This is part of my A to Z challenge for April

I have been living on big salads for lunch at work. You have to understand that when I say big salads, I mean it. I take my salads to work in a mixing bowl. No wimpy little salads for me.

It all goes back to what I wrote about in my calorie density post. Raw vegetables fill up your stomach without a lot of calories. So you need to be prepared to eat a lot of them to fill full for long.

A lot of people prep salads in advance. I don’t have that kind of space in my refrigerator. If you want some guidelines on that, check out this video.

It works best for me to put all my vegetables and fruits I am adding to the lettuce in the bottom of the bowl. Then I put my lettuce on top. That keeps the lettuce from getting soggy throughout the day. I pack the dressing separately.

There are lots of recipes for fancily prepared salads with nice taste themes. I just put whatever I have in the salad. I usually have part of a bell pepper and some cucumbers. Olives, beans, carrots, snap peas, cooked sweet potato cubes, and pickles show up a lot too. Sometimes I add in some herbs or broccoli slaw.

I recently heard a tip to chop up the lettuce. It decreases the volume of the leaves to make it easier to eat. (That decreases the caloric density some but it is easier to chew.) It also makes the leaves a bit sweeter if you cut them first. I’ve started doing that and I really like it.

Dressings have been harder for me. My one true love is Thousand Island. I like bold flavors. But most are made with eggs so that is out. I’ve also been cutting out oil so a lot of prepared dressings are out. I’ve made a few vinegar, honey, and mustard dressings. I also found a recipe that uses pureed white beans as a creamy base for dressings. That was pretty good. I’ve done some with barbeque sauce and nondairy yogurt. I haven’t found something to replace the Thousand Island yet. I’ve tried making my own but haven’t unlocked the perfect recipe yet. I’ll keep trying.