Salads are one of those foods that just taste better when other people make them for you.
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This has always been a sad truth about salads — especially for anyone trying to save money by prepping lunch at home. But if you're missing daily trips to fast-casual salad joints while working from home during the novel coronavirus pandemic, your weekday lunch salads may have gotten even sadder.
The solution is a simple kitchen gadget you can buy for less than $20: salad scissors.
For the uninitiated, this handy piece of equipment is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a pair of scissors you use to seamlessly chop homemade salads in seconds. They're typically equipped with large, comfy handles for safe gripping and curved or serrated blades. Some even have a small scoop attached to keep stray spinach leaves from scattering.
The resulting masterpiece has the visual and textural appeal of a prepped-for-you bowl without the hefty price tag or long wait. But even if you always packed your lunch at home, salad scissors can help — from start to finish.
"Salad scissors can be a great hack to speed up meal prep," says Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, author of My Indian Table: Quick and Tasty Vegetarian Recipes. You save time you would have spent chopping each ingredient individually, and when it's time to clean up, you don't have to wash cutting boards or knives, adds Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.
Are You Getting Enough Fruits and Veggies?
You'll save the most time with salad scissors if you toss everything in a bowl and snip away, but if you have a few extra minutes to spare and a creative side, you can spruce up chopped salads even more by using salad scissors strategically.
"I really like my greens chopped up, however, you can add a lot of life to your salad if you vary the texture," Taub-Dix says. "I'll chop greens and fresh herbs with salad scissors, but then I may cut something like mango or cucumbers differently to make the salad look prettier."
Shop These Salad Scissors
Fair warning: Carrots may be more challenging to chop with scissors — an obstacle for some, a dare for others. You could also end up smushing delicate tomatoes in the process, Taub-Dix adds. But with a little experimenting, you'll find the veggies (and more) that work best between the blades.
That's right, you don't have to stop at salads once you've invested in a pair of these shears. "I love using mine directly over a pot on the stove as I add veggies and herbs to soups and stews," Sheth says.
At the end of the day, you don't need a pair of salad scissors to get by, but the inexpensive gadget does make it easier to craft that perfect salad bite. And we have to savor small pleasures these days.
Need Some Homemade Chopped Salad Inspiration?
Try snipping up these recipes with your salad scissors: