More often than not I pack a lunch during the week. I find paying roughly $10 for lunch a luxury I often don’t want to pay for. But whether I bring or buy, I find it tricky to decide what to eat. Some mornings I just open the fridge and stare into it, hoping a great (and healthy) option will jump out and into my lunch bag. Generally that doesn’t happen, or didn’t, until I read about mason jar salads.
Mason jars are super trendy at the moment. I’ve seen them used for food storage, vases, make-up brush containers, the list goes on. So when I read about mason jar salads on Organizeyourselfskinny.com, I was intrigued. The thought of being able to make 5 salads at once, and have them keep throughout the week, seemed like a dream come true and also not possible. Lettuce wilts, tomatoes dry up – how could a salad made on Sunday still be good on Friday?
So, I had to try it out and see for myself. I set out to purchase the ingredients for two salads because I couldn’t imagine eating the same things every day. I decided on the Turkey, Sun-dried Tomatoes, & Chickpea Mason Jar Salad and the Chopped Cobb Salad as they shared some ingredients.
Once all the ingredients were chopped and washed, I built my salads in the order per the instructions provided.
They were amazing. The lettuce kept through Friday and was quite crunchy. The tomatoes took on the flavor of the dressing which was a nice surprise. And for 5 days what I ate for lunch wasn’t a question. I just took a salad, dropped it in my lunch bag, and went to work. It is one less decision I had to make before 8am, and that is a beautiful thing.
I’ve been making these salads for a few weeks now so I tried to get creative and invent a salad recipe all my own. Note that the ingredients were layered similar to the Turkey, Sun-dried Tomatoes, & Chickpea Mason Jar Salad. I started with balsamic and lemon flavored olive oil (which is my favorite kitchen ingredient at the moment). Then, I added tomatoes and cucumbers, followed by goat cheese, strawberries, slivered almonds, avocado and lettuce. The strawberries added a sweetness I quite enjoyed. The almonds added a nice crunch and no salad is complete without the avocado.
A few helpful hints I wanted to mention. Right before you dump the salad into a bowl, turn it over with the lid still on it and allow the dressing to move down the mason jar from the tomatoes to the romaine. You could also shake the mason jar, though the dressing may not travel as easily depending on how tightly packed the salad is within the jar. Also, while the recipe references a quart size mason jar, I found that to be too much salad for lunch. The pint and half size was just perfect.
Special thanks to my mom for introducing me to the mason jar salad concept!
Have you tried Mason Jar salads? What else do you do to help plan for the week? Please do share!