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Stretch a simple salad into 10 protein-filled meals for under $10

Other than my sister, I can’t name another person who calls a salad their favorite comfort food. 😅 This means we each go through A LOT of greens and veggies each week.

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have the time (or energy) to make a single salad every day. If that were the case, I would never get around to eating. In the phase of Life I’m in right now, I’m about convenience, efficiency, and speed, but I don’t want to sacrifice flavor or nutrition. I know, I’m complicated.

I have gotten into the habit of making a simple, large salad that I stretch into a week of meals. If you shop right, you can stretch all of your ingredients into two weeks worth of salad for a pretty reasonable price. I’m going to show you how I do it for under $10!

Who says being healthy has to be hard (or expensive?!)

 

10 protein filled meals for under $10

 

Here’s why I love a good salad

I won’t bore you with all the reasons why salad is beneficial for your overall health. If you are reading this, I will assume you enjoy salad and already know how amazing and filling it can be with the right ingredients.

But there are some lesser obvious reasons why I continue to find comfort in this versatile meal:

  • the crunchy texture of the vegetables paired with any creamy topping (feta cheese, avocado, etc.) drives me wild with excitement!
  • It is nearly impossible to eat my salad too quickly. I fill my salads with lots of crispy veggies because it forces me to slow down and savor every bite.
  • I feel fuller longer, more satisfied with my meal, and happy that I’ve gotten in so much raw nutrition.
  • being a good model for my girls is important to me. Showing them what a healthy relationship to food looks like is easy with this meal.
  • I truly love everything that I put in and on my salad! What good is any meal if you don’t love what you’re eating?

Here’s where the real magic happens!

If you shop effectively and choose the right vegetables, you can easily stretch your ingredients into two or more consecutive weeks.

Until I discovered the Norwex Fresh Produce Wash and Veggie & Fruit Scrub Cloth, this was impossible and unheard of. It was becoming a common threat that my fresh ingredients and/or salad remains were expiring far too quickly. I just couldn’t keep up!

Some days I just don’t want cold or crisp. I often yearn for the comfort of warm, carby meals, eggs, or other non-veggie-laden meals. So I was determined to find a way to make my weekly batch of salad last long enough for me to finish it without waste.

I had already been using Norwex for over four years, but never knew about the cloth or the produce wash. So once I started researching and learning about why they were effective and worth every cent, it was an easy choice to invest in them!

This Produce Wash uses the power of enzymes to disintegrate dirt, germs, and pesticide residue from all of your fresh foods.

Norwex Fresh Produce Wash
Get your Produce Wash here!
Get your Produce Wash here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Norwex Fresh Produce Wash is free from phosphates, sulfates, and parabens, so it’s safe for you to consume foods that have been rinsed with it. It is made from plant-based, non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients that are GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe).

Using this produce wash will greatly extend the life of your fresh produce, as you will see below when I tell you how it helps me to stretch my salad for two consecutive weeks. It leaves no aftertaste, odor, or film on your food, so you can rest assured that it is working to remove the grime, not add to it.

Bathe your fresh foods in one tablespoon of the wash per four cups of cool water. Soak for one-to-two minutes, then rinse with cold water. Using this produce concentrate will effectively remove unwanted chemical residues left behind from fertilizers and pesticides. It also washes away microscopic debris such as dirt and bacteria.

This magical wash is in concentrated form, so a little goes a long way. You can buy it with a trigger spray or without, per your preference to spritz your veggies or soak them. The bottle is made from HDPE #2 and fully recyclable, so you can feel good about your carbon footprint.

Complimentary, the Veggie & Fruit Scrub Cloth does just the same as the produce wash, only for your harder fruits and vegetables.

What most people don’t realize is that using nylon bristle vegetable brushes emulsify the dirt, bacteria, and residue. Basically, they push and spread the yuck all over the skin or rind of your produce, and then you eat it! 😵

veggie & fruit scrub cloth
Grab yours here!
Grab yours here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grab yours here!

The two-sided Norwex Veggie & Fruit Scrub Cloth prevents cross contamination between peel/skin and flesh. Use the rough side of the cloth for tougher produce, such as potatoes, carrots, and apples, and the softer side to dry and polish the softer stuff.

 

Like the produce wash, this cloth will remove, rather than emulsify, the gunk that you brought home on your produce.

Since I started using the produce wash on all of my salad veggies, including the greens, I’ve been able to stretch this meal even further. No more soggy messes at the bottom of the container after 4 days; no more throwing away half used bags of Kale; and no more feeling the pressure of eating salad when I would rather skip a day or two!

Here’s how I make it happen for under $10

If you’ve known me long enough, you know that food is my jam. I have a real knack for effective meal planning and finding deals (i.e. saving money). Because serving others is my love language, these are important to me! If you want to know how I feed my family of 6 on a tight budget from Whole Foods Market, read this article.

So, I know you’re curious … I won’t make you wait any longer. Here’s how I do it!

  1. I am very particular about which veggies I put in my salad, and for good reason! I want lots of crisp because it forces me to slow down my eating and chew more thoroughly – both very, very good for digestion and overall health. Every two weeks I buy a 5 pound bag of organic Carrots ($3.99), 1 bunch of organic Celery ($2.49), 2 organic Bell Peppers ($0.18/ounce), 2 pints of Cherry Tomatoes ($2.49 each) and 1 bag of triple-washed pre-cut organic Kale ($3.99) – which comes to $9.07 for a week of salads!
  2. The first thing I do is fill the largest bowl I own with about 8 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of the Norwex Fresh Produce Wash. I put in the bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and celery right away and use my hands to gently massage the veggies for a few seconds, then I let it all sit for 1-2 minutes so the wash can do its job. I then remove the veggies, rinse them in cool water, and let them drain on my dish mat (that one needs its own article!!).
  3. Next I dump in the entire bag of Kale and repeat the entire process (massage, sit, rinse, and dry). For years I didn’t rinse my Kale because the bag says it’s triple washed. But lo and behold, every two weeks I find bugs and dirt in my bowl of water! 😱
  4. I use the Norwex Veggie & Fruit Scrub Cloth to clean my carrots – easy-peasy!
  5. Once the Kale is less wet (not totally dry, but I do gently dab it with a cotton kitchen towel to speed up the process), I put it into a large zip close bag with paper towels to keep the moisture down. The produce wash along with this step have helped my kale to last as long as 3.5 weeks with nary a smell or evidence of rot!
  6. I take what I need to make my large salad and put the rest in my crisper for the following week. That’s it!

Here’s how to make it filling and fun!

If you easily get bored with salads, consider getting creative with your toppings. While each of these vegetables contain small amounts of protein, you can add flavor, nutrients, and protein to your meal in unconventional ways.

Consider:

  • Hard-cooked eggs
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Feta cheese
  • Avocado
  • Flax seeds
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Kalamata olives
  • Cooked chicken or shrimp
  • and more!

There you have it! This is how I’m able to make one simple salad stretch for 10 protein-filled meals for under $10!

I hope this was helpful and inspiring, to say the least. If you like what you’ve read here and want to see more like this, let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

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