I can’t say that I remember my first salad, but my parents love to tell the story of my fierce love of raw tomatoes.My mother and father rented a house in Los Angeles, where I was born and lived the first few years of my life, and they let me roam free in the fenced back yard under the hot Southern California sun. As soon as I could learn how to walk, I would scavenge the tomato garden and eat tomatoes off the vine by the fistful. When there weren’t any red ones left, I would start on the green ones, until my mother peeled them from my tiny grip, my naked belly covered in seeds. Even as a toddler I loved nothing more than a fresh, sun-ripened tomato. I eat them whole, like apples, to this day.Today I love salad with the same intensity I loved whole tomatoes as a child; salad is food in its tastiest, freshest form. I love the cool, watery crunch of fresh vegetables and the flavorful collision of complementary tastes. I love that the combinations of greens, vegetables, legumes, grains and dressings are endless. To me, salad is perfect food.And though salad appeals to my love of freshness, flavor, and variety, it also appeals to my practical side. As a busy person with a full time job and a side business (hint: you’re looking at it), I love that salad makes my life easy. Here are the reasons why salad is a perfect, practical choice. Salad saves timeThe less time I have to spend preparing dinner, the more time I have to make up funny t-shirt designs, plan travel adventures, or binge-watch BBC period dramas. Thanks to making salad my go-to dinner, I have had the time to work on this website. And as much as I love my Roasted Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese, I don’t enjoy obsessing over a rue of perfect consistency for three-cheese sauce.Typical salad directions: chop, dress, toss, serve. Dinner in less than 10 minutes. Even if you have to add the step of making your own dressing, you could easily make a delicious balsamic vinaigrette in the time it takes to watch the credits of BBC’s hit series Poldark.Want to add some protein and grain to your salad? Pop open a can of garbanzos or make a pot of black beans and quinoa on Sunday afternoon to have on hand for the week. It all boils down to having more time to play your favorite Downton Abbey drinking game. (Mine? One sip for every time a character mention salad.)Salad saves messI admit, I am the chief salad maker for The Salad Lobby, and as such, I have other staff to do dishes. But here at The Salad Lobby, like at any other business, interruptions in workflow can cause slowdowns in productivity, resulting in a buildup of dishes in the sink. Not what we at The Salad Lobby like to have happen, but thanks to salad we can minimize the effects of these backlogs.Salads require little equipment to prepare: a cutting board, knife, a jar or bowl to mix the dressing, salad bowl, and serving dishes. No pots, pans, mixing bowls, spatulas or appliances necessary. Some salad minimalists might even forgo the serving dishes and eat salad directly from the bowl in which it was tossed. We at The Salad Lobby do not condemn these behaviors. There’s more than one way to eat salad.Salad saves moneyI love salad because it is cheap. Not $1 value meal cheap, but pretty darn cheap for a fresh, nutritious home-prepared meal.Today, which happens to be Sunday, I prepped one of my favorite salads for Monday and Tuesday lunches. It’s called Thai Garden Salad with Herbs, a little exotic sounding to some. Definitely not your average green salad: it has chopped peanuts, cilantro, and mint over a bed of mixed vegetables and lettuce. I added a half cup scoop of brown rice to make it a bit more filling as a meal salad. I made the vinaigrette from pantry ingredients such as sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Sriracha sauce. Add the total costs of each bottle together and they may seem expensive, but I only used a bit of each for the dressing. A little goes quite a long way for dressing ingredients.I went to my local grocery store’s website, which offers Amazon Prime delivery, so I could look up prices and calculate the cost of the four servings of my Thai Garden Salads This particular store offers a lot of organic products so prices tend to be a bit higher. I added everything up and even buffered the costs of items that were miniscule. For example, I only used a teaspoon of sesame oil, which I counted as $0.25; the same with a tablespoon of grated ginger. The actual costs are likely way lower. Still, my four filling salad meals came to about $3.75 each. The cafeteria at my workplace would charge around $8 for a salad, and a meal salad at a restaurant can go for $10-$12.See, isn’t salad amazing? You can now see why we devoted our free time to promoting salad’s place at the table and bringing the joys of salad to you. With more salad comes more time and money for the important things in life, such as hanging out your family and friends, playing hockey, making jewelry, and watching Poldark gaze sweetly at his lovely Demelza.Why do you love salad? Share on FacebookShare on TwitterOne Response Marie Feist October 6, 2016 I’ve loved vegetables since my childhood. My dad had a terrific garden with good soil that he enhanced with regular additions of old manure and vegetable scraps. We had carrots, peas, green beans (bush and pole), lettuce, tomatoes (usually 2 different varieties), corn, strawberries, rhubarb, and horseradish. We bought potatoes and beets from local farmers because the crops were so abundant in Dakota. He learned about gardening from his father and so on. During World War II we depended on our Victory Garden to supplement rationed foods. My favorite in the garden was fresh green peas, and my dad’s was strawberries. We supplemented our winter diet with canned goods: Beets, peaches, pears. Our kitchen was hot and steamy at canning time – we had a Monarch range that used wood or coal as fuel. Whew! So – that’s when my love of vegetables began. ReplyLeave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* WebsiteSave my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.