Monday, October 31, 2016

Healthy Eating on the Go

Now that the semester is underway, you might be a bit overwhelmed and wonder how you’re going to get it all done!  Maybe you’re tempted to carve out some extra time in your schedule by becoming a regular at Taco Bell.  But what if there was a way to pack up several meals on a weekend so they’re at your fingertips throughout the week?  I guarantee a small investment of time will pay off in health and energy to keep you sharp and focused.

“Salad in a Jar” is a great way to overcome your fast-food temptation.   The basic formula is simple:   In a wide-mouth jar (such as a quart-sized mason jar), start with 1 – 4 tablespoons of salad dressing.  Then pack the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients in the bottom, followed by lighter ingredients until you end up with salad greens at the top of the jar.  Take care not to tip the jar in transport and your greens will stay leafy and fresh until you’re ready to eat. The jars will last up to five days in the fridge.  If you are using perishable proteins like hard-boiled eggs, avocados or chicken breast, add them on the day you plan to eat your salad. 

Here are some ideas for your salad in a jar:

Start with 1 - 4 tablespoons of salad dressing in the bottom of the jar
Add hard chopped veggies such as carrots, cucumbers or peppers
Next add beans, pasta or grains.  If you have any leftover rice in the fridge, add it to this layer
Cheese and proteins come next, unless you're not planning to eat the salad that day.  Add these ingredients on the day you plan to eat your salad.
Softer fruits and veggies come next.  Try sliced strawberries, tomatoes, etc.  These are best added on the day you'll eat your salad.
Your next layer could include nuts or seeds.  Toasted almonds are always yummy!
Lastly, pack your salad greens.  Don't worry about packing them tightly at the top of the jar.
Don't forget a big bowl, you'll want to empty your jar and mix up your ingredients right before you eat.

Even if you don’t end up taking your salad to school, it would be nice to come home to a fridge full of healthy goodness.  Enjoy!