Friday, July 19, 2013

Healthy Summer Salads

Have you ever had one of those days where you are hungry, yet you just aren't quite sure what you'd like to eat? Well that has seemed to be my everyday for quite a while. It was always lunchtime where I struggled. I have recently been on a health kick and am trying my absolute hardest to eat healthier. Whereas the lunch I would prefer to eat would be a delicious grilled 4 cheese and ham sandwich with a side of sour cream and onion potato chips...... I am now eating salads!

I will admit that I have loved finding new recipes for salads. The options are endless and easily customizable which is fantastic. Now if you're anything like me, I tend to be lazy when it comes to preparing myself a meal. This makes it hard to stay healthy when it's easier just to order something in. However, due to a friend of mine's wisdom..... I have recently been introduced to the world of Salads in a Jar. What a genious idea!!! So the other day, I went to it and created the food prep line. I had cheeses, cucumbers, multi-colored bell peppers, tomatoes, grilled chicken strips, carved turkey, ham, carrotts, baby spinach and arugula, and a few different low fat dressings.

The most important part of this salad is the order! Remember that the dressing always goes first and the lettuce always goes last. In order it should go: Dressing,veggies, meats, cheese, lettuce.

Greek Chicken Salad (335 Calories)

1. Pour in two tablespoons of low fat Greek dressing
2. Add a 1/4 cup of matchstick carrots
3. Add half of a mini cucumber, thick slices.
4. Add 5 grape tomatoes
5. Add a 1/2 cup of grille chicken strips
6. Add a 1/4 cup of feta heese
7. Fill the rest of the jar with baby spinach

Once you have filled the jar with all of your ingredients, you then will need to seal your mason jar for freshness. This can be done a multiple of ways.

The poor man's version: Poke a hole into the top of the canning lid with a thumbtack. Gently cover the hole with a small piece of electrical tape (Do not press down too hard). Then use a hand pump or electric food saver vacuum. (I use the reynolds handi-vac) and place it on top of the piece of tape. Begin to vacuum the air out. This will only take about 30 secs to a minute depening on what device you are using. When you are done, you will see an air bubble that has formed from the tape, push the tape down hard and secure the tape. Ta-Da! Easy Peasy!

Food-Saver Jar sealer: You can purchase a regular mouth jar sealer on amazon for about $10.00. For this method, all you need to do is place the device over the canning lid, and then use a vaccum or hand pump to remove all the air from the jar.

Once the lids have been sealed.... these salads will stay fresh for at least 5 days! Talk about convenience.

Another simple and delicious salad that I have grown to love is just a plain old pepper salad which is shown above on the far right jar. For this salad all you need to do is cut up some bell peppers, and mix in a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil, a dash of pepper, and a little bit of mild shredded cheddar cheese. Not only is it filling but it is also extremely good for you!

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