Do you work in an office?
Do you enjoy healthy meals?
Do you enjoy saving money?
Do you love the idea of not worrying about your lunch every day?
If you’ve answered “yes” to all of these questions, it’s time to gather the gang and start a salad club. Not only does it ease the pressure of making or buying a lunch every day, but it’s also a great way to eat healthy regularly and keep each other accountable. And if you tend to buy your lunch often, think of the cash that you’d be saving. Here’s some quick math: if you’re buying lunch from Monday to Friday, on the low side, let’s say it’s approximately $15 for takeout (more if you’re dining at a restaurant). By the end of the week, you’ve spent at least $75. If you choose the alternative — buying salad fixin’s for four to five friends — you’re looking at $40 to $50 per week, most likely with leftovers to take home. Hmm, what could you do with all of that extra cash? Vacation fund!
Now for the Ground Rules:
Assign each person a day of the week to be the Salad Captain. Beth takes Mondays, Jill takes Tuesdays, and so on, and so on. If there’s only a couple of you at first, don’t worry, this won’t be the case for long. Once word gets out about what you’re doing, people will be banging down the cubicles to join!
By the beginning of each week, try and let everyone know what your creation will be. Beth has called dibs on a BLT salad. Jill is planning a healthy kale Caesar. Creating a shared spreadsheet helps to avoid duplicates and allows for more variety.
Discuss allergies and food aversions.
You may want to prepare as much as you can the night before. Wash and chop veggies, shred cheese, etc. And if you’re so inclined, do some cooking. Homemade bacon bits or grilled chicken are always a nice touch as opposed to store bought.
At noon (or a time you agree upon), the Salad Captain will go into the kitchen and prep. It works best if the ingredients are laid out, so that everyone can assemble their own salads. For example, if Jill hates onions but Beth loves them, it’s not a problem (and let’s just hope that Beth keeps breath mints in her desk drawer).
Don’t forget to keep a nice big bowl at your desk. Eating salads is way more fun when you have a pretty bowl.
Build a Better Salad:
Every salad should have the following for a healthy yet satisfying meal. The last thing that you want is for your pals to be making a run for the vending machine because they’re still hungry!
The base: The best salads are built on a base of leafy greens. And the options are unlimited. Spinach, kale, one million types of lettuce… you get the idea.
The protein: This is what’s going to keep everyone satisfied for the long afternoon. Try grilled chicken, tuna (though fish is not always a crowd pleaser, so check ahead), beef, pork or eggs.
Healthy fats: Think avocado, cheese, chickpeas or black beans.
The crunch factor: Crunchy food always supplies and indulgent vibe. Try unsalted nuts (again, check for allergies), sunflower seeds or pita chips.
Dressing: Oil and balsamic vinegar is always the cleanest choice, and a spritz of lemon or lime adds a nice tropical twist. If you’re going with a creamy dressing, use it sparingly.
The extras: Go ahead and add as many veggies as you’d like. The more colorful, the better. Red peppers, carrots, corn… the list goes on. Fruit is always a nice addition, too, and a great way to combat sweet cravings!
So, good luck, have fun and enjoy all of the benefits of the club!