Do you want to pack your lunch but find that baggies and glad containers are just unappealing?
And quite frankly…PLASTIC!
Packing healthy food to go isn’t always fun for some, but I try and make all my food fun, pretty, tasty and HEALTHY!
So, I introduce to you Salad in a Jar. I’ve been doing the Mason Jar thingy for years, but now the new craze is the
Bringing lunch to work can feel like a chore — it requires planning, getting up early to pack your lunch or remembering to prepare it before you go to bed. It needs to be portable and it needs to be exciting, but it also can’t be smelly (sorry tuna fish or egg salad sandwich lovers. We’re fans, but we can’t handle the odor in the office). Not only is it difficult to motivate to bring your lunch and find the right thing, it’s also difficult to sustain the practice. After so many days of making the same thing, you inevitably tire of it.
Fear not. The mason jar salad is here to solve all your lunchtime problems. It’s portable, healthy, easy to make and offers room for plenty of variety. It’s the perfect solution, and it’s about to be your new best friend this summer. You can layer so many vegetables and grains in the jar, and mix and match so many different ingredients that you’ll never get bored.
Packing your salad in a jar is also an amazing way to solve the classic soggy salad problem. If you pack a pre-dressed salad for lunch, the greens will be limp and soggy by the time you’re ready to eat it. And who has a separate salad container to bring in addition to the salad itself? The mason jar salad keeps your greens from getting dressed until you’re ready to mix it up. All you have to do is put the salad dressing in first and layer in ingredients one by one, leaving the salad greens on top. You should start with the heaviest, most non-absorbent ingredients first.
Here are 12 mason jar salads to try for your next lunch break. Let us know what your favorite combinations are!
How do the greens not get soggy?
The basic idea when packing salads in jars is to start with the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients with the dressing on the bottom of the jar and work your way up through the lighter ingredients until you end up with the salad greens themselves. As long as your jar doesn’t accidentally tip over you in your bag, the delicate greens will be well-protected from the dressing until you’re ready to eat.
How does everything get mixed together?
When you’re ready to eat your salad, just unscrew the cap and shake it into a bowl. Everything gets pretty compacted in the jar, so some vigorous shaking may be needed! This shaking also helps to toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. Once the salad is in the bowl, you can toss it some more with your fork to make sure everything is evenly coated.
What’s the best jar to use?
Any canning jar can be used, but wide-mouthed jars are the easiest for both packing the salad into the jars and shaking them out again. Pint-sized jars are great for individual side-salads of mostly greens with just a few “extra” salad toppings. Use quart-sized jars for larger lunch and dinner salads that have a lot of extra veggies and salad goodies. Two-quart jars and larger are great if you’re taking the salad to a potluck or cookout.
How long will jars of salad keep in the fridge?
With the lid sealed tightly, these salads can last for several days in the fridge — up to 5 days or so. If you’re making salads with soft ingredients or perishable proteins, like avocados, tomatoes, hardboiled eggs, or cooked chicken breast, wait to add those ingredients until the day that you plan to eat the salad. Also, if you have a vacuum-sealer attachment for your canning jars, vacuum-sealing the salads right after assembling them will keep your greens and veggies even crisper and fresher.
Build Your Own!
Layer 1: Dressing
Layer 2: Hearty Veggies
(Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Peppers, Asparagus)
Layer 3: Beans and less hearty veggies
(Mushrooms, Sprouts, Zucchini, Corn, Edamame, Garbanzo Beans
Layer 4: Grains
Layer 5: Protein and Cheese
(meat, cheese, eggs)
Layer 6: Lettuce, Nuts and Seeds