Salad Swap

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Photo by Clarisa Wanlass

I have a hard time making up my mind. I’m constantly changing. Why is why I struggle with New Year’s resolutions.

I can’t keep the same fingernail polish on for more than two weeks let alone keep up the same exercise routine or write in my journal consistently for an entire year. I have goals, I have plans, I have dreams. But they are always changing and evolving. I can’t promise that I’ll want to do something in May that I started in January – forget about keeping it up until November or December.

Now that I got that off my chest, I can share with you something that I do plan on doing more of this year. And for those of you who have decided to eat healthier or lost weight as part of your resolutions, it may work for the both of us.

I’m going to eat more salads. WAY more salads. And I’m going to stack them nicely into beautiful-looking jars that I can store and pack around anywhere I go.

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Photo by Clarisa Wanlass

I am not a salad eater. Most all of you know that I crave French fries and ice cream. I’d prefer to eat at a burger joint where I can slather my food in fry sauce and wash it down with a bubbly root beer.

But early in 2016 one of my friends roped me into doing a salad swap. It turned out to be one of my favorite things.

Each week I would pick out what salad I wanted to make. I would get all the ingredients to make four servings of that salad. I’d prepare all the ingredients then split them up into four different quart-sized mason jars. I’d pack them tight, screw the lid on then head to meet up with three other friends to swap my salad jars with some of theirs.

I would go home with four different salads – lunch for nearly my entire work week.

I grew to love salads. Now I crave them for lunch.

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Photo by Clarisa Wanlass

These were not the salads I was used to. Berries, chicken, pasta, almonds, feta, blue cheese, the ingredients were endless.

I got packing the jars down to a science (and I was surprised to find dozens of salad jar pins and recipes online). I’d start by pouring my dressing inside on the bottom of the jar, then I’d add any hearty, crispy vegetables. Next I’d put soft vegetables or fruit. Then I’d add any protein – meat or nuts. Finally I’d top it all off with the salad portion – lettuce, spinach, etc. If the salad called for croutons or chips, I’d add them on top inside a small snack-sized bag.

Not only did it look cool, but the layers kept the salads fresher longer. Then all I had to do when I sat down to eat lunch was dump the ingredients from the jar to a plate and stir them around a bit. Delicious!

The jars are so convenient and easy to carry around anywhere. You can use any salad recipe, the jars help them stay fresh.

Our salad swap lasted a few months before we took a break for the busy summer months and haven’t picked it back up yet. This fall my husband and I started our own swap – we’d make salad jars together on Sunday night to eat all week. He’d take his to work, I’d take mine to wherever my crazy life led me.

I’m hoping we can get organized and do it a bunch this year. To inspire you to do the same, I’ve included some more amazing pics below that one of my best friends Clarisa took.

Oh, and here are some links to a few of my favorite easy, delicious recipes:

http://lilluna.com/copycat-applebees-oriental-salad/

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/14281/bodacious-broccoli-salad/

http://www.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseberry/recipe.nsf/55e548eeef8c89b9852568d4004c5ffe/883EC4A4C28F7D26852578DA006B5EE5

http://www.food.com/recipe/dorito-taco-salad-343008

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