How To Meal Prep Salad so it stays fresh
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Fall Time Meal Planning Motivation
It is October here in Ohio. October is one of my favorite months! Oh yes, how I would love to be poolside. However, there does always seem to be a mindset change for me when summers over. This is such a fun time of year for foodies and I love being warm and cozy and cruising recipes online and on Pinterest! If you would like to follow me on Pinterest, CLICK HERE!
This is the current view out my kitchen window. Another reason I love Fall. The beautiful colors. One of my favorite parts about being in the kitchen is this scenic view!
September and October always get me into an organizational mode!! I LOVE to organize! I think that is why my weekly food prep brings me so much joy.
Is food prep a lot of work?
Well that depends on how organized you are.
Does it mean you can’t food prep if you aren’t an ‘organized’ person?
Not at all…and that is why I am here to share!!!
Have a food prep plan or use somebody elses!
Food prep is all about having a plan! For those of you who don’t love organizing as much as me, or that need some tips on meal prep, I am giving you my salad meal prep method!!
I have used this SALAD MEAL PREP method for YEARS and it continues to allow us to eat fresh salads every day for lunch, whether at home or on the run or at work!
Having a plan will help execute delicious and healthy lunches, every day of the week!
What do I put in my salad?
**Organic Spinach, Baby Spring Mix, Baby Kale**
**Organic Bell Peppers**
**Organic English Seedless Cucumber**
**Organic Grape Tomatoes**
**Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds**
** Cheese Whisps or Sonoma Bacon Cheddar Crisps for a low-carb crunch**
The list above, is what I put in my weekday salads. There are lots of other toppings you can add. Plan ahead to make sure you have them items you need to prep on your meal prep day! A few things I’ve added in the past have been chives, onions, chickpeas, pickles, olives, and dried cranberries. Comment with your ideas below if you have some good ones!
Tricks to save time! Chop your veggies ahead!
Ok lets get to it! How can you have a veggie chop chop salad for lunch every day? Obviously, most of us don’t have time everyday to chop up fresh salads to take to work or to put that work in on our lunch hour if working from home.
I figured out a compromise. A trick that allows me to make 2-3 salads ahead of time.
The trick is…. chopping all my veggies for my salad on my meal prep Sunday! On Sundays, I put a lot of work (and heart and soul) to make healthy, whole-food breakfast, lunches, and dinner a reality. Washing and chopping all my veggies on Sunday allows me to add them to salads and wraps throughout the week!
I chop bell pepper, carrots, and cucumber and store them in a zip-lock with a paper towel. I have tried a lot of methods, a lot of expensive ‘produce’ containers, and have found this to be the very best method!!
I do not add the tomatoes to the zip-lock. From trial and error I have learned that the tomato juice can make the carrot-pepper-cuke mix become soggy. Throwing in the tomatoes later is eazy peazy.
You might be asking… Why not just buy pre-chopped veggies at the store? If this is your only option to make your salad meal prep happen, then do it!! I feel like chopping my vegetables on Sunday, gives me peak freshness for the week!!
I also enjoy being in the kitchen and preparing and creating delicious fresh food for my little family to eat all week. Nothing is more important than setting yourself up for success with healthy choices.
If you are just starting out on your meal prep journey, then buying the veggies pre-cut might be the best option for you. But make sure to try my zip-lock/paper-towel trick for storing them! I bet you they will last longer than in the plastic containers they come in!
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What containers to prep your salads in?
I will keep this part pretty short!! After LOTS, AND LOTS, AND LOTS of trial and error, I have found the tupperware containers that I will promote time after time.
I don’t like plastic based tupperware, only because our tupperware gets used a LOT. I have found that the plastic ones just don’t last as long after being run through the dishwasher.
My tupperware of choice is here!! I buy these over and over. I love the clear glass, you are able to see what is in the fridge and what is in each container.
How do you keep the lettuce fresh if you prep the salad ahead?
I have yet another trick for executing these make-ahead salads!! I put the lettuce into the SNAPWARE BOWL and then place a paper-towel over it!
Side note first** Does anybody else cut their lettuce into little pieces? I find it easier to eat this way, but maybe that is just me!!
Here is my lettuce/veggies assembly!!! Paper-towel trick for the win again!
I do not mix in the veggies with the lettuce. Recipe for a wilted salad if you do this!
Time to assemble the salad!
We have our salad base that we prepared above:
These are the Sonoma Creamery Bacon Crisps I use as croutons. I put 2-3 in a snack size zip-lock bag so they stay crispy. Then I crunch them up and put them on the salad when it is time to eat!!
Time to pack up our salad!
Wait, What about the dressing?
As I have mentioned before, a go-to salad dressing option I use, is GOOD SEASONS DRESSING PACKETS. I follow the instructions on the back and use hearth healthy Avocado Oil or Olive Oil. A lot of dressings you will find in the store are made with HEART CLOGGING VEGETABLE OR CONOLA OIL.
These are my favorite way to transport dressing. I have a huge passion for the OXO brand. CLICK HERE TO BUY THESE! Very inexpensive and durable!
I hope some of these tips were helpful for you and help you on your healthy meal-prep journey! I truly do enjoy making whole-food that is heart healthy for my family. Food is medicine!
CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR SALAD SNAPWARE AND LEARN HOW TO MAKE IT INTO A FABULOUS HOLIDAY MEAL PLANNING GIFT BASKET!!!!