Why The Salad-In-A-Jar Phenomenon Is So Hot

By Laura Gummerman

Okay. Let's get this out of the way: You either saw this post and thought, "That's genius! Why haven't I thought of that?" or, "Yeah, I know. That's so March 2014..." I only say that because apparently, the idea of "salad in a jar" lunches went crazy online at some point last year. But, this girl (who is online A WHOLE LOT) had never heard of it until a few weeks ago. I felt a little dumb for being completely oblivious to a giant food craze, but when I started asking around, I realized there were actually a lot of other Pinterest-loving ladies that hadn't heard of it either. So, I thought I would check it out and share my thoughts with you since I wish I had heard of this a lot sooner.

The main pros to the salad in a jar thing are twofold: First, you can make all your lunches for the whole work week in one sitting (on a Sunday, for example), and your worries of what to eat everyday for lunch are already solved. I know this is a giant thing for me. I hate making my own lunches and I never know what to make, so I buy a lot of soups or make big batches of tuna salad and then eat the same thing for several days in a row. Second, since this isn't called "cheeseburger in a jar, " it's also a way to encourage you to eat better and make good lunch decisions. Of course, you can make a salad that's 99% percent cheese and ranch dressing and that one spinach leaf on top isn't going to help much, so make sure to pick a well-balanced salad that's still going to do you a lot of good.

All that said, you can see why the concept is so appealing to a person that's lazy-yet-health-conscious like I am. I worked to find five different recipes that I really liked and would be excited to eat everyday, and I think I did a pretty good job. Plus, I also wanted salads that were filling. There's nothing worse than finishing your salad at 12:55 p.m. and feeling hungry again half an hour later, so I made sure that all the salads had either a meat or grain protein to fill me up. Of course, if you do a mostly vegetarian diet like I do, you can always add more beans or grains in place of a meat option.

To get a "Making Salad In A Jar 101" lesson, this is a great post to start with. Some people suggest that you should keep more perishable items (like meat, cheese, soft vegetables like avocado, and fruit) out of the jar and add them to the top the day you plan on eating instead, but I also saw that a lot of people said they didn't have a problem when they put them in at the beginning of the week.  Coating softer fruits and veggies in a little lemon or lime juice first and packing the jar as tightly as you can helps keep everything fresh all five days. Now that you've got the basics under your belt, here are the five salads that I liked the most!

Related: Toasted Sesame And Miso Dressing 

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