Tutorial- The Ultimate Salad in a Jar and How to Make Salads for the Week in One Day

Well guys, my summer vacation ends on Wednesday and I’m not very happy about it. :(   One thing is for sure, though, I’m prepped and ready to go… at least in the food department! I’ve got a different salad in a jar for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Easy, peasy, grab-n-go and these jar salads will stay fresh for about 7 days; so feel free to make them for the whole week. It’s also great to have a them in the fridge for quick dinners on busy evenings.

Eating a huge veggie-filled salad at least once a day is a great way to stay healthy and get your recommended vegetable servings for the day. Many of us don’t have the time or motivation to spend extra time every night or morning cutting up veggies for your work-lunch, the next day. I’m going to share with you some simple salad-making steps to have a fresh tasting salad, Monday through Friday, with only about 20 minutes prep on Sunday.

Salad in a Jar Tutorial- Make 5 salads in one day for a grab-n-go lunch throughout the week!

This is just a guide, feel free to let those creative juices flow and use your favorite ingredients. Even though you’re making multiple salads at one time, you can still change up the ingredients; with different dressings, proteins and/or grains for each one.

  • Types of Containers

A plastic container with a lid is probably the most popular type of container. These fit in most lunch boxes and they are easy to lug around, without the breakage concern. Make sure it is BPA-free, though.

If you’re concerned with eating out of plastic containers, glass Mason-type jars work really great, too. You’ll just want to make sure that you have a way to transport the jar, keeping it upright. In my experience, using glass jars keep salads fresher longer.

  • Packing the Salad in a Mason Jar (use a quart-sized jar with a wide mouth opening)

Salad in a Jar Tutorial- Make 5 salads in one day for a grab-n-go lunch throughout the week!

1. Start with the dressing, vinaigrette or olive oil. I use 1-2 tablespoons, depending on the dressing. If it’s oil-based, 1 tablespoon usually does the job. You’ll be keeping your jar upright and this will keep the dressing from touching the veggies and making them soggy.

2. Next up, add your harder veggies and/beans; like carrots, radishes, onions and chickpeas. Then layer your other veggies; like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and cucumber.

3. Time for the greens. This should take up about 1/2 of your jar. Make sure your greens are dry. Try using several different types of greens to keep things interesting. I like mixing romaine, kale and spinach.

4. Pack the protein, now. Top the greens with your choice of protein; like grilled or ground chicken, sauteed tofu, cubed or shredded cheese, shredded tuna, diced boiled egg, quinoa and/or brown rice. The salad in the picture above includes; a lemon vinaigrette I will be sharing on Thursday, carrots, celery, white beans, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, romaine, grilled chicken and craisins.

5. Healthy fats are important. Don’t skip the yummy healthy fats, that will help your body absorb all of the vitamins and minerals from the veggies. These will keep you satisfied throughout the day, too! Add some nuts, seeds, hummus and/or avocado to your jar. If you’re using avocado, give it a squirt of lemon or lime juice and this should keep it from browning.

6. Shake things up! When you’re ready to eat, just get to shakin’. Or if you prefer, your Mason jar salad can be poured into another container; like a big bowl. I pack things pretty tight with tons of veggies in my jar, but when I shake it up, the dressing is still able to coat all of the veggies. I used two tablespoons of my Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing, in the picture that you see below.

Salad in a Jar Tutorial- Make 5 salads in one day for a grab-n-go lunch throughout the week!

  • Packing a (BPA-free) Plastic Container (flat rectangular containers work best)

1. Start with about 2-3 cups of clean, dry greens. Again, get creative and mix things up, but stay away from the iceberg lettuce. It’s lacking in nutritional value, unlike romaine, chard, kale and spinach.

2. Add the veggies, beans, and fruit. Go for carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes (use cherry and keep them whole), peppers, broccoli, chickpeas, kidney beans, corn, peas, or even fruit like grapes or blueberries. Dry each ingredient with a paper towel to keep them crisper longer.

3. Protein comes next. For protein sources like marinated tofu, grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, certain types of cheese like cubed cheddar, and cooked (and cooled) whole grains like quinoa or brown rice, add these on top of the first three salads only (Monday’s, Tuesday’s, and Wednesday’s). Then on Wednesday night, add protein to Thursday’s and Friday’s containers. Do the same with avocado, nuts and seeds, or very wet fruits like sliced strawberries.

