The best way to store berries is in a single layer, loosely covered, in the refrigerator. If you have fresh berries and they’re not going to be eaten for a few days, freezing is better.
Freeze in a single layer on a baking pan, then transfer to freezer containers or plastic freezer bags and seal.
Berries can stay in the freezer for up to a year.
To easily chop an avocado: Using a small knife, make parallel cuts in the flesh of a halved avocado.
Rotate and slice in the other direction.
Using a spoon, scoop out avocado pieces.
Healthy Salad Bar Alternatives
Replace cucumbers with tomatoes-Cucumbers are indeed low-calorie, but tomatoes have far more benefits: They’re antioxidant-rich, high in vitamin C and contain lycopene (a phytochemical that cuts breast cancer risk).
Instead of iceberg lettuce, try arugula; it’s only 7 calories per cup (iceberg lettuce is 18 calories); other leafy dark greens like spinach and watercress are also lower in calories. And all leafy greens are have a much higher antioxidant count.
Grated Parmesan has only 3 grams of fat and is only 48 calories for a 2-tablespoon topping; one quarter cup of shredded cheddar contains 11 grams of fat and has 115 calories.
Other healthier options are: Sunflower seeds instead of bacon bits; replacing beans for deli meat (particularly red meat); and substituting red cabbage instead of coleslaw.
Here’s a recipe for:
Stacked Summer Vegetable Salad
3 medium yellow or green zucchini
4 medium carrots
¼ small red onion
1 cup torn leaf lettuce
3 Tbs lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil or canola oil
1 Tbs snipped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1. With a vegetable peeler or mandoline, shave zucchini in thin strips.
Salt lightly, then transfer to colander to drain, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, shave carrots in strips lengthwise and thinly slice onion.
2. Rinse zucchini and allow to drain in colander.
To assemble salad, in a 2-quart square dish layer one third each of the vegetables and onion.
For dressing, in a glass measuring cup whisk together lemon juice and oil.
Drizzle some of the dressing on layered vegetables.
Repeat layering and dressing twice.
Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 12 hours before serving.
3. To serve, sprinkle salad with fresh dill and pepper.
Cut salad in rectangles with a sharp knife; lift out with a spatula.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Work time: 50 min.
Chill time: 1 to 12 hours
Avocado and Watermelon Salad
Remove the rind and cut watermelon into thin strips.
Toss with slices of avocado and thin slices of red onion.
Serve over watercress or other small-leaf lettuce.
Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
Special Note: There are now bite-size seedless watermelons available; they’re extra sweet and are roughly cantaloupe-sized. As a result, they’re easy to store and are perfect snacking for one-or two.
When fruits are in season and on sale–stock up!
Wash, pit and slice the fruit.
Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze 1 to 2 hours.
Then pop the now-frozen slices into a zip-loc (or other freezer bag) and freeze up to 10 months.
Make a dinner salad or a veggie lunch using any leftover rice:
Toss in whatever extra veggies you have in the crisper drawer, like green onions, bell peppers, sweet peppers, carrots, etc.
Top with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.
Drizzle with a dressing that’s half lemon juice, half olive oil.
Sources: food/know-how section-Better Homes and Gardens, July 2013, food/recipes section-“Delicious on a Dollar” by Richard Swearinger–Better Homes and Gardens, July 2012 and food/know-how section-Better Homes and Gardens, July 2012