Tag Archives: whole foods salad bar

The Whole Foods Salad Bar: A User’s Guide

Gentle Readers, it is serious confession time. I love the Whole Foods salad bar in a way most people reserve for God and Country. I love the variety. I love that I didn’t have to prep 1 million individual ingredients. I love the fresh crispy vegetables and the potential of using squash casserole as a topping.

Shredded beets and two cubes of tofu, yes please. Whole Foods Salad.

Shredded beets and two cubes of tofu, yes please. Whole Foods Salad.

That’s right, squash casserole. Don’t judge. Here are my tips to making the most of your trip, without taking out a second mortgage.

The Whole Foods Salad Bar: The Practical Cook Way

1. Limit the salad dressing. Nothing cranks up the cost like too much dressing. Also, it overpowers your careful selections. Let other things flavor your salad, like couscous, quinoa, egg salad, fruit, etc.

Quinoa can add flavor, and is typically already dressed. Whole Foods Salad.

Quinoa can add flavor, and is typically already dressed. Whole Foods Salad.

2. Diversify your offerings. There are so many things from which to choose, don’t get caught loading up on any one thing. If the salad is just for you, take one of each kind of tofu, one tomato, one broccoli, and so on.

Yes, that is squash casserole on top.

Yes, that is squash casserole on top.

3. Don’t skip the hot bar. The vegetables don’t stop at the edge of the salad bar, try steamed green beans and asparagus, cooked carrots, salsa, squash casserole (can’t recommend that enough), the sky’s the limit.

Whole Foods Quinoa and Firecracker Slaw: Working Mom Food

Whole Foods Quinoa and Firecracker Slaw: Working Mom Food

4. Meat is salad too. This will cost you your weight in gold, so limit the addition. However, the smoked meat bar is perfect for a single wing, a portion of brisket, or the top of a rib (skip the bones).

5. Sweet, Crunchy, Salty. The best salads are balanced in composition. Look for different ways to bring color, texture, and taste. Try unusual combinations. If you’re stuck, employ your kids to assist. They don’t come with the same barriers and restrictions you do in terms of “right” and “not right.” Be prepared to eat some combos that would be best on Man vs Food. My favorite right now? Adding a piece of fried yucca on the top.

Whole Foods Salad Bar, I love you.

Whole Foods Salad Bar, I love you.

What’s your favorite trick or foodstuff at the Whole Foods Salad Bar? Post a comment here or on the Facebook page, or Tweet my way!

Send heavy items, good ideas, and legitimate questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Sunday, Weekly Menus!

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Salad Bar Secrets: Don’t Hate the Leafy Green

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook loves a good salad bar, sneeze guards and all. First, there are the myriad veggies all prepared and waiting, and second, endless combinations. This one goes out to the salad haters (eyes on you CaptCranky). You know, the people who swear they’d rather croak than eat a salad every day, because it’s too hard, too expensive, too boring, too girly, etc. Bring.It.On.

Composed salad from work with berries, nuts, and goat cheese.

Composed salad from work with berries, nuts, and goat cheese.

The Practical Cook’s Guide to Winning Salad

1. Rebrand  it. Are you salad-phobic or salad-curious? How about if your lunch or dinner was something something on a bed of greens? There, all better now.

The Great Tuna Salad Experiment

The Great Tuna Salad Experiment

2. Dressing is the enemy. Yeah, I said it. Most of the dressings you’ll find are gloppy and narsty. And they weigh a lot, thus costing you more, too. Use sparingly, dilute with vinegar or lemon juice, and focus on other items. I’m a fan of chopped egg with a healthy splash of olive oil and balsamic. Avocados are good for this too. Healthy fatty goodness.

The Practical Salad

The Practical Salad

3. Top it with meat. Normally I’m an all-veg salad girl (though past my salad days, Wonder Woman), but sometimes I crave protein. I heart the Whole Foods salad bar, and just across from it is the smoked meat bar. Yes, that’s a slab of brisket on the top. Take that. Think outside the bowl, people. (Also note the grapefruit to counterbalance and remind me why I don’t want to be on statins.)

Brisket on a bed of greens.

Brisket on a bed of greens.

4. Tomatoes are heavy. Simple rule, you will pay an arm and a leg for tomatoes and their like. Get one or two, not a half dozen. If you need a box of tomatoes, you’ll find them in produce.

Wedge Salad Update

Wedge Salad Update

5. Salads aren’t all green. There are lovely fruit salads, potato salads, etc. Consider a salad plate or meal composed of multiples. Beets, grapefruits, etc. are all out there, waiting to be your lunch.

Beet and citrus, potato, and Caesar salad from Foster's

Beet and citrus, potato, and Caesar salad from Foster's

Where do you stand in the great salad debate? Make your opinion known, or I’ll simply post a comment and attribute it to you. 🙂 Or Tweet.

Weigh in on salad ideas at practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up tomorrow, Kitchen Tool Talk: Three More of My Favorite Things.

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