A few weeks ago, my friend Laura invited me to a Mason Jar Salad Making Party she was hosting. I really didn’t know what that meant, but it sounded like something totally up my alley. (Salad making + wine + girlfriends, yes please!) Laura and I met through our Mommy Group (I’m even annoyed with myself that I call it a “Mommy Group”, but that’s what it is), and she has become one of my closest friends. Laura is a rep for Juice Plus (which I give my kids) and a leader in the health and wellness community through her passion for nutrition (more on that later in the post). Anyway, I went and bought a few Mason jars at the grocery store and everyone was asked to bring 2-3 of their favorite salad toppings (enough for 10 people). This was the setup.
You start with the salad dressing in the bottom of the jar, then the veggies, then cheese/nuts, then stuff as much lettuce into the top as you can, screw the top back on and you have made a salad that will stay fresh for a week. The final product at the party.
This is fucking genius, and here’s why…If I’m ever going to taste/enjoy my food, Riley and Quinn (my 2.5 year old twins) HAVE to be asleep. If they’re awake, I’m wiping someone’s butt or breaking up fights or listening to someone repeat the same question 800 times or someone is trying to eat my food, and it is NOT worth it. I want to sit down and enjoy my lunch, so it has to be while they’re napping. By the time I get them to sleep at 1, and walk back downstairs, I’m fucking STARVING! I will eat whatever I can get in my mouth the fastest. If there isn’t a healthy option ready to go, I will make a poor choice and then feel guilty about it for the rest of the day. Now I have salads ready to go in my fridge, and it is seriously perfect.
This is SO easy to do at home. I made mine with lite balsamic vinaigrette, cucumbers, beets, feta, sliced almonds and spinach and arugula. I dump the Mason jar contents in a bowl and then add two pieces of turkey bacon. It’s deelish and only 252 calories (I made sure I measured EVERYTHING).
Just a quick little note about Juice Plus for anyone who doesn’t know about it. As a mom, it’s obviously so important to me to feed my kids healthy food. Riley and Quinn are not picky and pretty good eaters, but it can really stress me out if they’re not eating their green beans or only eating chicken nuggets, etc. Laura introduced me to the Juice Plus gummies, and with those, Riley and Quinn are getting 20 servings of fruits and vegetables every morning. (I know, that sounds too good to be true, but it’s all about micronutrients as opposed to macronutrients and it really IS true). It’s my job to introduce them to a variety of food and teach them how to be healthy eaters, but with Juice Plus, I know that their fruits and veggies are covered, and I don’t have to stress if they aren’t going for what I’m serving (it’s still fucking annoying, but not stressful). The gummies also serve a dual purpose as bribery tools when I want the girls to smile for a picture. They think it’s the best candy that I’ve ever given them, but it’s health food! For more information, contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.lauraallen.juiceplus.com. Oh shit, did that just sound like an ad for Juice Plus? I swear I’m not selling anything or getting anything out of you putting your family on Juice Plus, it’s just something that has made my life a little easier/less stressful that I thought I would share.
Back to the point, Mason jar salads for your next Sunday meal prep…Do it, it’s so good!