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    • scotgirl
    • By scotgirl 11th Apr 06, 8:20 PM
    • 802Posts
    • 307Thanks
    scotgirl
    Salad
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 06, 8:20 PM
    Salad 11th Apr 06 at 8:20 PM
    We are trying hard to cook from scratch and limit the amount of 'packaged' foods we buy and really get into the OS way of cooking.

    I am keen to stop buying expensive and (so I have read) unhealthy bags of salad but it seems near imossible to buy different varieties of unbagged salad.

    We really like to have salad with most meals (usually rocket type salads). Can anyone suggest where I can get nice varieties of salad/lettuce leaves unprepared or even how to 'jazz' up the boring varieties in the supermarket?

    Unfortunately, we don't have a garden to grow our own (top floor flat).

    Thanks all!
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  • bigmuffins
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 06, 8:26 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 06, 8:26 PM
    Just a thought - if you have a windowsill or somewhere light, can grow salad leaves in pots/tubs/containers. Just get some seed and sow and harvest a few leaves as they grow. Will be young tasty leaves and no pests (slugs/snails - the bane of my life!)

    Can also do carrots and radishes in small containers and eat small - don't like the hefty monster ones myself!

    Or get an allotment!
  • ChocClare
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 06, 9:32 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 06, 9:32 PM
    Rocket grows like a weed so it really is worthwhile investing in a couple of pots for your windowsill.

    While you're waiting for that to happen...

    Buy yourself an iceberg lettuce or some other cheapo lettuce (as opposed to the bagged-up type). Apparently iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value, which is why it lasts for ages! But I digress...

    Jazz it up with different dressings: walnuts and roquefort; balsamic vinegar; caesar dressing; shavings of parmesan, home-made croutons etc. etc.

    Mix in other stuff: how about buying a small basil plant from the supermarket (or parsley, or chives or whatever takes your fancy)? Rip off a few leaves and mix in. Avocado chopped in lifts most salads and you don't need much.

    Or buy a cheapo white cabbage and shred it with some carrots and mayonnaise to make your own coleslaw - much nicer than shop-bought.

    Buy a bag of spinach from the vegetable aisle rather than the salad aisle and it's cheaper and the leaves not usually much bigger - eat that as a salad.

    If you've got a Lidl near you they often have fruit and veg at half price - and also Rocket seeds!

    Best of luck!
  • lilac_lady
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 06, 9:51 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 06, 9:51 PM
    If you buy a bag of prepared lettuce (and not many MSE-ers will do this!), wash it even though it says "ready washed". I read on one the boards here that the lettuce is washed in chlorine and other chemicals so since then I've been very careful. Probably won't do you any harm but the thought isn't very nice.
    " The greatest wealth is to live content with little."

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    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 12th Apr 06, 7:12 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 06, 7:12 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 06, 7:12 AM
    I like to buy locally produced fruit and veg.This means we just don't eat green leafed salad through the winter and early spring - it is just not around.Instead we make salad out of hard cabbage,red and white,carrots,onions,whatever is crisp and crunchy raw.I also sprout mung beans through the cold months.All these things are nutritionally rich unlike the imported ,chlorinated bagged stuff and the water-filled iceberg,which as Choc Clare says has no nutitional value.

    Marguerite Patten's wartime recipe books have ideas for seasonal salads

    Fortunately the green leaves are on the way back now,so I'll be loking out for watercress in my farmshop,and I'll be growing some rocket in a pot soon.

    Eating with the seasons is exciting,each new season brings something different.I love the fact that when one thing is over something else will be along.It's fun to make the most of seasonal gluts.
    • amazon_spice
    • By amazon_spice 12th Apr 06, 7:14 AM
    • 1,619 Posts
    • 367 Thanks
    amazon_spice
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 06, 7:14 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 06, 7:14 AM
    Rocket grows like a weed so it really is worthwhile investing in a couple of pots for your windowsill.

    I didn't know that - thanks for the tip.
    • MrsTinks
    • By MrsTinks 12th Apr 06, 9:05 AM
    • 14,995 Posts
    • 23,049 Thanks
    MrsTinks
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 06, 9:05 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 06, 9:05 AM
    Rocket grows like a weed so it really is worthwhile investing in a couple of pots for your windowsill.

    I didn't know that - thanks for the tip.
    by amazon_spice
    Me neither... Off to find rocket seeds in my lunch break and make room in the window sill at home LOOOOOOVE rocket so this would be quite good really

    As for salad then to save time you COULD buy the ickle plants already growing from the garden centre... not as cheap, but it could give you a head start untill other seeds germinate. I just bought a Chilli plant (hybrid) and it might even survive After all my rosemary and thyme plants have lasted 2 months if not more now so I might be getting the hang of indoor plants *fingers crossed* You could even try a cherry tomato plant in a pot if you felt adventurous
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    • Debt_Free_Chick
    • By Debt_Free_Chick 12th Apr 06, 10:10 AM
    • 13,149 Posts
    • 9,492 Thanks
    Debt_Free_Chick
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 06, 10:10 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 06, 10:10 AM
    I am keen to stop buying expensive and (so I have read) unhealthy bags of salad but it seems near imossible to buy different varieties of unbagged salad.
    by scotgirl
    Problem is, that salad leaves are imported at the moment. You might get some leaves grown here, but they will have been grown in a polytunnel. Both methods are more expensive than the traditional seasonal "grow in the field" method. To recoup the extra expense, the supermarkets shove a few in a bag and then charge a fortune!

    Essentially, there is no home-grown lettuce at the moment, so the supermarkets are only stocking the more expensive options.

    You are going to be limited until the home-grown stock is available, from June onwards - and even then, you'll need to find a farm shop, traditional greengrocer or farmers' market to get a decent choice.

    For now, you are probably limited to Little Gem or Iceberg - or the rip-off bagged salad.

    Pity about not having a garden as it is possible to grow lettuce through the winter. I've been growing lamb's lettuce and Winter Density, under a poly-cloche all winter and only waiting now for my summer crop to come through.

    As for jazzing up "boring" lettuce, do you mean dressings or extra ingredients?
  • plumpplop
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 06, 10:20 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 06, 10:20 AM
    One of my favourite salads for this time of year is carrot salad. Just grate the carrots so you have a large dessert bowl full and a handful of dried friut (I use saltanas) add a splash of orange juice and stir (and a sprinkle of seseme seeds if you have them). I thought orange and carrot sounded wierd at first but it really yum.

    Its also great of you make it the night before so the saltanas swell up a bit.
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 12th Apr 06, 10:23 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    Ooh,I do this too,try adding sunflower seeds for extra crunch
  • plumpplop
    I love sunflower seeds and never thought of that - Doh!. I'm going to make some tonight now!
  • Loadsabob
    Our local healthfood shop sell salad all year round. Often its local. They do fantastic big lettuces, also bags of rocket (and you don't need to be put off by the fact that its bagged if its in a healthfood shop and organic - no chlorine or nasties, it's just a vessel to keep it from going limp!)

    They often sell mixed bags of various leaves, too, and FAR cheaper and more full then the rubbishy ones the supermarkets sell. But I'm happy with a huge lettuce and some rocket to pep it up, and if you can get some corriander, basil and parsley growing on window-sills, you'll have fabulously tasty salads!

    (Farmers markets are worth a try for fresh local salad, too)
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