Okay, so lately my inner Betty has been on overdrive. Not only is she flipping the whip at me to get more organized, but now she’s on a “go green and get healthy” campaign. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve needed her to kick my butt into gear. Remember last week’s slide down the mountain of doubt? Yeah, she’s all about keeping me climbing back up.
This time she convinced me (Yes, I do discuss things with the voices in my head, don’t you?) to try the Mason Jar Salads. I first ran across these at a blog called I Love Pinterest. (She lists the recipes she uses in her salads and has several other posts with recipes and craft ideas, too!) I mentioned these in an earlier post and had a few questions about them, so I thought I’d share what I know. The overall concept of this is that you prepare salads ahead of time and keep them in a Mason Jar for quick easy meals later in the week. It works great for when you need to pack a lunch or grab a quick dinner.
I followed the instructions on the blog and viola! I had my very own Mason Jar salads. YUM!
My first time making these I learned a few tricks that helped me be a bit more efficient next time.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
* Use quart size jars – preferably the wide mouth as its easier to get the salad in and out, but the other will do. As you can see in my picture – I did not get the wide mouth – the store only had one box of jars left on the shelf. It works, but I can tell that the wide-mouthed ones would be easier.
* Dressing first! If you want, you can put dressing in the bottom of the jar, but do this before you add anything else. We prefer to keep it separate because I never put enough on my husband’s to make him happy. So we use a little Tupperware container and pack it in the lunch box when he takes one of these with him.
* Hearty stuff on the bottom and build up to the lettuce. What is the hearty stuff? Carrots, shredded cabbage, pea pods, etc. I put in carrots then my bell peppers, then cucumbers, and mushrooms. Oh and of course grape tomatoes.
* When you are prepping the veggies – try to keep them as dry as possible. For instance, pat your lettuce dry after you rinse it. The less moisture in the jar, the better.
* Don’t tear or cut the lettuce leafs. Try to keep them whole if you can because it keeps better. I like spinach in mine but the hubs likes a mixture.
* If you fill the jar up, it will be a plate full. The hubby likes it full, I do about half for mine.
* It keeps for about a week.
* Preparation takes up the most time. Once you have peeled, sliced, chopped everything, putting it together is a snap. So I take one day at the beginning of the week to gather all my ingredients, prep them and make several jars at once. This way I have a week’s worth of quick meals and since I’ve used all the veggies, I don’t have any left overs being store in the fridge.
This can work for many different types of salad, so choose your favorites and try them out.
I’ve also seen a neat recipe for chili topped with cornbread that I’m dying to try, but that will have to wait until it’s a little cooler out.
What did you think? Do you have any Mason Jar recipes you’d like to share?