In the interest of full disclosure, salads aren't my favorite food. They don't even rank in the top 20, 15 of which are just varieties of cheese. But I've grown to view them as better than a necessary evil: They come together quickly, don't require a stove or oven, and often serve to clear your fridge of produce that might be turning.
If you're cooking on a budget, or exceptionally lazy, they make for excellent lunches and light dinners. Here's how to embrace them, without feeling like you're eating rabbit food:
1. Think outside the lettuce leaf.
2. Learn how to pack one effectively so you're still interested come lunchtime.
How many times have you packed a salad, then opened it come lunchtime to find it so sad and wilted that you ended up buying chips or a sandwich instead? (Be honest.) Put it all in a jar, for better lunching.
3. Just because you're eating salad doesn't mean you can't carb-load.
4. But don't forget your favorite proteins.
Bean-based salads are excellent, and extra affordable: Try spicy lentils or creamy white beans to start. Tofu and tempeh are other excellent vegetarian options, and there's no better way to use leftover chicken than shredded in a salad.
More from Food52...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- How to make corn dogs
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
Subscribe to the Week