Bagged Salad Blends - dummies

By Alan L. Rubin, Cait James

Fortunately, produce manufacturers are taking convenience foods to a healthy level for a change. Look in your produce section for prewashed, ready-to-use salad greens and blends. You can open a bag and have a delicious meal in a matter of minutes. For super easy and quick salads, pick up prewashed salad blends like these:

  • American blend: This familiar blend usually includes iceberg lettuce, carrot shreds, radish slices, and red cabbage.

  • European blend: It’s a great mix to try if your salad experience stops at iceberg lettuce. It includes mild green leaf lettuce, romaine, iceberg, curly endive, and a bit of radicchio. It goes well with just about any dressing, toasted nuts, and any kind of cheese, including blue cheese and goat cheese.

  • Italian blend: This blend is terrific for simple protein-based salads, light Caesar dressing, or a traditional Italian vinaigrette. It usually consists of a blend of romaine and radicchio.

  • Spring mix: This tasty mixture is a staple at most fine restaurants. It’s usually a blend of baby greens that include baby spinach, radicchio, and frisée. It may also be called mesclun, spring greens, or field greens. It makes a gorgeous garnish or bed for serving fresh fish or steak.

Different manufacturers call different mixes by different trademarked names. Many blends also include other veggies, like radishes, carrots, and even snow peas. All blends should include a description or listing of the greens (and other tasty veggies) included in their package, so find what suits your fancy and get munching!

Although these salad greens blends are great, many manufacturers also sell salad kits, which include the salad greens, dressing, cheese, and croutons. Watch the fat and unnecessary calories that these convenience kits can provide. And remember, you don’t have to eat it just because it comes in the kit. Feel free to toss that full-fat Caesar dressing in the trash.