Mason Jar Salad – Asian Style

Eating healthy can be a challenge for me.  Like many others, I am really busy and I often opt for convenience over quality.  This is one reason why Blue Apron has been so good for our house (I will be trying other meal delivery services – stay tuned!).  The colder it is, the more comforting food I want, and before you know it my whole diet consists of sandwiches and pizza.  The solution to this problem, for me, is meal prep.  Enter: Mason Jar Salads.

I am Really Into Mason Jar Salads because I can make them on Sunday and lunch is ready for the whole week. You will be completely amazed at how fresh they stay.  Even avocado will stay fresh and green for days.  Also, there is great variety – this week I will show you my Asian inspired salad.

First, you need mason jars.  I buy the quart size because I like a pretty big salad, but pint or pint and a half will work too.  The most important thing to remember is to buy the wide mouth jars, otherwise you won’t be able to get your food in there!

I always make my own salad dressings because the store bought dressings add a lot of sugar and preservatives.

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The dressing for this salad uses both olive oil and sesame oil (does anything smell better than sesame oil?), soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos), rice vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger and pepper.  Don’t be like me and pull out your mirin instead of your rice vinegar.  I need to pay more attention, and one taste test of the dressing I knew I was missing that acid.  HUGE difference.

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The most important thing about keeping a Mason Jar salad fresh is building it correctly.  The dressing goes at the bottom, then the heartier vegetables, then fruit, nuts or beans, and lettuce at the top.  I put 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing at the bottom.

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Dressing first, then I add the sweet peppers.  I love these little guys and they are great for you, plus they are colorful and pretty in the salad.

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To make it easy, I just by pre-made broccoli coleslaw for the next layer, but feel free to chop, dice, slice or shred any vegetables you like.

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Then comes the edamame.  I find that it is important to put some sort of beans, nuts, etc. to make sure you get the protein that will keep you full for the day.

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Next, I put in green onions.  I usually add cilantro too, but I forgot to buy it!  Sliced almonds are also a good accompaniment. Last but not least, I add the lettuce.  I almost always buy spring mix and spinach because I find it works with every salad.

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I stuff it all the way to the top because the whole point is getting a bunch of greens.

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Now you just seal em up and you’re done!  So easy and portable.  When you are ready to eat, just dump it out in a big bowl  Because it is layered with the dressing at the bottom, everything will be tossed without actually tossing it.

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Your coworkers are going to be so jealous.  Seriously.  I almost had to quit my job and sell salads full time once people at my office caught wind of this.  Alas, salad making was not my destiny, but I still make them for myself and I hope you do too!  I am Really Into these salads.  Get ready for the next more recipes in the next few weeks and please share your experiences and ideas with me!

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