Bust out of your lunch rut with a mason jar salad!
Besides the fact that a salad in a jar looks lovely, this tasty trend is simple to prepare early in the week for an easy grab-and-go, healthy lunch solution. Here's how to mix it up!
The name of the game is layers. The basic idea when packing salad into jars is to start with the most hearty and less-absorbent ingredients first. Begin with the dressing on the bottom of the jar and work your way up through the lighter ingredients until you end up with the leafy salad greens.
1. Salad Dressing: Pour your favorite salad dressing into a pint (for a nice side salad) or quart (for a larger salad) size jar. The wide mouth style of jars work well.
2. Hearty Vegetables: Next, add a layer of more firm, heartier veggies such as carrots, radishes, beets and those shown below.
3. Grains, Pasta or Proteins: Next, add a layer of your favorite cooked beans, rice, pasta, grilled chicken/steak or marinated tofu.
4. Softer Vegetables and Fruits (optional): Next, add any soft vegetables or fruits, like avocados, tomatoes, strawberries or dried apricots.
TIP: If you're making salads ahead to eat throughout the week, wait to add these ingredients until the day you're planning to eat the salad and add them to the top of the jar.
5. Nuts, Seeds and Lighter Grains: Next, add any nuts or seeds, like almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
6. Salad Greens: Last but not least, fill the rest of the jar with your leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, shredded kale or arugula.
7. Tossing and Eating the Salad: When ready to eat, give the jar a gentle shake to incorporate the dressing, unscrew the lid and empty onto a plate and enjoy!