Green Eating at the Campground - My Favorite Salad

Crunchy Romaine Toss is a favorite salad both at home and at the campground.

Even though we are well into 2021 and past New Year's resolutions, spring signals the start of warmer weather and the anticipation of grabbing swimsuits and heading for some water.  We've gotten in the habit of packing more salad kits, fruits, and veggies when we travel.  I find that these habits make for better hikes and outdoor activities as well as just basic consistency in our diet at home and on the road.  So, what leafy greens are we taking to the campground?

This salad works well for a homemade salad kit that you can pack easily and eat on for several days.

This time of year, people are recharging and ramping up their diet and exercise routines.  I'm just in the slow burn of trying to make healthier choices and find some balance.  Currently, I'm involved in a city-wide walking challenge to encourage residents to get outdoors and walk more.  I always find that if I'm more active I pay closer attention to what I'm eating.  

There is a salad that we have enjoyed at our home for quite a number of years.  It appears in several cookbooks I have with minor variations on the ingredients here and there.  We call it "Crunchy Romain Toss" at our house.  But, it may have other names floating about.  

It's a salad that you can make in 4 separate parts like a homemade salad kit.  This makes a great salad to take on the road with you or keep on hand at home.  You can enjoy it as a complete meal by adding a protein of your choice.  I find that chicken or shrimp go well with this salad.  But, you could use whatever suits your personal tastes.  

Toss everything together at the campground for a fresh salad each time you use it.

You begin with some hearty romaine lettuce.  I typically buy romaine hearts.  I chop and use lettuce as I make my salads so it doesn't get soggy or brown.  I would not recommend chopping this up ahead of time.  You can also use the baby romaine that you can grab out of a container without chopping at all.  And if romaine doesn't tickle your fancy, be a rebel and use some arugula or just plain ole iceberg.  

The combination of broccoli and green onions provides a nice texture and taste in the salad.

Next, you make a green mixture of chopped broccoli and green onions.  These additions to the salad add texture and crunch.  It also creates excellent flavor in the salad.  Broccoli may be my least favorite vegetable, but I actually love it in this salad.  Store this mixture in a container or plastic bag.

The crunchy topping is an added bonus to this salad!

The third addition to the salad is a crunchy topping that is made from a package of crushed ramen noodles and nuts cooked in a skillet with butter until brown.  The key to this topping is cooking it on low and slow heat so that it does not burn.  Some recipes call for walnuts and others call for pecans.  You can use whatever you have on hand.  I do prefer pecans.

The sweet and sour dressing is really yummy and works well with an added protein if you choose!

Finally, make a sweet and sour dressing for a salad.  It is a dressing made with ingredients most cooks have at home.  It begins with sugar and oil.  Add some vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.  I use my emulsion blender to get the best mixture.  You could make this recipe with a sugar substitute like Swerve of Truvia.  

The sugar content can be a deal-breaker for some in this recipe.  I didn't claim this recipe was healthy.  I said from the beginning that it has greens and we are eating more vegetables.  

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it lends itself well to substitutions and changes based on personal tastes preferences and dietary needs.  You really can make it your own and still have a really delicious salad as a side or even as a meal.  Get creative and have fun with it and make it your own.

The salad ingredients pack well and travel well!

Each of these component parts is kept separately until it is time to toss the salad for a meal.  The broccoli and onion mixture keeps well for several days in the fridge as well as all of the other parts.  Everyone in our house will eat this salad, and it works well with everything from steak and potatoes to a light lunch with leftover grilled chicken!

Until next time...

Write recipe photo description here Enter Recipe Crunchy Romaine Toss Author:  Preparation Time: Cooking time: Servings: 10 to 12 Calories per serving: 194

Crunchy Romaine Toss is a hearty and satisfying salad on its own, but you can easily add a protein of your choice for a complete meal.  

  • 1 (3 ounce) package of ramen noodles, crushed  (noodles only, toss the seasoning packet)
  • 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Romaine lettuce hearts

  1. Crush your ramen noodles and toss the seasoning packet.  
  2. In a skillet combine the ramen, nuts, and butter.  Cook over medium-low until the nuts and noodles are browned.  Stir often to ensure it does not burn.  Allow it to cook and place in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  3. Coarsely chop the broccoli.  Chop the green onions.  Combine both and place in a container until ready to serve.
  4. Mix the oil, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and salt and pepper with an emulsion blender until combined thoroughly.
  5. When it is time to serve, toss together the letter, broccoli, and green onion mixture with the ramen topping and dressing.  
  6. If you are adding a protein, add it to the top of each plated serving.  

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