A guide on creating your very own DIY salad bar

Has your fridge ever been in a state of utter mess with all sorts of vegetables that you can’t quite make a dish out of? It gets overwhelming to see some veggies entering the rotting stage and you don’t want to waste it. Here comes your genius idea – DIY salad bar!

A salad bar means you have your lunch settled for a week. Less mess, saves time and obviously, there’s variety.  With the options available, you don’t get bored of your meals half-way through the week. The beauty about salads is you can customise them to your own liking. There’s no one ingredient you MUST have or can’t use. What do you need? Your favourite toppings and half an afternoon for prepping. 

Start by cooking your grains and packing them in a container together with an appropriate  serving spoon to ensure you are portioning out the right amount each time. 

While your grains are cooking, clean, cut and/or cook your fruit and vegetables in containers where applicable. Be sure to pat dry your greens and ensure they are in tightly sealed containers (to guarantee longevity and freshness). 

*Pro tip: It’s always good to have veggies from all colours. So get your capsicums, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins, butternut, apples, brinjal, broccoli. Basically, all colours of the rainbow!

To ensure a balanced meal, we also recommend healthier options for each of your food groups like quinoa and brown rice for your carbohydrates, tofu, tempeh and beans for your protein and of course olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. Here are some tips we think will be helpful in your prepping!

  1. Tag your containers in specific colours to achieve a full balanced diet. For example, a green sticker on your containers with all your veggies, a yellow sticker for your staples and blue for your proteins. This way you have a framework for your lunches ensuring a well-rounded meal. Something like an example below!

    Picture courtesy of thekitchn

  2. Prepare a variety of sauces beforehand as well! They not only elevate each salad bowl but they can also be made with simple ingredients you probably have at home. You can tweak them to be low in calories as well. Some examples of healthy dressings are as follow:

Salad dressing

Ingredients (per serving)


Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Add all the ingredients in a jar & shake.

Add more salt or honey as desired. 

Honey Mustard 

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Djion mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (soy, peanut, corn)

In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients except oil and mix 

Gradually whisk in the oil to make the  creamy dressing. This can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days

Cilantro Lime 

  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 jalapeno seeds and stem removed (optional)

Add all ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor or blender.

With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Stop to taste and adjust with a little more salt or honey, if desired.

And of course, you can switch it up depending on your family’s preferences. You could have a salad 1 day and a burrito the next day. The ingredients can then be tweaked accordingly for the type of cuisine or dish you go for. 

This is such an effective way not only when you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping but also a great way to get your family eating healthy! Wipe the misconception that eating healthy is expensive, time-consuming and bland. With your personally designed salads, you’ll realise just how easily you can transform your diet for yourself and your family!

Click here to get more ideas! 

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