Here is a great initiative to take at work. It all started with a group of about 4 people including myself and my husband (he works with me). We brought bags full of salad fixings everyday. We filled the company fridge with bags of lettuce and chopped veggies. We grew tired of our same salads day after day. We thought we should all bring in some things and share.
And so Salad Club was born. I extended the invitation to some others around the office, mostly the girls jumped on board…actually all girls =). Our club grew to 16 people. I was mighty impressed by the number of people interested. Turns out many want to eat healthier and its a great way to have a lunch available to you everyday. Check out the recipe for creating a Salad Club of your own.
• Each week five people are assigned a category: Greens | Beans | Nuts & Seeds | Cheese | Veggies & Fruit
• Those who are scheduled for the week are in charge of keeping their item stocked in the bin all week long.
• All members are allowed to eat salads from the bin all week long.
• BYOD (Bring Your Own Dressing) Each member is in charge of providing their own dressing, unless willing to contribute to the oil & vinegar rotation
HOW TO BEGIN
• Purchase a plastic storage container that would fit on one of the shelves in the refrigerator (be sure to measure and make sure its big enough to hold the loot). Divide cost among members.
• Purchase an inexpensive knife set and cutting board (I got mine from IKEA). Divide cost among members.
• Start the club with a bottle of oil & vinegar, salt & pepper (this will become a rotation with the members)
• Create a schedule and send off the first email.
• Create a schedule and assign what people will be in charge of. I gave my members some guidelines to help with their categories:
2-3 GREENS | 2-3 bags a day
romaine, spinach, arugula, kale, spring mix, etc
2-3 CHEESES | 1 large bag/container of each
shredded cheddar, feta, blue cheese, parmesan, mozzarella, etc
2-3 BEANS | 3-4 cans of each
Garbanzo, Kidney, Black beans, edamame, etc
2-3 NUTS & SEEDS | 1-2 cups each
cashews, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, etc
5-6 VEGGIES & FRUIT | 2-3 quart size ziplocs of each (please prepare veggies so they are salad ready)
Broccoli, carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms, cucumber, onions, apples, pear, oranges, etc
• Encourage people to bring other toppings that they enjoy.
• Have everyone bring in their bounty on Monday, load the bin and enjoy salads the rest of the week.
• Suggest places to buy the ingredients for less. I encourages Costco and Sprouts around my area. This can help reduce the cost. Bagged lettuce at Safeway can cost a fortune.
• Check in! This is really important to monitor the success of your club. I send out an email on Friday and ask people how many salads they had a week, and how much they spent on ingredients. The average number of salads eaten a week per person is 3. Usually people spent no more than $30 (for a club of 16 people) on ingredients, veggies and greens being the most expensive.
• Rotate ingredient assignments. Be sure to adjust the schedule so the same people aren’t stuck bringing in the same category. This may take a little configuring, but is best to keep everyone happy.
• If your club enjoys the oil & vinegar, salt & pepper be sure to keep a rotating list of who will be purchasing those in the coming weeks. (Almost all members are participating in this)
Overall this club has become an instant success. People are having lunch together who didn’t normally eat with one another. Everyone seems so happy building and making their salads. It is actually very cost effective. Spending at the most $30 every 3 weeks is a low cost way to eat a healthy lunch everyday. Not only has this club been wonderful to be in, everyone is enjoying a wider variety of salads and eating healthier than they had in the past. It’s nice to know you have a crispy cool lunch waiting for you everyday, especially with warm weather around the corner. Perhaps a Soup Club would be more appropriate in winter =). I hope this post has inspired you to create your own Salad Club and that you are as happy as we are.
Happy munching and crunching!