Not-So-Manic Mondays: Mason Jar Salads

I know that these are all over the internet and I may have been the last person on the continent to hear about them, but seriously: premade salads in Mason jars. These, folks, have been one of those discoveries that makes life not only easier, but also just a little prettier. I mean, look at these:my salad jarsHere’s the scoop. You put salad dressing in the bottom of a quart jar. (Widemouth is best, but regular will work.) Then add your stuff, from densest (hearty veggies like carrots, onions, snap peas), through lighter (any meat or cheese, pasta, shredded stuff) through light (lettuce & other greens). Screw on the lid, put it in the fridge and it will stay good for days.
And I mean days. I am writing this on a Sunday night. Dinner was a salad I made back on Thursday, still as crisp and fresh and delicious as when I jammed it all into the jar.
The advantage is obvious. We all want to eat more veggies, we all are pressed for time. Making a salad takes – what, ten, fifteen minutes? Not that long in the grand scheme of things, but enough that on a busy day, it can push me to grab a pb&j or the leftover burger instead of my veggies. But while making one salad takes about 15 minutes, making six takes not much longer.
Ah, yes. Now we’re getting somewhere.
The key is to plan ahead. I cook some extra chicken with a meal and let it cool. If I’m roasting or grilling vegetables, I make extra of those. When it’s salad prep time, I line everything up in order and start assembling. Less than half an hour later, I have something like this:

southwestern salads

Healthy, convenient, and easy for me or Hubs or one of the kids to grab as needed. When it’s time to eat, dump it all in a bowl, give it a stir to mix everything, and dive in.
Bon appetit.

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