Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mason Jar Salads

Well, I did it.  I caved to the pressure of the adorable Mason Jar Salad pictures and posts I see all over social media.  I was wary of this phenomenon really for one reason only.  I simply could not fathom how one mason jar could possibly hold enough ingredients for a proper salad and it would fail to satiate me.  I had purchased some 24 ounce mason jars to use as vases for flower arrangements (could I be any more basic?) and had one left over.  Not knowing what else to do with it, I thought I would finally try this salad thing out.  And let me tell you, the results were pretty spectacular.  Not only was there plenty of room for all of my goodies, it saved me a ton of time during my mid day chaos called living with a 4 and 2 year old.  This would be an excellent way to bring salads to work because everything is already there and ready to dump on a bowl or plate.  There is a lot of variety that can be explored with these salad jars too.  So many toppings to pick from and everything is perfectly portioned out.  We try to use glass containers instead of plastic for our food to cut down on any BPA or other chemicals that could be in the plastic, which is just another benefit of using the mason jar.  Now, is this the end-all, be-all of salads on the go?  I am not entirely sure, as one still needs to have a separate bowl or plate and fork but it is a super easy and convenient way to transport a fully prepared salad in a way so nothing gets soggy.  I have detailed out how to make it and what order to put your ingredients in, so have fun with it and let me know what you think!

Now, let's explore this fascinating process!

The first thing you want to do is find a big enough mason jar or even an old pickle jar you have.  Something with a tight lid and one that the body of the jar is not too much bigger than the mouth.  I used a 24 ounce mason jar and it was the perfect size for me.  Then, add anywhere from 2-4 tablespoons of the salad dressing of your choice.
 This salad dressing makes my life.  It is so amazing and can be used literally on anything from pasta salad to a bean salad to a marinade.  I could not recommend this enough.  Get it here!
Doesn't look like much, but it will do the job.  

Next come any hard veggie of your choice.  This could be: carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, broccoli or radish.  Basically any crunchy vegetable that you like and have on hand.  Cut into bite size pieces.
This is what I had, so this is what I used.
 Progress shot.

Now it is time for softer veggies.  This could be any cooked vegetables you may have and things like: artichokes, mushrooms, onions, corn, avocado, fruit or olives.  
 My choice for this particular salad.
Halfway there.

The next step is for your proteins.  This could be: beans, hard boiled eggs, meat, cheese, or quinoa, to name a few.  
Almost there.

And finally, it's time for your greens!  You can use spinach, spring mix, iceberg, kale, whatever you want!  
Now we stuff!

That is it!  I do mine while I am preparing dinner so I already have everything out and am chopping anyways.  They are a cute and fun way to get a healthy lunch in when you do not have a ton time.  Hope you give this one a try!