In Praise of the Mason Jar: Salad

I have, as the brilliant Jamie Chan commented one of my Instagram pics, “definitely joined the mason jar revolution.”  Everything in my pantry is stored in mason jars, I use my Cuppow to drink juice, water, coffee etc out of a mason jar, use them to shake up my dressings and sauces, and anything else I can think of.  In addition, of course, to actually using them to preserve jams, jellies etc.  Anyway, most of my quart-sized mason jars are in constant use these days thanks to the genius of the mason jar salad.  I came across it on pinterest and was immediately hooked.  As someone in a CONSTANT quest to eat healthier, faster (if I don’t plan ahead, I end up with buttery toast crusts for breakfast and the crusty dregs of Trader Joe’s macaroni and cheese for lunch), the idea of fixing a bunch of salads all at once and then just shaking one up when it was time to eat was life changing.  So, prep once, eat lunch, or dinner, for several days.  The only rule is to keep the dressing on the bottom, and separate anything that will get limp or soggy from it with the heartier ingredients.

I like to have a variety in the fridge for my different moods, and every salad includes lettuce(cabbage, spinach, arugula) lots of chopped veggies, protein, something sweet, and something crunchy.  A few favorite options:

Chipotle: Black beans, shredded cheese, frozen sweet corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumbers and cabbage with a chipotle dressing (buttermilk, chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, agave, cider vinegar, salt).

Asian: Extra firm tofu, snow peas, shredded carrot, cucumber, cabbage, uncooked ramen noodles, sesame dressing (sesame oil, grapeseed oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, dijon mustard)

Italian: Mozzerella cheese, tomatoes, spinach, pine nuts, pesto vinaigrette (pesto sauce, buttermilk, cider vinegar, agave, salt).

Beets: Feta cheese, steamed or roasted beets, arugula, candied walnuts (also good with some granny smith apples added in!), with balsamic vinaigrette.

I keep thinking up new variations to try and am always and only limited by the number of mason jars in the cabinet… maybe it is time to buy another case?

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