I would love to go out to lunch everyday, I heart the Whole Foods Salad Bar. However, paying $8.99 lb for my lunch salad, which usually translates to about $15 because I load it up with nutritious goodies! is an expensive and unnecessary luxury that I have found a genius way to avoid thanks to my friend Rose. Salad in a Mason Jar.
Instead of layering my salad with the lettuce on the bottom, goodies up top, and then pouring on the salad dressing that seeps down to the bottom of the dish leaving me with soggy greens by the time I’m actually ready to eat it, the mason jar and strategic layering of this salad provides a fresh and delicious salad every single time, like I said genius!
You can get creative with your layers, but the key concept of this system is to pour the dressing in first, the bottom layer should be something that will not get soggy if soaked in dressing, and the leafy greens need to be the last layer in the jar. The other bonuses of this salad is the mason jars are reusable, very green of you, dishwasher and food safe as opposed to plastic tupperware, plus you can control your portion of salad dressing by measuring it at home, usually the most unhealthy part of a healthy salad.
In Rose’s salad she put carrots and peppers on the bottom which totally works, but you could also use garbanzo beans, broccoli, quinoa, meat, celery, etc. as your bottom layer. True these might absorb some of the dressing as your jar sits in the fridge, but by the time you shake up your mason jar mixing the layers together at lunchtime, the bottom layer will be marinated in your dressing and it will have the perfect amount of dressing to flavor the rest of your ingredients.
My perfect salad would have the following…
1st layer: Light Champagne Dressing or a homemade vinaigrette, depending on how ambitious I am…
2nd layer: artichoke hearts and tomatoes
mid layers: shredded chicken, a couple of pieces of cheese, garbanzo beans, quinoa or brown rice, carrots, red, yellow and orange peppers, raw broccoli, cucumbers, and some raisins and sunflower seeds for a little sweetness and crunch
top layer: baby spinach
And the best part is if you know your schedule for the week you can make as many salads as you’ll need on Sundays. Cut up all your veggies once a week, make however many mason jar salads you’ll need, then every morning you have a great lunch in one dish waiting in the fridge ready to be taken to work with you!