I have a secret to tell you.
I have NEVER eaten Whole Foods hot bar.
Please don’t judge me.
This is for 3 reasons:
a#1: I am cheap.
b#2: There is never a Whole Foods around me when I need lunch.
c#3: I keep hearing things about how the Whole Foods hot bar is riddled (riddled, I tell you!) with bacteria, and homie don’t play the salmonella game.
I do play lots of other games, though. Especially if they involve moustaches.
And I have to tell you- I’m all about normal grocery store salad bars.
Sure, they may not be entirely organic (and yes, I realize that c#3 from above probably applies here, too), but they’re a fraction of the price and a pretty dang good option for lunch on the fly.
Observe my local salad bar:
Fruit, lots of veggies, choices of lettuce, protein and salad dressing (including a bottle of vinegar and a bottle of olive oil, plus salt and pepper).
Salad bars can be treacherous, I’m not going to lie to you.
You’ve heard the usual, “avoid cheese, avoid the sugary dressings, load up on veggies, yada yada”, so I won’t belabor the point.
But there is one more plus to “loading up on your veggies”:
They weigh less than cheese and pasta salad.
I like to think I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to composing a salad bar salad.
I start with a big hunk of lettuce and then add a few veggies and vegetarian protein.
Never the ham. Salad bar ham freaks me out. As well it should.
Then I add a leeeetle bit of dressing. And yes, I use the bottled kind sometimes. Judge me if you must. 🙂
Next layer is a bunch more lettuce, more veggies, more protein and sometimes a small scoop of pasta salad topped with a bit more salad dressing.
Today’s salad was romaine, carrots, chickpeas, shredded cheddar cheese, cabbage, zucchini, a few red grapes and some spiral pasta salad.
The layering of the lettuce/veggies/dressing prevents the “I’m going to eat all of the interesting veggies first and then be stuck with a huge pile of boring lettuce” issue.
Clearly I’m solving the world’s problems on my lunch break.
There’s one more thing that you absolutely MUST do when you build a salad from the salad bar.
On your walk back to the office, shake the crap out of it.
Your salad is now perfectly prepared for consumption.
Enjoy your perfectly constructed, balanced and tossed salad!