Make friends with salad!

20 July 2016

Toronto -

Want to step up your lunch game at work, while staying healthy and saving money? Host a salad bar!

A crowdsourced salad bar is an easy, cheap and healthy alternative to buying a salad during the workday.

How it works

To host your salad bar, everyone signs up to bring part of a salad – like greens, tomatoes, quinoa, cheese, etc.

You can make your own sign-up sheet with a list of ingredients you pick yourself, or you can use ours!

Post the sign-up sheet and a pen in a high-traffic area in your office (we keep ours in the kitchen) and send an email to your co-workers to let them know what to do. We usually do this about a week in advance of the event, and then we include a reminder in everyone’s calendars too.

On the day, bring your ingredients washed, prepped and ready to serve. They should be ready to go by a specific time. At that time, everyone can bring their ingredients to the location of the event. Make sure you ask your colleagues to include a label for their contribution and keep any nuts or gluten away from the rest of the ingredients.

This event is BYOB (bring your own bowl) – make sure people know to bring big bowls to fit in all the ingredients! Now, you and your co-workers can help yourselves to a tasty lunch and enjoy it together.

Our favourite ingredients to bring (and why)


A cup of spinach has 7 calories and it’s a good source of Vitamin A. It’s also extremely high in betacarotene and Vitamin K and is high in folate. We nearly always have spinach in our salad bar as it’s a great base for a salad and is an easy ingredient to prep (especially if you buy it pre-washed).

Broccoli is very high in Vitamin C and contains folate and vitamin E. A half cup of raw broccoli has only 16 calories. Chop it up into little florets and sprinkle on top of your salad for some added crunch!

A medium raw carrot has only 25 calories. Carrots are very high in beta carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A. We love having grated carrots in our salad bar as they’re so easy to serve!

Lentils are full of fibre and are an easy addition to your salad bar! Use canned or soak dried lentils and bring them along, ready to serve. Remember that eating plenty of fibre can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.

Sunflower seeds
Place sunflower seeds in a bowl right at the end of your salad bar, so they can be used to top off your salad. We love the crunch they add, and they’re also a source of unsaturated, or healthy, fats. Be sure to bring the raw variety.

Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a salad bar staple. Full of good fats and high in protein, cottage cheese in your salad is a great way to stay full into the afternoon.

Try this healthy recipe for salad dressing:

Lemon honey dressing

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon good honey
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and drizzle on top of your salad!

Did you host a salad bar at work? Tag us in your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or use #halfyourplate!