These healthy salads are a complete meal in a jar. With the convenience of making them several days ahead, you can have these grab-and-go lunches ready as you head out the door on busy mornings. If you’re like me, it increases the likelihood of choosing a healthy lunch option if it’s already made. Salads are normally time consuming to prepare, but when you make several at one time, they become a convenient way to prepare lunches for the week. These recipes are vegan, gluten- & dairy-free, and between 259 and 302 calories. Like my popular refrigerator oatmeal recipes, these salads simply make life easier and healthier.
I’m not sure who was first to come up with the idea of making individual salad servings in jars. For years, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, delis and grocery stores have been selling pre-made salads; but, as far as I know, pre-making them in jars at home is a relatively new concept. The first time I saw anything like this was in a post about storing cut lettuce in a jar by Paula on her aptly named blog, SaladInAJar.com, using mason jars and a Foodsaver. It’s brilliant, works amazingly well, and has changed the way I store lettuce. Since then I’ve seen many versions around the internet and on Pinterest that stack lettuce along with other salad ingredients in mason jars. You’ll find links to some of those at the bottom of this post.
I had tried a few varieties in the past, but have found it difficult to keep the jarred salads fresh tasting for very long. I admit that I’m really picky about fresh veggies. If there is even a teensy bit of darkened, slimy lettuce, or veggies that are past their prime, it’s a deal breaker for me. It’s a challenge to keep salad greens fresh tasting when they’re combined with other ingredients in a container. But there are some tricks that make it possible to extend the shelf life of these jarred salads for several days. Mine were all still good after 4-5 days. I used only vegetables that tend to be more stable and hold up to days of storage in the fridge.
4 International Flavor Varieties — Curry, Mediterranean, Asian, Fiesta. I like variety, but I wanted to make this easy. So, these 4 jars use the same basic formula and several overlapping ingredients to make it as efficient as possible to assemble them. These can be made and eaten with or without greens added at the top. I’ll explain how to make them both ways.
Life is good, eat good foods