mason jar salads
What's for lunch?
That question is ever worse than "what's for dinner?" No one wants to take time out of the middle of their day to make a healthy, whole-foods lunch. It's much easier to just pick something up or eat a sandwich with chips.
Having a stash of mason jar salads in the refrigerator is a fabulous alternative. They are simple to put together and make eating a healthy lunch a complete no-brainer!
Give it a try this week!
Assemble Your Salads
Layer 1: Dressing
Important: Pour the dressing into the jar. You can use any type of dressing. If you add the dressing on the top, the salad ingredients will get soggy, but if you put the dressing on the bottom, everything will stay fresh much longer. (You can also keep your dressing in a separate container so you don’t have to worry about the layers.) Your dressing should contain a good amount of healthy fat so that you salad is satiating.
My favorite dressing is Creamy Cilantro-Lime Salad Dressing.
Layer 2: Crisp Vegetables
Add cucumbers, red onion, asparagus, carrots, peppers, celery, tomatoes, raw broccoli or cauliflower, green onion, mushrooms to the jar. This layer will protect the other ingredients from the dressing so they won’t get soggy. The best vegetables are those that you can imagine pickled in vinegar.
Layer 3: Other Vegetables
This layer is for ingredients that should not necessarily swim in dressing, but it’s also not a big deal if they get wet. This could include: mushrooms, zucchini, peas, corn, broccoli, roasted squash or sweet potato, roasted brussel sprouts, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and so on.
Layer 4: Protein
Ideas for this layer include beans, lentils, chickpeas, shredded chicken, tuna, chopped salami, hard boiled eggs, cheese, etc. You can use leftover protein from a previous meal.
Layer 5: Grain
This layer is optional if you are staying away from grains. But you can add brown rice, quinoa, whole grain couscous, or even pasta, depending on what you like.
Layer 6: Greens & Nuts
These are the ingredients that we want to keep from getting wet. All your greens - lettuce, spinach, arugula, shredded kale, shredded cabbage, etc. You can also add nuts and seeds on top of your greens.
The jar is likely to be pretty tight at this point but that will keep it nice and fresh for 4-5 days in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, just dump in onto a large plate. Everything is ready to go. You can add avocado when you serve it.
**All of these layers are just ideas - use your imagination and empty out your fridge!