Packing a lunch can be an arduous process. Salads are a simple, healthy option, but can be a pain to keep fresh if you pack them the night before. So, what’s the solution?
Break out the mason jar for the perfect packed lunch! All you have to do is follow these easy steps.
Layer 1: The Dressing
Fill the bottom of the jar with 2–4 tablespoons of dressing or, if you prefer, plain old oil and vinegar. Keeping liquids toward the bottom will prevent your other toppings from getting soggy.
Layer 2: Hard Veggies
Chop up hard veggies or fruits, like cucumber, carrots, peppers, eggplant, and zucchini into ½-inch pieces.
Layer 3: Grains
Add in any cooked grains, pasta, and beans, such as quinoa, rice noodles, and penne.
Layer 4: Cheeses and Meat
If you will be eating the salad within 24 hours, add a thin layer of protein, in the form of chopped chicken, tuna, cheese, hardboiled egg, etc. If you’re making more than a day ahead, add these items on later.
Layer 5: Soft Veggies and Fruit
Top the protein with a layer of softer fruits and vegetables—avocado, tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, and dried cranberries are great options.
Layer 6: Nuts and Seasoning
Throw in some crunchy bits, like sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, and pecans, as well as seasoning like salt and pepper and oregano.
Layer 7: Greens
Finish it off with your favorite salad greens—just be sure not to pack too tight so you’ll have room to mix it all together.
When you’re ready to eat, simply shake the jar, or pour the contents out into a bowl!