These are mason jar salads. I make twelve of them every week–four for me, four for my husband, and four for my college-age son. The rest of my lunches are leftovers or other things. The ones in this picture are mine. The layers, from the bottom of the jar to the top are:
- salad dressing (2 Tbsp) – this was Olive Garden Italian but use what you like
- halved small tomatoes
- red onion slices
- chopped cucumbers
- steamed butternut squash (I don’t always have this–this was leftovers from dinner)
- diced ham
- diced cheese (this I believe was mozzarella)
- romaine blend (I often use spinach as I like it better)
My son tends to have salads like mine, only no tomatoes and a little extra onion. He prefers Catalina or Sriracha Ranch dressing.
My husband likes to keep dressing at work and add it when he eats his salad. He also likes beans and dislikes the wetness of cukes and tomatoes so his salads tend to be:
- beans (red, black or cannellini)
- olives (three kalamatas or Queen olives)
- red onion
- chopped zucchini
- diced ham
- diced cheese
- lettuce blend (he prefers iceberg lettuce)
It doesn’t have to be ham, but we like it. For twelve salads I get three slices of deli ham on number 8. I dice a quarter slice for each salad. And I use three 8-oz blocks of cheese to make twelve salads, so 2 ounces of cheese per. The lettuce blend I use in my husband’s salads has red cabbage and carrot shreds and radish slices for variety and flavor. My store offers several kinds and one of them is usually on sale. I tend to alternate cheese from week to week between an orange variety and a white variety so that if for some reason, a salad isn’t eaten, it’s easy to spot the laggard and eat it first.
The jars are wide-mouth quarts and the lids are alternate plastic lids from one of the mason jar companies. I prefer them to the disk and ring arrangement for this purpose.
For more information on mason jar salads, google it. There is a lot out there. Generally, put the wet stuff on the bottom and the greens on the top and it stays fresh for a week.