What have they got that you ain’t got? They got big bowls.
Sweetgreen. Chipotle. Cava. What do they got that you ain’t got? They’ve got big bowls. Your homemade salads might look a little lackluster compared to theirs. And, in truth, it’s not the size of the bowl that matters… it’s how you use it.
Homemade salads can be depressing – hallmarked as the staple food of diligent dieters, salad brings up images of flavorless lettuce, shredded carrots, tomato chunks and sliced cucumbers. The only thing that would make it bearable would be dressing, but we’ve been trained to see dressing as the calorie-laden enemy and suffer through the ‘lite’ varieties with a deep and heartfelt sigh. I’ll tell you that I eat most all of my meals out of a bowl. It’s just easier. I’ll also tell you that I don’t put a lot of thought into what goes into the bowl. However, I’ve been eating for about 53 years and I know what I like.
I keep the things I like on hand, that’s the secret those big shops rely on. You’ve got to have stuff ready to go. When it’s time to eat, you pull out your bowl and a bunch of things you like and mix it all up. Sit at the table with a napkin and a beverage and make it a meal.
If you break down the big shops’ line, here’s what you get: several types of leafy greens, shredded or chopped vegetables, some protein, some crunchy stuff, some creamy stuff. Lots of color.
Customize this to what you like and have it ready to go. Buy a bunch of romaine lettuce, swiss chard, and a box of mixed greens, tear them up and keep them in a container in the fridge. Bake off some chicken breast or salmon filet, chop it up and store it in the fridge. Have some cans of beans, some dried fruit, fresh fruit, some nuts/seeds. Blue cheese, feta, parmesan. Buy a bag of shredded Brussels sprouts or cabbage, a couple of those nuke-in-the-pouches of rice or quinoa. Hit up the refrigerated section for guacamole, hummus, baba ghanoush – totally plagiarize the big shops’ offerings and stock your kitchen. Get a couple of dressings you actually like, and always have fresh lemon, olive oil, salt, and cracked pepper on hand.
Here’s an example from last night: field greens, romaine lettuce, store-bought shredded purple cabbage, pistachios, dried cherries, sunflower seeds, blue cheese, canned tuna, chia seeds, balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise. I mixed all that up and ate it.
It took about 15 minutes to pull everything out, fill my bowl, and put it all away. I’ve waited that long at any one of those big shops and given them $13 for the pleasure. I could eat at home three times for that. Bonus, it didn’t burst out of the bowl when I opened it and spill all over the table. Those big shops’ bowls aren’t so big after all.
Your friend, Jennifer
Mindful Eating. Balanced Living. Guilt-Free Self Care.