Plan ahead and make salads for the week and you’ll be setting yourself up for healthy success! I taught a Lunch and Learn yesterday and used these mason jar concepts for healthy eating on the go. Half the battle of eating healthy is truly about planning ahead and prepping your ingredients. When your tired and short on time later during the week you’ll thank yourself for planning ahead and having lunch and dinner ready to enjoy!
In these three easy salads I simply looked in my fridge and pantry for foods I already had on hand. Recipes are not necessary when getting creative with building salads but they can spark creativity. Take inventory before you shop and make a plan to incorporate what you might already have on hand. This stretches your dollars and eliminates food waste. I prefer to use glass jar for my salads over plastic because glass food storage is a healthier choice and it also helps keep the heavier wet foods away from delicate lighter foods you layer on top.
To assemble your jar salads start with the heavier and wet foods first like lentils, beans, whole grains or meats such as roasted chicken, cubed turkey, cubed ham or even taco meat. Next layer according to size/weight all the way up with ingredients like leftover roasted, grilled or lightly steamed vegetables, chopped fresh vegetables, sprouts, herbs and greens. Keep in mind as your layering ingredients to end with your most delicate ingredients on top. You could leave a little head room in the jar for snack bags filled with crunchy items such as nuts and seeds along with a snack bag with your favorite vinaigrette or hang them outside the jar as I did in the picture above. The salads keep up to 4 days and work well for lunch and dinner.
Tip: When you’re grilling meats on the weekend cook up extra at the same time and season them differently so you have variety during the week. Stock your pantry with flavorful spice blends to have on hand. My favorite blends come from Savory Spice Company, Williams-Sanoma and Flavor God.
Here’s a quick ingredients list for the salads in the photos above:
Tex Mex: black beans, red pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, greens – add on later would be fresh avocado and salsa
Split Mung Bean: yellow split mung beans cooked in water with a little salt, roasted butternut squash, red pepper, grated carrots, spinach and sprouts – add on later would be 2 TB favorite viniagrette
Strawberry: cucumbers, strawberries, celery, roasted asparagus, romaine lettuce, almonds in side bag – add on later 2 TB favorite viniagrette
Here’s a peek into my fridge on quick prepped grab and go foods. My salads are ready to enjoy, I washed and prepped produce for snacking with hummus or guacamole as well as had some breakfast items prepped for the week. I hope this post inspires you to prep your week for healthy success.