National Nutrition Month Week 2 Focus: Lunch on the Go
When your days are packed with meetings, classes, appointments, errands and a social life, sometimes the only time to eat is when you’re on the go… which is why Trocaire Wellness Committee members are big fans of portable meals!
By far one of the best ways to use pint- and quart-sized canning jars is to pack them with salads. Yes, that’s right, leafy green salads. Dressing goes on the bottom, veggies and other salad goodies get piled on top. Everything stays separate and dressing-free until you toss the salad together in the bowl — never eat another soggy lunch salad again. Even better, these salads last for days in the fridge so you can make a week’s worth of lunches ahead of time.
Plus: Trocaire students and employees, these salads are perfect for our “Put Your Best Fork Forward” promotion! Remember to tag your food pictures with our #TCBestForkForward and #NationalNutritionMonth to be entered for a chance win a $25 gift card to Trader Joe’s or Wegman’s!
Mason Jar Salads
Add these ingredients (in the order listed) to your jar:
Salad dressing: Pour 1 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing in the bottom of the jar. Adjust the amount of dressing depending on the size of the salad you are making and your personal preference.
Hard vegetables: Next, add any hard chopped vegetables you’re including in your salad, like carrots, cucumbers, red and green peppers, cooked beets and fennel.
Beans, grains, and pasta: Next, add any beans, grains, and/or pasta, like chickpeas, black beans, cooked barley, cooked rice and pasta corkscrews.
Cheese and proteins (optional): If you’ll be eating the salad within the day, add a layer of diced or crumbled cheese and proteins like tuna fish, diced (cooked) chicken, hard-boiled eggs or cubed tofu. If you’re making salads ahead to eat throughout the week, wait to add these ingredients until the day you’re planning to eat the salad and add them on top of the jar.
Softer vegetables and fruits (optional): Next, add any soft vegetables or fruits, like avocados, tomatoes, diced strawberries or dried apricots. If you’re making salads ahead to eat throughout the week, wait to add these ingredients until the day you’re planning to eat the salad and add them to the top of the jar.
Nuts, seeds, and lighter grains: Next, add any nuts or seeds, like almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds. If you’re making a salad with lighter, more absorbent grains like quinoa or millet, add them in this layer instead of with the beans.
Salad greens: Last but not least, fill the rest of the jar with salad greens. Use your hands to tear them into bite-sized pieces. It’s fine to pack them into the jar fairly compactly.
Storing the salad: Screw the lid on the jar and refrigerate for up to 5 days. If you’re including any cheese, proteins, or soft fruits and vegetables, add these to the top of the jar the morning you plan to eat your salad.
Eating the salad: When ready to eat, unscrew the lid and shake the salad into a bowl. The action of shaking the salad into the bowl is usually enough to mix the salad with the dressing. If not, toss gently with a fork until coated and then enjoy!