True confession: I am lazy when it comes to making salads.

When I’m hungry, I like to open the refrigerator and grab a ready-to-eat salad. That’s why I love prewashed salad greens and left-over sturdy salads. And that’s the beauty of convenient salad kits.

A popular salad kit available at Costco, Trader Joe’s, and most grocery stores is a variation of broccoli slaw. What an ingenious way to use broccoli stems! What a tasty way to get the benefits of cruciferous vegetables with all their cancer-fighting antioxidant potential. And who knew that shredded raw brussels sprouts could taste so good?!

What a simple way to make a salad that gets devoured at potlucks. Or if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, a salad that lasts for several days in the refrigerator. That’s my favorite type of salad, especially in the winter when lettuce may not grow so well locally, or the crop gets frozen and the price goes up.

The big draw-back to some salad kits is the inclusion of salad dressing ingredients I’d rather not eat–like eggs, milk, GMO oils, or too much sugar.

So I make my own dressing. Sometimes I buy the kit and toss out the dressing packet. Sometimes I create my own salad. The secret to my version of broccoli and kale slaw is to massage the dressing into the kale and broccoli slaw. This softens and flavors those sturdy vegetables and in the process improves the texture and flavor.

Here are some other salads to get you thinking about ones you can make in advance and enjoy later:

  • coleslaw
  • kale salad
  • roasted cauliflower with sesame dressing
  • Mason jar salads
  • quinoa salad
  • kale Caesar salad
  • potato salad
  • carrot-raisin salad
  • black bean salad
  • curried lentil sprout salad

Make-ahead salads provide time-saving benefits for you during the busy work week. Plus, they work great for potlucks. I will be posting more make-ahead salad recipes in the recipe section soon.