Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mason Jar Salad FAQs

How come the salads don't get soggy?
The magic is in how you pack the mason jar salad - layering the dressing on the bottom is key!  Check out our post for more mason jar salad packing tips.  They really don't get soggy, we promise!

Isn't it expensive to eat all that fresh produce?
It can be.  Produce tends to be one of our biggest grocery expenses each week; however, we see the benefits outweighing the costs.  Even though our grocery bills are higher than the average couple's, we find we eat out less frequently during the week if we have grab-and-go lunches available.  (We also probably eat more healthfully, too!)  When you consider how expensive it is to go grab a sandwich, soup, or salad 5 days a week, the extra money spent on produce starts to seem worth it.  Out-of-season produce can be cost-prohibitive (and not all that delicious sometimes,) so we have tried to focus the salads on seasonally-available ingredients whenever possible.  We also encourage you to frequent your neighborhood farmer's market, or think about starting a small garden - two more inexpensive ways to get ahold of lots of affordable, in-season produce!

Isn't it time-consuming to make all those salads every week?
It can be, at first.  Like any skill, mason jar salad planning and prep gets easier (and faster) the more you do it!  I generally make our salads on Sunday afternoons, and I estimate it takes me about an hour to make four salads, depending on how many different kinds of components they contain, how many of the components I decide to make from scratch, and how much prep those individual components require.  (Cooking meat for Rob adds time; washing and prepping large batches of greens also takes time!)  We will recommend time-saving tips in each of the individual recipes in the coming weeks!  Sometimes salad prep feels like a lot of work on Sunday afternoons, but it such a HUGE timesaver during the week, I feel like the benefits far outweigh the costs.  We love the convenience of having grab-and-go healthy lunches all week long!

Do you need any fancy tools or gadgets?
My answer to this question, when regarding kitchenwares, is almost always, "no."  I find I need little more in my kitchen than a cutting board, sharp knives (and knife skills!), measuring cups and spoons, and good-quality cookware and bakeware.  However, there are lots of amazing kitchen gadgets out there, and we have found having a few things pretty darn handy when preparing weekly salads to go.  We'll be back later this week with a post dedicated to useful mason jar salad gadgetry!

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

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