Salad in a Jar

Last spring I discovered a very enjoyable, healthy alternative to sandwiches for lunch.  It is called Salad in a Jar and you need is a mason jar and your imagination. Depending on what size lunch you want use a clean Mason jar either 1 quart or a pint.  You don’t have to buy a case of them.  You can buy them individually at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  Though you might want to own several so you can make them in advance.  If prepared properly these can be stored for 4 or 5 days.

  1. Start with a clean mason jar.   IMG_1977  Use a quart or pint size depending on how much salad you want.
  2. Decide what kind of salad you want to make and lay out your ingredients.

3.  Wash the vegetables and cut them into small pieces.

4.  Loading the jar:  In order to keep your salad from wilting loading the jar is the most important step.  You want to keep the lettuce and salad dressing separate.  Put the salad dressing in first, followed by the hard vegetables – peppers, carrots, cucumber, snow peas.IMG_1979   In this salad I used Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Balsamic dressing.  Use your favorite dressing.

5.  Next load the softer items – cheese, beans, meat, olives.

6.  On top of this put lettuce .

7.  Close the lid and you have lunch or dinner for the next few days.

8. When ready to eat turn your jar upside down and shake or empty into a salad bowl.

My Ingredients for a basic salad:

1 Tbs. BalsamIMG_0300ic simply Dressed dressing
Shredded carrots
Red, yellow or green peppers, diced

Snow peas, chopped

Cucumber, chopped
Tomatoes, diced
Deli turkey and ham, about 3 ounces
1 slice swiss cheese, diced
4-6 olives, your preference ( I like black or kalamata olives), sliced
Spinach and/or lettuce leaves

Mini Lasagna Rolls

I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found with ThinkLite.  Simple to make and can be tailored to your tastes.  Vegetarians can leave out the sausage.  It can be made in advance and eaten over several days.


1/2 small onion, chopped  fine

1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped fineIMG_0268

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

5 Tbs. dry white wine

3 links mild Italian sausage, cooked and cut into small pieces

12 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained well

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup ricotta cheese, part skim

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 egg whites, beaten

2 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

salt and pepper to taste

8 Lasagna noodles, cooked according to package, drained

2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated

Saute sausage until brown, then add onion, mushrooms, garlic and wine in a large skillet until soft.  Drain;  transfer mixtuIMG_0271re to a large bowl.




Mix togeIMG_0273ther with spinach, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and ricotta cheese, egg whites, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.




Spread 1IMG_0272/4 to 1/2 cup spinach mixture on one end of each lasagna noodle.  Roll up noodle and place in an baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve with 2 tablespoons of pasta sauce on each roll.

The Food Lab: Better home cooking through Scienceby J. Kenji López-Alt

One of the new cookbooks I picked up at the library was The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J.Kenji Lopez-Alt.  What I  liked about this book was the information about why something works.   For instance, the author tested how long poached eggs needed to be cooked for slightly cooked to well done.  He did this by cooking 16 eggs at 30 second intervals. While I did not find any new recipes I enjoyed the science behind food.  I have not added this to my collection yet but plan too.