Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mason Jar Salads

Sigh. I pulled the SD card out of my beloved camera last night to upload the bánh mì thịt nướng photos, and the little lock button thing snapped off. I was able to get the pictures off of the card and onto my laptop, but obviously couldn't delete them from the card. Then, this morning I realized that I couldn't take any NEW pictures, since the SD card is now permanently locked. Good thing they're now cheap as dirt on Amazon!

I've been eating a LOT of salads lately, much to the delight of my nutritionist/dietician. However, the hardest thing for me when it comes to eating salads is transporting them. I always have had to keep the salad and dressing separate, to keep the greens from wilting, and have often had to separate the toppings into separate containers or baggies. I can distinctly remember eating a salad at work once that required the unpacking of no less than SIX plastic bags - what a waste!

Now, I can make salads for an entire week, all at once, and pack them in jars. When I'm ready to eat, I simply shake up the jar, or just dump everything out into a bowl. Plus, they look so pretty in the fridge!

Mason Jar Salads
inspired by Krysta's Life in Food

Obviously, this is simply the kind of salad I decided to make; feel free to try whatever you like and make it your own! 

Salad dressing (I'm using a ginger/soy/sesame dressing)
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumber chunks
Bell pepper strips
Canned mandarin oranges, drained well
Spring mix salad
Chow mein noodles

Some tips:

Dense ingredients go in first; always add your dressing first, then add "firm" ingredients like beans or veggies. Lighter ingredients such as sprouts can then go in the jar, topped finally with the greens (lettuce/spring mix/spinach, etc) to prevent wilting. 

Drain & rinse beans well before adding to the jar, patting them dry first. Any 'wet' ingredient should be dried off as much as possible! 

Pack the jar TIGHTLY. Also, wide-mouth jars, in my opinion, work better than the standard jars. 

Toppings like cheese, sunflower seeds, nuts & croutons are better left out of the jar. Simply put those in a small container or baggie and add them just before eating your salad. 

The key is to put the dressing in your jar FIRST, then layer in 'firm' ingredients like beans or veggies, then top with lighter ingredients such as sprouts. Pack everything in tightly, then top with your greens (lettuce, spring mix, spinach, etc). If you like croutons, place those on top of the lettuce. Any toppings like nuts/seeds or cheese should be kept separate though.


  1. I pack my dressings and any other fragile toppings (peanuts or cheese that might get soggy, etc.) in Tupperware Midgets (this isn't a sales pitch; mine are from the 1980's). I suppose film canisters would work just as well if you have any. But I also pack my salads in square containers (the Rubbermaid ones with the red lids) so the little cups fit nicely in with the salad greens, and I just eat the salad out of the Rubbermaid. No more baggies, no extra bowls to wash.

  2. What a great idea! Thanks!

  3. What an awesome way to encourage healthier eating!
    BTW: Do NOT use film canisters for food. Even if you wash them, they are still coated with a chemical for film preservation that is not safe to ingest.

  4. First I'd like to say what a great idea. This tip could be applied to a lot of things. I am trying to get away from plastic and use only glass when ever possible. Plastic just isnt healthy and baggies fill up our landfills.

    Second I want to tell you how much i think this site is amazing and so darn awesome. I LOVE how you include the pictures and such great detail in the descriptions. I have added this site to my favorites bar I plan on using it so much. I'm even going to look for a cast iron pan which i never would have wanted to use until reading what you had to say. Thank you so much for providing such a wonderful site.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, and WELCOME!! I always love having new readers!

      I use mason jars for EVERYTHING, from storing things like dried beans and rice, to sundries like sugar and flour. In the fridge, instead of plastic containers, I use my vintage Amish Butterprint Pyrex dishes from the 50s/60s - why buy disposable when you already own reusable??