leave out the olives if I’m not in the mood. What makes it look so good are the reds, purples, and oranges against the green lettuce, and what makes it taste so good are the salty, crunchy bits.