One of my healthy lifestyle goals is to increase the amount of vegetables in my diet. Not being a vegetable fan this hasn’t been easy. I am also too lazy to make a fresh salad everyday. I have seen several posts for making salads in a jar on pinterest and I was inspired. I was worried about the vegetables getting old and rotting if I made several batches so I came up with the idea to use my Food Saver vacuum sealer. I received this as a gift several years ago used it a few times then moved it to the garage to make room in my uber small kitchen and promptly forgot about it. I am so happy that I remembered I had it and even found a box of vacuum seal bags in the back of my cupboard. Really this just means I need to clean out and organize my kitchen a bit.
To test this method I made just two salads. I wasn’t sure how quickly I would eat them since I get really tired of having salad every day. I made these up on Sunday and had one on Monday and one on Friday. The Friday salad was just as good as the Monday one. The lettuce was fresh and crisp, and the avocados were still nice and green.
Each salad included romaine lettuce, 1/2 an avocado, a handful of : cherry tomatoes, carrots, and broccoli.
I think this is a great method for make ahead lunches, saves, time and saves money. I can’t tell you how much produce I have thrown away over the years because it rotted in my vegetable crisper.
I do have a few hints and tips.
1. Wash and dry all vegetables, especially lettuce, thoroughly before you vacuum seal. If you have a salad spinner use it, if not put the lettuce in a clean cloth bag like a pillow case and swing it around. This works great as a poor mans salad spinner and doesn’t take up much room in your pantry.
2. Do not include any salad dressing or oil in the bag as it will cause the lettuce to wilt.
3. Be careful not to put too much in one bag. I actually was a bit over zealous and was full after about 3/4 of each salad.
4. The bags allow you to use less dressing. When you are about to eat the salad add about 1/2 the dressing you normally would fold the bag closed and shake. You will find everything to be evenly coated and are likely to use less dressing.
5. Fold the top of the bag down to create a bowl, fewer dishes to wash! This is my healthy lunch on Friday.
6. Bags can be washed and re-used. Just make sure to wash well by hand and prop open by placing over the blender, a tall glass, or a wooden spoon in a glass so the bag can completely air dry. If you are worried about germs, fill the bag with water and a teaspoon of bleach. swish around and rinse well. Let air dry and re use.
I like using the bags instead of mason jars because they take up a lot less room in my cupboard and I don’t have to worry about glass breaking.