On my never-ending quest to find things that are both healthy and un-crappy (yep, it's a word) to eat, I ran across several Pins that raved about the wonders of Salads-in-a-Jar. And, basically, that's exactly what they are. You put all the ingredients for your salad, including your premeasured dressing, into a Mason jar, store it in the fridge, and take it out when you're ready to eat. Really, it doesn't get any simpler than that.
I was pretty stinking excited to try out this new trend on my own. I mean, putting several salads together at the start of the week means less nightly lunch prep for me. And I'm all about that.
I started with quart-sized Mason jars. Pints are just too small for a meal-sized salad. However, if you are doing this as a side to a soup or sandwich, it would be perfect. Also, I would look for the jars with the wide mouths. It will not matter so much during filling, but it does make the dumping-out process much easier. (My jars do not have wide mouth. I found them at WalMart and they were the only set left. Impatience is not a virtue and often leads me to settle when making purchases. The jars I have work just fine, but could be a bit better.)
Put your dressing in first (I used this one. So yummy and only 60 calories per serving!), followed by your heartier toppings such as chicken (if you want to use that) and other protein-heavy foods and then any other veggies or fruits that you would like. I put in cubed, grilled chicken, edamame, carrots, cucumber and broccoli straws. Finish by shoving as much lettuce (I used Romaine) into that thing as it will possibly hold. Really cram that stuff in there. Here's a great diagram I found on Pinterest (no credit goes to me) on the layering.
Right before you're ready to eat, shake the every-loving crap out of that jar to distribute the dressing. Really get into it. Depending on how packed in there your salad is, it may take a little more effort than you'd think. Just look at it as your arm exercise for the day. Who needs a Shake Weight, right?
Then, dump all that yummy goodness out onto a plate and dig in. You will probably be shocked at how much was in there. And you've made yourself one heck of a healthy lunch.
I made six of these bad boys on Sunday night—three each for the hubster and me—and they have lasted very well in the fridge all week. The lettuce never got all soggy or gross. I'm calling this a total winner. Double winner because Steven liked it.
Need some new salad-in-a-jar ideas? Hit up Pinterest; these ladies have dozens! They've put whole wheat pasta one them, used salsa for dressing, dressed them up with fruits (not really my thing—but it might be yours) and used every type of green you can think of. There are also lots of ideas for homemade dressings. I made a few, and for right now, I'm going to let Kraft handle that part for me. They seem to have that down pat.
Let's see what you come up with. What would you put in your salad jar?