I consider myself a Salad expert. I tend to order salads anytime I eat out, and so I have become pretty good at creating interesting salad combos even at home, and in doing so, it is making me pretty nutty when eating out. I was at Panera the other day meeting a friend for lunch, and I couldnt help but total up in my head what the Greek Salad I ordered would more then likely cost me, and I came up with a probably inflated cost of $1.30, because it was even kinda of a small salad. What a great profit margin resturaunts make on salads! Hey, I understand resturaunt costs ie rent, utilities, insurance, food cost/waste, employees yada yada yada, so I undertand high costs, but that doesnt mean I have to eat out to support the cause. My "cause" is at home, paying my families expenses, which doesnt just include living expenses, but extras like travel baseball for my son, and camp for him in the summer, so I can work....If I can save money eating at home, and eating healthy as a bonus, I am so happy to be in on that!
I do love salads, but lets face it, the bulk of the meal is lettuce, and even purchasing lettuce at a chain grocery store, not on sale,(even the field greens prepackaged, cut etc...) cant cost more then $1.25 a serving! Now, I would Never, ever buy salad that wasnt on sale, and chances are with all the combinations and different ways to purchase luttuce, there is usually one type or other on sale. This week at my local grocerystore(Dominicks, Safeway) the varities of mixed greens are on sale 2 for $5.00. Not a bad price, however, Aldis everyday low price is always 1.99 per bag mixed greens, so that is a weekly purchase for me. Not everyone goes to a Aldi, lives near a Aldi, so my suggestion is to watch for specials, I will lay odds they are likely to be found.
I do usually prefer field greens, but I also like iceberg and romaine, especially served chopped. Infact, in certain salads, I like everything chopped, whether it be lettuce, vegetables, chicken, eggs, turkey, etc....the ingredients are chopped or diced up.
Sunday night will be Pizza (frozen) and chopped salad. Remember Salad fixings are a personal choice, I happen to love this combo, but all ingredients in this salad are optional.
Romaine lettuce (chopped) $ 2.49
1 medium onion(diced) .20
2 ounces walnut(optional) .60
1 cup cranberries $1.50
1 cup blue cheese $1.60
Balsamic dressing (my family's favorite)
1 cup olive oil .75
1/2 balsamic vinegar .40
1/4 cup honey .40
1 tblsp garlic .20
salt and pepper
Total $ 7.33
mix all ingredients in blender, food processor, or with a wisk or fork, until a smooth consistency
Toss all ingredients together in a big salad bowl and mix with dressing