Daily Dinner Side Salad Suggestions from Dinner With Joy #GuestPost

Confession - I'm not much on eating my greens. Making a side salad for family dinner is not very common around my house. Perhaps I've just needed some of these cost-saving suggestions from Joy at Kitchen $centse. Dinner with Joy is back on My Mom Spark to share some great tips on dinner side salads. Check it out!

Daily Dinner Side Salad Suggestions

A side salad is generally expected with a dinner entrĂ©e. It offers a complimentary contrast in texture and taste as well as providing nutritionally balancing fiber. However, anyone who’s shopped for produce recently knows that the prices per pound now rival that of many meats. Add a large tomato to a head of lettuce and the “simple “salad costs than most cuts. I was amazed last week to see collards, formerly an inexpensive leafy green, priced above Romaine. Scallions in a featured sale, 3 bunches for $1.00, had only 4 per bunch when there used to be 6 to 8!

Unfortunately, the prices haven’t lowered much this summer, which means that they will probably rise even higher come fall. 

So what is the family meal planner to do to keep side salads in the daily dinner menu without it costing nearly double? One solution is to study the produce section and try to find things that haven’t skyrocketed.  Regular carrots, for example, cost about $0.88 lb. they’re tastier, more versatile than the dwarf variety and make a great slaw. Compare the prices on all greens that are salad friendly. They’re usually interchangeable. Try to find new uses for other items too. One small zucchini, for instance, sliced paper thin goes a long way as a salad ingredient.

Another solution is to cut down the amount of lettuces or bedding greens, by using frozen vegetables to form the base of the salad. They cost less and go much further. Cut green beans, and broccoli are good selections. Snow peas and edamame are good “fillers”. Canned beets or asparagus are useful salad bases too. Properly presented side salads built around these ingredients, with harmonious dressings, become clever creations, not economic measures.

In this week’s blog posting on Kitchen $centse at dinnerwithjoy.com, I list a few of my favorite ideas for these kinds of salad solutions with dressing suggestions. I  include one here for Carrot Slaw, but others are Cut Beans with Mushrooms, Pickled Red Beets and Watermelon with Tomatoes. 

Actually, writing this has given me an idea for next week’s posting. I’m going to work on some different salad dressing recipes to perk up side salads and give them a bit of zing. Come join me.

Carrot Slaw; Serves 4
4 medium-small carrots
1/3 cup raisins. dried cranberries or blueberries—optionally plumped in water
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts- optional
¼ head of iceberg lettuce
Choice of dressing*
Peel carrot skins and using a vegetable peeler, slice them one half the length at a time, into a “slaw”.  Toss with the dried fruit and set aside. If not using right away, keep chilled Cut the lettuce into very thin slices and then cut them in half lengthwise, removing the tough core pieces. Arrange the lettuce equally on 4 plates. Toss the carrots with choice of dressing and divide among the plates. Garnish with nuts.

*This salad goes well with several dressings. French. Peppercorn Ranch, Vadalia Onion, Cole Slaw, Caesar even one of the Raspberry vinaigrette.


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