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Save Money and Make an Easy Salad Bar at Home
By Monica  Resinger
_http://homemakersjournal.com_ ( 
One thing I like to do for dinner, that my family loves, is make a salad  
bar.  It's easy, inexpensive, fun, healthy and is always different; a plus  in 
The only work involved is making the salad ingredients salad-friendly  
(cutting them to bite size) and if you want meat and aren't using leftovers,  
need to cook the meat.  Thinly slice or chunk up meats, shred  cheeses and 
carrots, thinly slice or chunk up vegetables... the main thing is to  get them 
bite sized and how you like them.  A lot of items are already  prepared such as 
nuts, thawed peas, shredded cheeses, croutons (unless you make  your own!), 
and dried fruits.
You can use whatever you have on hand that sounds good to go in a salad,  
including leftovers (great way to save money). Almost anything goes for salads  
nowadays, so be creative.  After making the ingredients bite-sized, simply  put 
them in lined-up dishes across your countertop or tabletop and include  
bottles of salad dressing, homemade dressing and/or oil and vinegar at the  
Here are some of the ingredients you could use in a salad bar:
NUTS:  Think of all the different nuts there are and how they would  make 
each salad unique... honey roasted peanuts, plain roasted peanuts,  sunflower 
seeds, smoked almonds and candied walnuts are some of my  favorites.  
GREENS:  Greens and lettuces also have many varieties... Romaine,  Iceberg, 
spinach and cabbage come to mind. Each one would add a different twist  to your 
salad bar.  You could even have a selection of greens, although I  usually 
only use one type per bar because I want to keep it simple and  inexpensive. I 
like to get the already-cut salads and mixes when they are on  sale.
CHEESES:  Cheese is a great ingredient for the salad bar.   There's Parmesan, 
Cheddar, Mozzarella, Feta, Blue and many others.  
VEGETABLES:  There are so many different vegetables and you can even  prepare 
them in different ways for your salad bar, like grill or roast them  first or 
marinate them.  Of course the simplest way is to just cut them up  fresh!  
Use your favorites or ones you've never tried on a salad, like  asparagus, 
cauliflower or broccoli.  
FRUITS:  I love fruit on salads, especially paired with a meat.   Bacon and 
mandarin oranges for example, is one of my favorites.  Let's  see... ham and 
pineapple and pork and apple are a couple that come to  mind.  Don't forget 
dried fruits.  Dried cranberries, pineapple,  raisins and many others make 
additions to the salad.  
DRESSINGS:  I usually have a variety of bottled dressings (that I  purchase 
on sale) on hand and occasionally make my own.  To cut the  calories of the 
high-calorie creamy dressings, I add vinegar and/or milk to them  and to me, 
actually taste better thinned out.  It also gets on more of  your salad being 
SALAD TOPPERS:  Even though I could save money and make my own  croutons, I 
like to buy them already-made to save time.  I have recently  seen other 
crouton-like items, like flavored tortilla strips made just for  salads, but 
could always use broken tortilla chips to save money.  
I hope this inspires you to try making homemade salad bars!
For more salad ideas, check out the Salad Recipe E-book:  
Monica is the founder Homemaker's Journal E-publications, the growing home  
of many fun and informative home, garden and recipe e-books, tip sheets,  
articles and more!  _ 
Get a  FREE Slowcooker Recipe E-book when you subscribe to Monica's FREE 
e-zine for  homemakers!  To subscribe and receive instructions for picking up 
FREE  e-book, just send a blank e-mail to:  

**************Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music.     

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