I am guilty of a terrible sin, only ever described accurately by the ladies of the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast as “aspirational vegetables”. You know the ones? The vegetables you pick up and think, “I’m gonna eat so healthy this week” to only end up throwing out half of them at the end of the week cause that healthy meal or that juice just never got made and now the food that was barely half decent when you bought it in the grocery store is gross? Yea, over here, I’m guilty of it.
Context: Please remember I’m a late 20-something girl living by herself with a boyfriend to feed a few nights a week, if I had more mouths to feed there would be less waste but it’s rather hard cooking for one.
I’ve tried a bit harder over the past year to be more conscious of food in general. This mostly means feeling more guilty when I buy a bag of shame at McDonald’s but also means I’m often making things from scratch or at least semi-home-made and fresh when I can. One thing I started doing in 2014 was mason jar salads and they have rocked my world. This year brought a new job and compared to my last city job (downtown Boston) I’m out in the sticks and there are not a lot of food options, let alone healthy food options. For that reason I’ve brought lunch to work more often and learning and experimenting with the concepts behind the mason jar salad have been invaluable. What I started doing more recently is tracking how much it takes to construct these salads both time, energy and food.
Above you’ll see my counter from last night. From one bag of spring mix, one container of grape tomatoes, one cucumber I made salad for my boyfriend and I to enjoy with dinner and two salads for lunch this week. No food was left over and now two days this week I can grab a jar salad and go. It only took me an extra 2 minutes, no lie just 2 minutes (it took longer to bust out the camera and take this picture). If I’d made the mason jar salads “later” like I usually do it would have taken 10 minutes and may have not even happened before the lettuce wilted or the cucumber got soft. Now they’re not “fancy” mason jar salads like you see on Pinterest but they’re perfectly good salads and do you really need more than that?
Do you make mason jar or grab and go salads when you make dinner salads for yourself or your family?