7 ideas for Romaine that AREN’T salad!

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I have a few things that are weekly staples on my grocery list: milk, eggs, bananas, etc. You have some of these too I’m sure! One thing I buy every week is a big fluffy head of romaine lettuce. It’s nutrient dense and yes, it’s versatile. Salad is always on the meal plan at least once a week, but I have cooked up a few ways to use it that don’t mean in a bowl with dressing.

romaine nutrients

When I bring it home on Sunday I wash and prep it to keep it fresh. Best way to store lettuce (any kind) is to wash and dry in a salad spinner, then place in a ziploc bag with a slightly damp paper towel. And poke holes in the bag! Let it breathe! Your lettuce will keep for the whole week at least!

lettuce

I always make two bags, one for the large outer leaves that I keep whole and one for pre-chopped lettuce. Why? I use it for more than salads! I used to end up with a half head of romaine every week; not enough for a whole family sized salad but enough to do something with. So I improvised and cycle in these regulars for my whole family!

  1. Use some of the chopped romaine in a wrap with leftover meat from last night’s dinner. A little vinaigrette and it’s lunch!

  2. Or if you are feeling anti-carb, use a large leaf in place of the tortilla. Stuff it with some tuna salad and cucumber. Cool and crisp.

  3. Wilt it into some whole grain pasta. Yes, like spinach or kale. Romaine breaks down more easily so turn the heat off first then dump some of the chopped stuff in there and let the steam from the pasta soften it a bit.

  4. Chop it super fine and it makes a pretty garnish. I like to roll up just a piece of the larger leaf and slice extremely thin to make ribbons. Looks nice on pretty much anything!

  5. My hubs and kids will eat it on a sandwich if it’s not too think of a layer. One way to get around this is to put a layer of two or three larger leaves between cheese on a grilled cheese. It will get softer and thinner, the taste mellows a bit, and the grilled cheese just looks prettier.

  6. Grill it! Okay, this one is like a salad, but it’s different and delicious! You actually need to leave it on the stem for this one, but take off any larger, loose leaves from the outside. Spray with a little olive oil, and toss them on the grill. They will only need a light grilling, and I put them around the outside of the grill to avoid over doing it. Rotate then remove. Perfect in summer!

  7. Keep some of the long, thin, and stiff inner pieces and use as a fancy appetizer base. A dab of crab salad and a halved grape tomato look lovely and are easy for guests to pick up and eat!

Have another idea? Comment below!

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