4. Keep dressing separate until the moment you eat your salad. Purchase a couple dip-sized containers or if you have an office fridge, keep a bottle of dressing there.

  • Shopping for Ingredients

Here’s a shopping list example, for buying ingredients for salads for a week. Remember to make your salad your own. Buy and add your favorite ingredients and be sure to vary things, so that you don’t get bored.

  • large container of greens
  • cucumber and/or zucchini
  • broccoli
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • cherry tomatoes
  • grapes and blueberries
  • grilled chicken
  • chickpeas, black beans and red kidney beans
  • quinoa and brown rice
  • sunflower seeds and walnut halves
  • avocados
  • bottle of your favorite salad dressing

Something to think about….

Do you typically food prep on one day for the rest of the week?

Do you normally bring your lunch to work or pick something up?

Have you ever tried making a Mason jar salad?

Lorna Jane Activewear Launch Party

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a really fun Saturday; attending the new Lorna Jane Activewear store in Dallas at NorthPark Center. I live about an hour from Dallas, so it was quite a trek for me, but I was so excited to check out Lorna Jane Activewear closeup [...]

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cherry Pancakes

Thick, fluffy, full of flavor Chocolate Chip Cherry Pancakes- made with coconut flour, for my gluten-free friends. These Chocolate Chip Cherry Pancakes are slightly thicker than your average pancake, thanks to the coconut flour. They fluff up beautifully when they hit the skillet. I’ve eaten these twice, now, and the first time I didn’t top [...]

Banana Almond Brown Rice Breakfast Porridge

*This recipe may look familiar to some of you. I first posted it in January- and something went wonky with my blog on that very day. My homepage kept getting reset to this post and intermittently this post was being re-emailed over and over again to email subscribers. I apologize if this has caused you [...]

5 Things Friday!

Hiya! Happy weekend! I can’t really say I’m all that excited about it being the weekend because that just means it’s getting closer for me to go back to work… ugh! I am looking forward to a GREAT weekend, though! Let’s get this weekend started with 5 things Friday!! 1. Have you guys seen this [...]

Banana Chia Seed Whipped Oatmeal

My basic go-to oatmeal recipe… whipping about half a banana and one tablespoon of Chia seeds into your oatmeal while it is cooking, yields a fluffy, creamy, heavenly bowl of oats! A must-try for the oatmeal fanatic! This is a pretty special post, you’re reading, here. This is my VERY favorite way to eat oatmeal [...]

What I Ate Wednesday: Other Blogger’s Recipes

Hello, Lovelies! It’s What I Ate Wednesday day!!!!! I’m doing things a little different for the big day and sharing some other food bloggers’ recipes that I’ve been recreating. Maybe I’ll introduce you to a new blog or at the very least a new recipe that you might want to try. Head on over to [...]

Health & Fitness Goodie Giveaway

Hello and happy Tuesday! I hope you guys aren’t sick of giveaways. It just so happened that several fell into my lap all about the same time. About a week ago, I was contacted by Lisa from The Skinny on Health about participating in a group giveaway. I’ve never helped host a group giveaway and [...]

Marvelous in my Monday

Hello, friends! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend! I had a good one and a productive one… even though, I only went from workout clothes to PJ’s, back to workout clothes and to PJ’s again. Love those kind of weekends! And it’s summer vacation, so it will be pretty much the same [...]

ProCakes Protein Pancake Mix (a review)

Delicious, fluffy and light… ProCakes Protein Pancakes! So yummy I want to marry these! I think most of you guys are well aware that I LOVE pancakes. In fact, next to waffles, they are the best breakfast ever. I’ve been known to eat them for not only breakfast, but lunch and dinner too. If you don’t [...]

25 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Me

Happy weekend, friends!!! Who else could totally get on board with the pooch below… minus the rocks? photo source I’ve been cooking up a storm and posting lots of recipes. I decided to take a break from the madness and post something fun, not that healthy birthday pancakes aren’t fun… but they take a lot [...]