Skip The Line, 3 Steps to Making Your Sweetgreen Salad at Home
If you’ve ever found yourself in the 20-minute Sweetgreen line during lunch rush (or the even longer New Year’s Resolution line), this is for you. There are two things I truly agree taste better when someone else makes them for you: coffee and salads. I think part of that is just because they both require that little bit of extra time and effort that makes it so much sweeter when someone cuts out the middleman (you). TBH when it comes to personal finance it’s not in your best interest to buy these out every day. Hello, French Press + salad tupperware! Before I bid adieu to regular sweetgreen dates (we decided to stay friends), I did my research on what actually makes these salads so great and here are the ways I’ve decided to recreate at home. You’re welcome.
1. Get a good reusable container + utensils
It’s 2019 we know that we use and throw away so much plastic and that there are a million easy ways to use less. Get yourself a container + utensils you like and then choosing to make at home instead of sweetgreen isn’t just the economic choice, it’s better for the world!! Go you. I love this list from Abby’s Food Court on green items + reusable containers.
2. Prep on the Weekend
All my type A’s and B+’s will appreciate having a few containers of prepped veggies and toppings ready for the week ahead. First of all, it makes it easier to throw things together when you don’t have to wash dishes each time you prep and you can mix and match for what you’re in the mood for! Keep fun add-in’s on hand too, like cheeses, olives, pumpkin or pomegranate seeds, think of what you’d put on your order and keep it stocked in your pantry to make your homemade lunch feel special. Here’s a great article here with meal planning tips from dietitians.
Greens: Kale – wash, chop, and massage in 1 Tbsp olive oil (makes a big difference in taste + texture!). Romaine – wash, chop and store in the fridge.
Quinoa or Rice: cook ahead and store in tupperware for an easy addition.
Roasted Veggies: put a little olive oil on a sheet pan, slice up and season (think: garlic, turmeric, crushed red pepper, cumin, sage, basil, lemon – get creative!) sweet potatoes, zucchini, roasted chickpeas etc.
Proteins: roast or stir-fry tofu, batch cook chicken or salmon, or make a pot of hard boiled eggs!
p.s. Frozen is just as good as fresh. If chopping or cooking veggies/proteins ahead of time sounds daunting, check out your grocery frozen section! I love TJ’s frozen chicken burgers – they also have mahi, salmon, veggie, beef and turkey options!
3. Dressing: Don’t underestimate the importance of a good dressing.
I like to have 3 go-to dressings or dips that take my dish to the next level (and stop me from ~forgetting~ to pack my lunch)
1/4 cup tahini, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp garlic, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper, 2 T water (as needed to thin) – blend all together!
½ medium cucumber (remove the seeds!), 2 T plain Greek yogurt, 1 T fresh dill, 2 T olive oil, 1 T chopped garlic, 1 T lemon juice, salt + pepper to taste – blend all together!
1/4 cup peanut butter (try to buy one without palm oil to be more sustainable!), 1 T apple cider vinegar, 2 T olive oil, ¼ cup water to thin, 2 T soy sauce of choice, 1 T lemon juice, 1 t red pepper flakes½ T fresh ginger, peeled. Blend all together!
1 medium, ripe avocado, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 T chopped garlic, juice of 1 lemon, ⅓ cup olive oil, salt to taste, 1 ½ T dijon mustard – blend all together!
Thank you!!– your bank account, stomach and boss (because now you actually make it back from your lunch break on time)