Monday, January 19, 2015

Making My Own Bagged Salad

Some convenience products are fantastic and I take take full advantage of many of them.

I usually buy cheese already shredded verses shredding it myself.
I like cheese best when I shred it myself, but I just don't take time to do it very often.

Another favorite: break 'n bake cookies.
I have to say, those handy dandy Nestle cookies can be 'breaked & baked' in no time flat ;)

However, there are many things that although they are convenient, they don't taste that great.
No matter how quick & easy they are, I pass them up for a better taste, value, or health benefit.

Today, I'm going to show you my favorite greens for a salad.
And it doesn't take that much time or effort to have them washed, chopped, & on a plate.
See there?!

This is the box of lettuce that I like to buy.
It's called Artisan Lettuce & it's usually $1.99 {at Aldi}.

Artisan lettuce is four fully mature, baby heads of specialty red and green lettuce.
There are two red and two green lettuce heads chosen from the best varieties available
in the field at the time.
There will be a combo of red or green baby Gem, Oak leaf, or Frillice {Tango} lettuce.

Gem lettuce is crunchy, dense & compact, & has a sweet mild flavor.
The Oak leaf lettuce has a ruffly leaf with a soft, full flavor.
This reminds me of a butter lettuce & is my very favorite.
Lastly, Tango is a curly leaf lettuce with a sharp, intense flavor, similar to endive or arugula.
Put these all together, you have a mix that makes a delicious salad.


Now, opening a bag of spring mix or salad greens is definitely the quickest way to get salad on the table.
There's no question there.
My biggest aversion to bagged lettuce, however, is the smell & taste.
I'm not sure if it's the air in the packaging to keep it from getting smashed & bruised during shipping ...
OR if it's the chemicals & preservatives used to keep it fresh.
I just can't put my finger on it, but it's a chemical taste & smell that gets me every time.
It also seems to go bad so quickly.
If there's just a piece or two that's gone bad, the whole bag seems to take on that smell/taste.
I can eat it, I just don't prefer to buy it myself.
Funny thing, I buy bagged baby spinach, mustard greens, & kale.
I don't notice the smell & taste with any of these like I do with the lettuce.
Who knows.
It's a mystery.

Here's how I use the box of Artisan lettuce to make my own 'bagged lettuce.'
This method works perfectly.

After opening the box, I wash each head of baby lettuce, gently pulling apart the leaves a bit
to insure the water gets down inside.
I then turn the head upside down on a kitchen towel to drip dry.

I'm totally in love with chopped salads lately, so next, I chop each head of lettuce,
stopping about an inch from the core.
If there any dirt, that's where it settles.
Truthfully though, I rarely see any dirt on this lettuce.

If the lettuce seems a bit wet still, I use a paper towel to pat it dry as it's laying on the cutting board.

As each lettuce is chopped, I add it to a gallon size zipper bag.

With each addition of a different lettuce, I toss it around to mix it together.

And really, in just a few minutes, I have a full bag of fresh lettuce.
It's ready for a salad or to be added to a sandwich or a burger.
This keeps for about a week in the fridge.
{It'll keep a little longer if you tear the leaves instead of chopping them.}

I also like to use romaine lettuce & will often wash, chop, & store it in a bag just like this.
Another thing I often do is add a handful or two of baby spinach to whatever lettuce I am bagging up.
That way, I don't have to get into the bag of spinach each time I want to add to my salad.

For this particular salad, I used my chopped lettuce as a base, added heirloom baby tomatoes,
mini salad cucumbers, celery, cracked black pepper & feta cheese.
It was so vibrant & fresh ... it almost felt like summertime!

For the finale, I drizzled on California French with bacon dressing & I called it lunch!

Now, if bagged lettuce works well for your family, by all means, stick with it!
If you are looking to mix things up a bit, however, this is one to try.
And sometimes salad gets boring, but it doesn't have to with so many varieties of lettuces,
fresh veggies, dressings, & toppings.
Here's to keeping it fresh & healthy this year!

Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           C.R.A.F.T    Amaze Me Monday  The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday        A Delightsome Life   A Bowl Full of Lemons    Titus Tuesday      A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style         Adorned From Above
                    The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch   Serving Joyfully     Lamberts Lately
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop  Best of the Nest
               French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things  Sew Many Ways


  1. I don't care for the bagged lettuce varieties either. Your salad looks very good!

  2. I'm like you Angela, and don't like the bagged lettuce, either. I have a spinach salad almost daily because it seems to last and not go bad as quickly. Your salad looks so fresh and tasty!

    1. Hi Kitty! We love fresh spinach a lot too. I often use it on a sandwich in place of lettuce. Thanks for the comment! Blessings~

  3. Yummy, yummy....I love this salad, I take good care of my salads, as I live from them so I don't gain weight, lol!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll pin it.

  4. I love to pre-wash and chop my salad and veggies. Mix the greens as you do and keep the veggies in separate baggies. It's so easy to make salads this way.
    Great tips Angela, thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY.

    1. Hi Cindy =) I agree ... a few minutes of prep & you can pull a salad together in no time! Thanks for visiting!