Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Prep Ahead with Easy Summer Salads

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I don't know about you, but summers around here are a bit slower than the rest of the year. Warm days filled with gardening, bike rides and picnics allow us to relax and seek a different pace. Even in this extra relaxed state of being, for some reason I find myself wanting to stay out of the kitchen. I love to cook, create and blend new concoctions, but during the warmer season I hibernate...go figure! It's all about the grab and go options for this gal.

{Source: Southern Living}

An idea I love is prepping ahead by creating different meals in mason jars...preferably salads. We've been eating and drinking out of mason jars for YEARS and it's quite funny how this "new idea" has caught on. But don't all good ideas come around again...just look at fashion. Give it about 20 years and the style will come back with an added twist (;

{Source: Country Living}

First, we love glass for food storage. You don't have to worry about the toxins, it keeps the food fresh and mason jars are spill proof. Who knew putting salads in them would catch on and become hot!! They store easily in the fridge and many of these jar combos can be made ahead for those days when there isn't a lot time to hang out in the kitchen.

The key to easy grab and go salads is keeping the dressing on the bottom. I usually like a vinaigrette style dressing and make sure to place hearty veggies in the bottom...ones that will marinate when in contact with the dressing. Things like onions, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, corn, olives, cucumbers, etc. More fragile veggies like lettuces and herbs go on top to prevent wilting.

Once you're ready to eat, either shake to get things mixed and eat right out of the jar or simply dump everything out in a bowl. Make different variations and keep several in the fridge so you can grab and go! Simplicity at its best. If you're new to eating in mason jars, Rich Mackey has a great step-by-step approach to get you started.

{Source: Rich Mackey}

Do you use mason jars? What are your favorite grab and go jar meals?

With Gratitude,

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