One of my goals this year is to start making some healthier choices and to shed some of these extra pounds that have creeped up again... sighhhh. Managing my weight has been a lifelong struggle for me and I know that I am not alone. I have learned that extreme diets only work for a short time and even though I may lose a few pounds, as soon as I go back to my old habits and routines, the pounds come back. So, I am going to try to make some simple changes this year and see if I can replace some old habits with a few new ones.
I saw this idea last week on Facebook and commented that I really thought I might try it out. The idea is to create a 'salad in a jar'. They claim that your salad will stay fresh for up to a week. I don't know about you, but as soon as I open a bag of salad it seems like the next time I go to use it, the lettuce is limp. So, I thought it was worth a try. Besides, it looks sooo pretty!
I went grocery shopping on Saturday and bought a bunch of fresh vegetables and then came home and called my mom and asked if she had any quart jars in the shed. I thought for sure she would have some, but she said she could only find one. Well, in true 'mama style', she showed up at my house within the hour with a new case of widemouth quart jars! She went and bought me brand new ones! ( Love my mom!)
I ran the jars through the dishwasher that night and on Sunday afternoon, I gathered all of my vegetables on the counter and got to chopping! I found lots of instructions and recipes on the internet for creating salads in a jar. Basically, what I found is that you can create your salad with pretty much anything you have on hand. You just need to start with your dressing at the bottom, then add your heavier vegetables, then your proteins and finally your greens at the top. According to what I read as long as your dressing doesn't touch your lettuce, it should stay fresh all week in the jars.
I decided to make 5 salads for the week to see if they truly did stay fresh and if I liked eating them this way. I used a couple of different salad dressings to have some variety. I found that you really just need enough dressing to cover the bottom of the jar, much more than that and your salad will be 'swimming'.
After the dressing, I added sliced cucumbers, chopped peppers, red onion, shredded carrots, baby spinach and some mixed greens. I opted not to add in tomatoes or avocado, etc. and figured I could add those ingredients as I chose when I made my salad. I saw recipes for adding hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, etc. so I think you can use whatever you might have on hand. This would be a great way to use up some leftovers!
Don't they look sooo pretty??? I was inspired to eat healthier just by looking at them in my refrigerator!
Today was the first test. How good would it taste? I am lucky enough to live just 5 minutes from my job, so I get to come home for lunch most of the time. I came in today, opened up my jar and dumped it on a plate! How's that for a fast healthy lunch? I did slice half of an avocado on top and added some salt and pepper, but that was it and .... it was YUMMY! The only thing I would do differently is like what I said above... easy on the dressing. It takes less than you think!
So, I guess the next test will be how good will salad #5 be at the end of the week? Will it still be as fresh at day #1? I'd love to hear from you if you try this and what yummy combinations you create! I know for me, it's all about convenience. If it's prepared ahead and I don't have to look in the frig and try to find something to eat, I do much better. ( Or even worse, go run thru a drive thru!)
Here's to getting healthy and 'turning over a new leaf' literally! I am hoping that a few small changes this year will add up to big results!