I have a salad for lunch most days. Now that I have been going into the office a few days per week, I have become obsessed with mason jar salads! I find that a mason jar is the perfect size for a hearty lunch salad. Not only are they visually appealing, but packing your food in glass is way better than plastic, and it is everything you need in one container. You can also prepare 3 to 4 jars and keep them in the refrigerator to use throughout the week.
In doing some research, I have discovered that there is an optimal order for placing your food in the jar to keep your ingredients fresh and not soggy. The order looks like this:
- Dressing first (if you chose to add your dressing). This is very important for two reasons: first, you don’t get the rest of your salad all soggy. Second, when you dump your jar out into a bowl, the dressing lands on top.
- Next, add a grain or protein, or other bigger, chunkier items to help protect the other ingredients.
- Then, the fixings. Things like cheeses, nuts, cabbage, seeds, fruits, carrots, peas, etc..
- Lastly, the delicate leafy greens. These should always go in last (on top), as far away from the dressing as possible.
When choosing ingredients, you should aim to have a variety of flavors and textures. A filling protein, salty and crunchy, sweet and tangy. Here are some ideas for a variety of combinations (add ingredients in the order they are listed):
- Chicken Cobb: roasted chicken, cucumbers, tomato, egg & bacon, avocado, romaine
- Taco Salad: Salsa & taco meat, radishes, bell peppers, tomato, corn, green onions, romaine
- Tuna Salad: tuna, marinated beets & olives, sugar snap peas, carrots, pumpkin seeds, chopped apple, spinach
- Mediterranean: chicken, sugar plum tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, fire roasted red and yellow peppers thinly sliced, red union, crumbled feta, basil leaves, spinach
You can add dressing of your choice, but make sure to put it in first! Get creative and come up with your own combinations. You can prepare 3-4 mason jar salads for the week. I also found these Etsy store that has fantastic hand-made mason jar carriers at really good prices. I use a tiffin bag similar to this one to carry mine.
Please share you salad jar ideas in the comments!