Author Topic: Saldas - how do i store it?  (Read 5048 times)

more4less

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Saldas - how do i store it?
« on: November 16, 2013, 03:27:59 PM »
Ok, I live alone and go on grocery shopping on Saturdays. Among other things i buy one pound of salad (usually spring mix, baby spinach, or combination of both) for $5 (or $3.70 at Costco). It comes in plastic container (recyclable one). What I hate about it - it starting to decay after few days. Basically it goes to trash if I don't finish it by Wednesday or Thursday.
Is there a trick how to store it? Or perhaps an alternative?

PS: I would like to encourage other mustachians to share recepies (simple ones please) of their greens and salads. What I usually do is I just throw some salad in bowl, add couple sliced tomatoes there, pour olive oil, add feta cheese, and grind black pepper on top. Done!

impaire

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2013, 03:37:23 PM »
I buy entire heads of salad. They keep longer (7 days or a little longer) if I wash them straight upon returning home (water + vinegar), dry them thoroughly in the spinner, and then bag them in a sealed bag with a folded paper towel (to regulates moisture). I don't know if the paper towel trick would work for bagged salad, let us know if you decide to try it!

footenote

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 03:58:05 PM »
I have also used the ziplock-bag-with-paper-towel technique. Vinegar rinse works well. (I've used it with raspberries.) It's not foolproof, but it's better than leaving it in the plastic container. I've also had luck buying an entire head of lettuce (or endive or radicchio or whatever).

You might also consider including less fragile green vegetables in your diet. We eat a lot of brussel sprouts and broccoli in our house - they are much more robust storage veggies than salad greens.

the fixer

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 03:58:46 PM »
Greens just don't last long, but there are some things you can do that will make a small difference:
- keep them in the refrigerator in a high-humidity compartment (i.e. close any adjustable vents on the drawer)
- if you buy a head of lettuce it should last longer than pre-cut, but in my experience only a day or two longer
- for some types of greens, like cilantro, I can get it to last the longest by drying it off at much as possible, cutting a bit off the stem ends, sticking it in a cup of water, covering the top in a plastic bag, and placing in the refrigerator. This makes a significant difference in how long cilantro stays fresh, but can't really be adapted to other greens like spinach. It might be possible for a head of lettuce but probably very awkward.

Salad suggestions:
- try adding sprouts (you can grow your own really easily with the seeds, a mason jar, and a screen for drainage in place of the lid)
- add balsamic vinegar
- use cherry tomatoes instead of big ones, can be more expensive but they're sweeter and take less prep
- cut up some avocado and sprinkle on top
- use some canned salmon (I can't stand this but the wife loves it)

My favorite salad topping, although not exactly simple, is cut-up cakes of idli. Idli is a fermented rice and lentil batter that you then cook in a steamer. Put 1 part lentils, 2-3 parts rice, and a little bit of fenugreek seeds into a food processor or blender. Adding water slowly (might need to be dechlorinated), process until the mixture resembles a thick batter. Let it ferment for several days, covered, in an open container. Mark the level of the batter in the container with tape; the batter should rise a little like bread dough, but not as dramatic so marking the starting level helps to keep track. I've noticed the top tends to dry out a bit, which doesn't make much difference in the final product but if you want you can try spraying it with dechlorinated water once a day to keep it moist. Once it's risen, I form the dough into balls about half the size of a fist and cook them 3-4 at a time in a steamer for 20 minutes. The traditional method is to use special metal forms to steam them but my method works fine and takes no specialized equipment.

Idli has only a very mild taste, mostly from the fenugreek, so it works great in salads because it won't overpower or compete with the vegetables. It's kinda like making a salad with cut up chicken breast, but MUCH cheaper.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 04:21:29 PM »
I store my salads in an airtight plastic container if I don't buy the large bag o' salad.

My favorite thing to do with them is to get either a small can of cooked chicken or about 8 ounces of the flaked crabmeat to mix in, and then I've got some tasty protein in there with all the roughage. LOVE adding avocado too. I just throw in a plastic bag of salad,and add a whole unsliced avocado and then do the prep at work when I'm ready to eat, since that way it won't brown. I have a bottle of dressing in the fridge at work.

Dicey

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2013, 05:22:03 PM »
I buy the package of eight heads of hydroponically grown Romaine at Costco every week. I use two of the giant ziplock bags to store it. When I get it home, I open the bag and remove the 2 largest leaves from each head. I wash, spin and store them in one of the zip bags along with half a paper towel. I use these for DH's lunches all week. I then trim about 1/4" from the bottom of each head and store all of them, unwashed, in the other big bag. I use them in salads, sandwiches, tacos and burritos, etc. during the week. I don't wash it until right before use. If I notice the stems looking brown or slimy, I trim the ends again. This method is easier than it sounds and the lettuce lasts for up to 10 days. Of course, I wash and reuse the big bags endlessly.

One sneaky way of using up tired lettuce is to hide it in smoothies. Another method that works if the lettuce isn't too wilty is to place it in a bowl of ice cold water and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Lettuce will bounce back nicely as long as it hasn't become slimy.

geekette

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2013, 05:38:34 PM »
I wash, spin, and store lettuce right in the salad spinner. Romaine lasts the longest, but even tender CSA greens stay pretty crisp for a week, probably because it's humid, but the greens aren't in water.

zinethstache

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2013, 05:51:40 PM »
I use Diane C's technique and it works really well. I buy Romain heads, in a three pack. Get them home, pull of the very large outside pieces (because they wilt right away) I clean them, put in a large ziplock bag with paper towel, take out all the air. I save these for sandwiches, but can still chop later for salads. I can stretch one pack out to over a week this way. I am the only rabbit food eater in the house so I do have to stay on top of using it or it will go bad. I pay about 2.50 for a 3 pack at safeway when they are on sale. I have had no luck with the other types of salad mixes, its the full romain heads I get the most out of.

StarryC

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2013, 07:00:22 PM »
This may not be mustachian advice.  I buy similar plastic boxes or bags of baby greens or spinach.  I use 2 things:

http://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-7J92-Produce-Storage-Container/dp/B000WEIICG/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1384653418&sr=8-7&keywords=rubbermaid+produce+saver
This seems to do a pretty good job keeping it from getting slimy. 

And this: http://www.amazon.com/Bluapple-Ethylene-Absorbers-Supply-Refills/dp/B005W4L6SE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1384653471&sr=8-2&keywords=blue+apple

Which seems to keep things from getting too wilty, and keep other fruits and veggies in good shape. 



Freckles

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2013, 07:34:54 PM »

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2013, 07:39:52 PM »
Prewashed Spinach is the easiest to deal with in that situation. Take out what you will actually use and stick the rest in a ziplock freezer bag and throw it in the freezer.  You can grab a handful of frozen spinach anytime to throw in a green smoothie, an omelet, a recipe, etc.  I do green juices so I rarely have my greens go bad, but I will buy a bag of spinach from Costco just to use this way. Seriously waste-free!!

RootofGood

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Re: Saldas - how do i store it?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2013, 07:40:42 PM »
I just get the $0.99 bags of 12 oz salad mix at aldi's.  Lasts 4-5 days typically.  If it goes bad and I toss some out - eh, so what.  It's usually $0.10 to $0.20 worth and I'm eating green (and red and orange) vegetables in the meantime.  I'd be more worried if I was paying 3x that price at costco's.

Sometimes I'll go crazy and pay the $1.50 or so for 9 oz bag of baby spinach leaves.  They tend to last longer and are healthier than the mostly iceberg mix.

Heads of lettuce definitely last longer.  And are probably cheaper per unit of weight.