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Salad Bar Combos: What's your favorite?

So...just started working at Genentech, and my nearest cafeteria has a pretty nice little salad bar. At last peek, it included things like spring mix, romaine, spinach, and arugula for greens; beans, veggies, occasional fruits, nuts, seeds, and about 8 types of dressing; croutons, eggs, tofu, little shrimp, etc. etc.). The problem is, I have absolutely no intuitive sense about which things will go with each other. Which means that I usually just end up with the same garden-style combo (greens, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, etc.)

I'd love to hear suggestions of your favorite flavor combinations. I'd even be open to suggestions for augmenting the existing bar with items from home (I have access to a small fridge, microwave, and toaster oven).

Thanks!

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  1. I never get a garden style combo when I go to a salad bar. I will get some cucumber slices and some cherry tomatoes or carrots, but I will dip them in something. I like to get green beans, peas, corn, beets (not pickled), garbanzos, seeds, eggs, cottage cheese, cheese, ham, turkey, chicken, etc. maybe cottage cheese & fruit. I don't get greens, croutons, tofu, little shrimp, etc.

    1. raisins, sunflower seeds, bleu cheese, corn, peas, garbanzos
      over greens with a balsamic dressing

      1 Reply
      1. re: AdamD

        Nix the bleu cheese and corn and I'm right there with you! I usually add some cucumbers and / or carrots for extra crunch.

      2. The grocery store near my work has a salad bar. I usually get a bit of spring mix andmplace on bottom. Tuna ( plain canned, not w/mayo) and cucumbers go in one corner with a couple pepperocini on top. I usually take a dib and a dab of things like taboule. Dessert is cottage cheese and beets.

        1. How about making cusine-based salads? Greek, French nicoise (tuna, green beans to start), American shrimp Louie with egg and thousand island, Asian with tofu, pea pods and hopefully a sesame oil dressing. Well, that 's a start, difficult to get more specific without knowing what they have in vegs and dressings. Oh...spinach with mushroom, berries, walnuts and blue cheese dressing.

          1. I'm always a bit embarrassed about my daily salad-bar salads... I think people must look at them and think, "Ugh, gross!" But... I typically do baby spinach and some "spring mix," then top it with hard boiled egg, shredded carrots and cabbage, quinoa, chickpeas, kalamata olives, feta, lots of sunflower seeds and some olive oil/salt/pepper. I normally would add cucumbers and tomatoes, but since the bars usually charge by the pound, it gets too expensive to do that. Then, I take cottage cheese and mix it in like a low-fat dressing -- this is probably disgusting to 99.9% of everyone, but it works for me. It makes it creamy, but without the chemical-and-preservative-laden salad bar creamy dressings. I usually take a pasta salad or bean salad on the side.