Mid-Day Tune Up
A busy schedule can be challenging to manage, but with a little bit of planning, you can make the most of your September. Whether you’re heading back to a classroom, have kids heading back to school or are just adjusting to shortened days, it’s a great time to recalibrate your home menu and healthy eating habits. Eating well-balanced, pre-prepared meals can help regulate your (or your kids') energy levels throughout the day, reducing energy crashes and mid-afternoon slumps.
So Many Wins
By dedicating a block of weekend time to prepare lunches for the upcoming week, you can reduce a lot of morning stress. When you have pre-portioned, balanced meals ready to go, you're less likely to resort to unhealthy fast food or takeout options. You can customize your meals to fit your specific dietary needs and goals. You can include a variety of nutrient-dense foods, increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, use natural vomFASS oil/vinegar combinations and avoid processed or high-sugar dressings. By using up leftovers and taking re-usable home containers to work, school, or travel, you’ll also decrease food and consumer waste.
Prep for the school or work week once, and then enjoy the rest of your week! Container or jar salads are a delightful and convenient way to enjoy fresh and healthy meals. You can prepare salads in advance, layering the ingredients in the jars, and storing them in the refrigerator. This saves time when school, work, or other commitments are in full swing.
September brings a bounty of fresh, seasonal ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, corn, and various types of greens. Jar salads allow you to showcase these ingredients at their peak flavor and nutritional value. Use crunchy fresh or your favorite grilled veggies, add protein like beef, chicken or tofu, and add fruit or nuts.
The Art of Layering
Let’s get real…soggy salads suck. The key to keeping a jar salad crisp until you're ready to eat it lies in how you layer the ingredients. The general rule is to start with the dressing ingredients at the bottom and then layer the ingredients from wettest to driest.
7-Step Guide on how to layer a jar salad...
Dressing at the Bottom
Start with the dressing or vinaigrette at the bottom of the jar. Use about 2-4 tablespoons, depending on your preference. This prevents the salad from getting soggy while infusing the hearty veggies with flavor.
Hard and Hearty Vegetables
Add the hard and hearty vegetables next, like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, or any other ingredients that won't wilt or get soggy from contact with the dressing.
Protein and Grains
If you're including proteins like grilled chicken, tofu, or beans, or grains like quinoa or pasta, add them on top of the hard vegetables. These ingredients can act as a barrier between the dressing and more delicate greens.
Softer Vegetables and Fruits
Layer any softer vegetables or fruits, such as avocados, strawberries, or apples, on top of the protein or grains. Even with a dash of lemon juice to reduce oxidation, these ingredients add sweetness to your salad.
Nuts, Seeds, and Cheeses
If you're including cheese (e.g., crumbled feta or goat cheese), nuts, or seeds, add them next. These ingredients are less likely to get soggy when they're near the top. They add texture and flavor to your salad.
Finally, add your leafy greens like spinach, arugula, or lettuce. These should be at the very top to keep them away from the dressing until you're ready to eat. Pack them in tightly, so ingredients don't shift during transportation.
Seal the Jar Tightly
Secure the mason jar lid tightly to create an airtight seal. This helps keep your salad fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator
Spice of Life
No one wants to eat the same thing over and over again. VomFASS oils and vinegars make it easy to create a variety of delicious flavors and have a different salad for lunch each day of the week. For your dining pleasure, enjoy the recipes below or combine 1-2 tablespoons of each of vomFASS Apple Balsamic Vinegar and Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil and dress your chicken with crispy apple salad. Try vomFASS Calamansi Balsam with Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a shrimp and grated carrots.
Our vomFASS Salad Dressing Set with four of our favorite combinations is a great place to start! Or, visit vomFASS-Madison and we'll help you re-fill your favorites!
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