Have you ever packed the perfect salad for lunch only to discover that once it’s time to devour it it is all soggy and wilted? Well you can erase that memory from your mind now that a new trend is on the scene: The Salad In A Jar! Unlike traditional Tupperware, since you are layering the ingredients in order of moistness and weight, the ingredients wont mingle until it is time to eat them (as long as the jar sits upright). When you’re ready to dine all you have to do is shake the jar up and grab a fork or dump everything in a bowl to mix. Ready to build your freshest salads yet? Check out these tips for getting the most out of your favorite salad ingredients and get ready to toss it up!
You know those jars your grandma used to make jelly? Those are the best ones. My personal preference is the Mason jars by Ball. The Ball® 1 Quart (32-oz.) Wide Mouth Jars are perfect since they are easy to drop ingredients in and out of. Plus the 32-oz. size is just the right amount of space for all the healthy layering that’s about to take place.
Jam It All In…Order That Is
The makings of a perfect salad has tons of greens, an assortment of veggies, a little fat, some protein and both crunchy and chewy textures. Sound like a lot? Well it is, which is why the order in which you load your jar totally matters. Here is how it should go down:
1. Dress For Success
Just a couple tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing should do. I also love a combo of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with most of my salad combos so give this easy dressing a try if a pre made option is unavailable.
2. The Hardest Veggies In The Batch
Think peppers, carrots, cucumbers, celery etc. This will guard that dressing from seeping to the top.
3. Beans Next
Black beans, chick peas any kind of beans are welcomed. And if you are using grains or pasta in your salad mix , then add those now too.
4. Protein Power
Stay full longer with a handful of protein. Chicken, tuna, hard boiled eggs and tofu are all excellent options. Also be sure to add your cheesy layer here too if you like. But be sure you are eating your salad by the next day – if not then save this layer for the day of.
5. Calling All Softies
Think avocado, dried or fresh fruit, tomatoes etc. These delicate items however should only be added if you are eating your salad by the next day. If not, you know the drill, add it the day of as a top layer.
6. Go Nuts
Nuts and seeds add a nice crunch and a good dose of healthy fat. So add your walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds right here Dear.
7. Go Get Greens
Finally you add the greens – your spring mix, romaine lettuce, kale etc. Make sure the pieces are not too large though (smaller is better in this case). Also don’t be afraid to pack them in there, doing so really seals the deal (pun intended).
Store For Four (Or Five) Days
Screw it! Make sure the lid is tight and refrigerate your salad creation for up to 5 days. That’s right, you can layer up lunches for the entire week all on Sunday night. Just remember – proteins, cheeses and soft fruits/veggies go right on top the day of.
Get Crazy Creative
Clearly I love a good salad, so the more creative the better. I tossed a few things around in the kitchen just for you boo, so here are my three favorite creations. Try them out and don’t forget to load all the ingredients in the order listed:
Santa Fe Fun