My new obsession: salad in a jar. I know, I know- salad in a jar is old news. I cannot even begin to try to take credit for this ingenious idea. Seriously, whoever thought of it deserves a medal. If you’re new to salad in a jar, let me tell you about it. It’s all the ingredients you’d put in a salad layered strategically into a mason jar. That’s it, nothing too fancy or complicated. The strategic layering is crucial to the process. If you don’t follow the suggested layering, your salad in a jar will be a soggy mess by the time you go to eat it.
Put the ingredients in your jar in this order:
- 2-3 Tablespoons salad dressing
- Hard, non-absorbent vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, peppers, cabbage to just name a few)
- Softer vegetables (corn, peas, mushrooms, squash for example)
- Protein (meat, tofu, beans, hard boiled eggs)
- Cheese, nuts or seeds
Here are four reasons why mason jar salads have been a total game changer for me!
1. Time saver
There’s almost nothing I dread more than trying to scrounge up something to eat for my lunch each day during the week. This is especially true when there seems to be an endless amount of things to do in addition to work and driving the kids to all the places they need to go. First, I get all of my salad ingredients washed, chopped, and ready to go. I line up everything on the counter with my jars and I begin to layer in my ingredients. I make up 5 jars on Sunday for my lunches all week. It takes no more than ten minutes to fill five jars and I’m done! I don’t have to spend even one-minute thinking about or preparing my lunch during the week. Anything that saves me time is a huge win in my book!
2. Money saver
Since my lunches consist of a mason jar salad full of vegetables, no ingredients or produce in the house goes untouched. I absolutely hate wasting food. It happens even to the best of us,though. We buy vegetables we fully intend to use, but sometimes life gets in the way or plans change. I know how many vegetables I can fit into each jar and the amount of vegetables my family eats at lunch and dinner. This has allowed me to buy exactly what I need for each week. No more waste because I’m only buying what we need.
3. Large serving of vegetables
I know for many people it can sometimes feel challenging to get in enough vegetables. No worries on that front if you start eating mason jar salads! The possibilities are endless as far as the vegetables that can go in the jar. (It’s actually kind of fun to try out different combinations!) One of the many things I love about these salads is the hefty amount of greens that can be shoved into the jar. I get right in there and pack them down before putting the top on my jar.
4. Hearty meal or snack
One of the reasons I was reluctant to try mason jar salads is because I assumed it wouldn’t be enough food to keep me going through the afternoon. Boy was I wrong! Looks are deceiving. There have been a few salads that I wasn’t sure I would finish. I can say with confidence that these salads provide good staying power. You can also change the size of the mason jar you pack your salad in to adjust the serving. Using a pint mason jar would make a great side salad or even snack.
Give mason jar salads a try. The possibilities are endless! Share with me your favorite combinations.