Salad Exchange

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The holidays are over and now we sit with guilt as to how much we indulged our taste buds. It’s that dreaded time of year, to attempt to shed those pounds, and actually achieve that New Year’s resolution of eating healthy! There’s safety in numbers, right? And “it takes a village,” right? Insert the salad exchange concept.

Instead of the Great Cookie Exchange, how about starting a Great Salad Exchange with your village?!

salad exchange

I have done a salad exchange for the past several years with my colleagues and it has been such a blast! It is modeled after the cookie exchange concept of the holiday season. The exchange has really been a great way to eat healthy, try new flavors, and share with others in new ways. It can be done with any group of people who are willing to put trust in each other’s food decisions. Get your mom groups, church group, or colleague group together to support each other’s quest to eat healthier!

Here is how it works:

  1. 1. Participants each prepare salads for the week in individual containers.
  2. Pick a designated trading day and location.
  3. Trade! The beauty of this set up is it does not matter how many people participate. The best-case scenario is everyone will have a different salad each day of the week. The worst-case scenario, only one person participates for the week, and that person eats the same salad all week (but at least it’s made!)

Tips to get started:

  • Dressing – This is often the reason people don’t want to participate. “My salad will get soggy.”  I have 3 solutions:
    • Provide the dressing in a small Ziplock bag that can lay on top of the salad inside the container.
    • Make salads with more firm lettuce such as cabbage.
    • When you exchange, tell people to choose their own dressing.
  • The more your kitchen looks like an assembly line, the better. Line up the containers. Cut up each ingredient one at a time and add accordingly. 
  • It’s totally acceptable to use pre-made kits (no shame in that game!). Quite often when my group was pinched for time, we started with a kit and added our own flair. 
  • Get disposable containers for minimal investment. It can be helpful for everyone to use the same kind, but it is not the end of the world if they are different. 
  • Set up a group Pinterest board to keep track of recipes. 

Feel free to comment with your favorite salad recipes!

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I have lived in Dayton my entire adult life, but grew up in Cincinnati. I have really come to love our city and all it has to offer. In my mind, it is truly a hidden gem. I have 2 girls and a boy who keep me moving. I spend my days as a high school math teacher. In my spare time (what's that?!), I love to participate in walking challenges with coworkers (though I never win), explore new activities for both my husband and I and my kids, and foster my creative mind with projects such as Zentangle.