Chopped Bagged Salads

Confession time! I love salads, but I hate making them at home. The good ones require a ton of ingredients ($$$) and never taste quite as good as the outs ordered out. Gia Pronto, a cafe on Penn's campus, makes the best custom salads hands down. The ingredients are high quality, the dressings are delicious, and the keep their ingredients separated (for real), which is important for someone who doesn't eat meat and has food sensitivities. I don't think I've ever ordered a custom salad from anywhere else (SaladWorks, etc) that didn't end up having at least one stray ingredient mixed in. As a chopped salad lover, I also appreciate that Gia chopped their salads into itty bitty pieces. The one thing I don't like about Gia is the price. It's a pay per ingredient kind of place and my salads usually end up being around $12. I indulge every couple of months, but other than that the cost is prohibitively high. 

I have recently discovered chopped bagged salads and while they aren't as amazing as Gia salads, they satisify my salad cravings in a big way. The lettuce, typically a variety of kale, cabbages, and salad greens, is very finely shredded, just like I like it. Contained inside the bag are smaller packages containing dressing and salad toppings. The salad toppings vary depending on flavor, but they typically involve a cheese and something to provide crunch, such as tortilla strips or nuts. The bagged salads taste significantly better than the salads I typically make at home and in my opinion, also taste better than the other bagged salad options available. Lately I have been obsessed with them, ordering a couple of bags a week for my lunches. Dole has several flavor options, but many grocery stores also sell their own version too, like the Wegman's brand pictured here. This week at the Fresh Grocer (owned by ShopRite) has the Dole brand chopped bagged salads on sale for $1.99 a bag (typically $3.99 a bag with three to four servings per bag), so I highly, highly recommend trying them out!

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