by Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Keeping salad ingredients chopped and at the ready can assure your family will get veggie variety often and ease tension on hurried scheduled evenings.

Salad is something I recommend daily but it is easy to fall into a salad rut. This month, I wanted to share some “salad rut reduction techniques” with you as well as simple meal assembly strategies.

Get Prepped!

• Wash and dry your salad greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula or some combination of your favorite mixed greens) for the week. Place your greens in a large container, zip top bag or salad spinner and store in the refrigerator. I also add a clean paper towel at the bottom to soak up any extra moisture during the week.

• Prepare toppings

o Sliced peppers, cucumbers

o Chopped carrots, celery, cauliflower

o Cherry tomatoes, halved

o Add-ins: artichoke hearts, corn,
edamame, cabbage, fruit of choice

o Blanched veggies (broccoli,
green beans)

o Roasted veggies

o Nuts and seeds

o Dried or chopped fruit

Strategically Place!

• Place toppings in a large sectioned container, in individual containers or zip-top bags. I happen to have a large sectioned container I love that is really the inspiration for this article and salad strategy. There is a demo video of this container at .

• If using individual containers for toppings keep them together (this is Key). For example, if you place your toppings in zip-top bags place all the zip-top bags in a large bowl. This way you can pull 2 items (salad base and the topping bowl) out of your refrigerator and have all your salad ingredients out and ready to assemble.

• Place these ingredients in the front of your refrigerator, on the middle shelf – this encourages easy access and also may help keep the more delicate items from freezing.


• Enjoy the fruits (or veggies) of your labors by having an easy salad to throw together.  Better yet have the kids make the salads while you cook.

• Place the prepared toppings out on a tray while dinner is cooking and watch the kids walk by and grab for veggies as they complain of being hungry.

• Throw left over veggies into a skillet at the weeks end for a quick stir-fry, frittata, omelet or soup.

Mexican Garden Salad
This salad is a great combination of common foods for a unique twist on the standard side salad.

1 medium tomato, sliced and quartered

1 cup sliced cucumber, not peeled

1 cup chopped sweet onion

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 cups of mixed greens

In a medium bowl, mix vegetables with dressing ingredients (tomatoes through black pepper).  Serve on a bed of mixed greens. 

Yield:  4 servings

Nutrient breakdown: Calories 119, Fat 10g (saturated fat 1g); Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 115mg, Carbohydrate 8g, Fiber 4g, Protein 2g

Diabetes Exchanges:  2 Vegetables, 2 fats (mostly monounsaturated fat)

Recipe modified from Quick & Healthy Low-fat, Carb Conscious Cooking, by Brenda J. Ponichtera, RD

Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at To search for specific recipes go to You can also watch the segments at


This article appears in the May 2018 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
Did you like what you read here?