The other day I was talking with my family about how hard it is to find time to break away from work for a healthful lunch…and we discovered that all of us have our own solution. We all make various forms of make-ahead salads. It takes a few minutes to do the prep but your lunches are set for the week. I used to put mine in a Tupperware container with salad dressing in a separate, small sealed jar, but my daughter started making three or four days worth of “Salad in a Jar.” I like how pretty her jars look (she sent me this picture). Ever since, I now make my salads ahead in large mason jars. (Side note – since learning of my daughter’s ingenious idea – I stumbled upon this blog post – learning that great minds think alike!)
Here is how you do it:
Start by placing salad dressing at the bottom of the jar, then layer items beginning with the larger, heavier fruits and veggies, in this case, roasted beets, toasted nuts and seeds, chopped feta cheese and olives. Next came cherry tomatoes, some grilled chicken or fish and on top are the more fragile greens – here you see Spring Mix.
She takes one jar per day to work and keeps it in the refrigerator. She also keeps a large salad bowl at the office (enough for one large salad). Before eating, just shake the jar like crazy then pour the contents into the serving bowl.
Pretty genius! And every week you can switch the type of salad you make – anything from Salad Nicoise to chicken and asparagus or Thai beef salad. Anything is possible, and it takes the stress out of lunchtime when you are too busy to go out for lunch or prepare a meal from scratch!