2.26.2013

MEAL PLANNING...USING MASON JARS.



Meal prep doesn't have to be hard.
We just choose to make it hard sometimes!
Why do we do this to ourselves?

The biggest key (imo) is the planning part.
You must have a place to keep track of all your recipes that you've tried, want to try, and somewhere to log your menu for the week. It could be on a chalkboard in your kitchen, or even if just means in the "Notes" section of your iPhone (I keep our grocery shopping list there).

 {our menu board. our full kitchen makeover that makes me really happy: here}

I think I've mentioned this before, but we have gotten in the routine of making our menu for the week on Sunday and making sure we have all the ingredients for the next week or two.I will make a stop at the store later on in the week to get fresh fruits/veggies, but other than that, I try to have everything in our house so that we can get right to cooking on the busy weeknights. 

Lunches are another story.
I usually prepare them in the morning of, but sometimes run out of time and find myself rushing to put something together....

Enter the fabulous mason jar salads.
Meal prep at it's finest!

Why didn't I think of this sooner?
5 mason jars stored in the refrigerator = 5 salads. They do not go bad, trust me!
 Glass jars are the best type of storage containers for food.

So, you cut up your toppings.


Start layering what you want on the top of your salad first.
Since I don't eat meat, I like to put chickpeas and sunflower seeds on mine.
You can season the chickpeas to give the more flavor (I use chili powder, lime juice, cumin)


tip if you add avocado: drizzle lemon juice on it after you cut it up so that it doesn't brown.

Finish by placing your spinach/lettuce on the very TOP.
Wait to add your salad dressing until right before you eat it.
Secure your jar with a lid and store....


When you're ready to eat, simply flip over the jar into a bowl or plate and add your salad dressing!
It couldn't be easier and you have your lunches done for the week. 
If you are adding avocado to each, I would wait until Weds. to add to your salads for Thurs. and Fri., just to be safe. It has stayed good for me for 2 days by drizzling lemon juice on top, but not sure about 4-5 days.

Don't you feel less stressed just reading this?
Imagine when you're done preparing these how you'll feel!

Note: if you don't want salad everyday (yes it can get boring and no I don't just have salad everyday, I eat a lot..tah-rust me!), take a tupperware container and place a cooked lean protein (chicken breast, fish, etc) in it with a couple of veggies or a different side and store the same way.

Then, take the extra time you would have been spending in the morning shuffling around to sleep in a bit.

Lastly, have I mentioned how much I love getting reader feedback?
It's been brought to my attention via email that you guys actually ENJOY my juicing recipes!
Woo, woo, woo!
Well, some of you do (thank you to those who have told me!)
I honestly thought for a while no one enjoyed them but me. ha.

 So, for those who enjoy them, here are a few of my favorite recent combinations:
(if you haven't gotten into juicing yet-read this post as to why I like it)
 
-1 orange (peel it first then put in the juicer whole)
-1 lemon (you can either peel or not peel. I read that the peel of a lemon is good for you, but it gives more of a bitter taste in your drink, so it's your preference)
-4 carrots (cut off bad ends)
-large handfuls of kale (2 or 3)

Makes a large glass.

Oh, and after I mentioned trying a whole jalapeno my-lungs-throat-and-chest-are-on-fire yesterday, 
I got some requests for that recipe. Here it is but use caution my friends ;)
note: using a jalapeno in juices is said to help with weight loss. 
I'm not just cray and like the taste of minor burning.



How do you meal plan? Do you like the salad idea?
I think I'm going to do this weekly now...
Do you prep your meals the week prior?
Linked up for Tasty Tuesday's!

 Share with me!

 I post a lot of my juicing recipes/lunches to instagram, 
so if you have any questions or want to follow along find me at: katiewkrysh.



55 comments :

  1. You are one smart cookie, KWK. This is such a good idea. I do all my meal planning/grocery shopping on Sunday as well then will prep all my breakfasts/lunches/snacks for the week. It helps so much to eliminate that morning chaos (especially with baby boo) and ensures I'm still eating healthy. :) Will have to try the mason jar salad though!

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    1. why thank you KF ;) yes, completely agree with you!

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  2. Not only is the mason jar salad idea fab.... It's beautiful! Looks like something you'd find in a magazine. Great idea!

    One question: how are you not starving all day without having much protein for lunch?

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    1. thanks April! :) I eat many small meals per day! I typically have a snack before lunch. The beans give me protein and I will usually eat something with this salad. This salad is bigger than it appears and fills me up!!

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  3. I am really luck to have a great lunch option at school, so I don't have to pack my lunches. What I do need to do more of though is dinner planning. I think the mason jar salad idea would even work really well for a dinner per week. I bet they'd also be useful to store other premade salads or mixes, like a loaded bowl. Thanks Katie! Meal planning, though time consuming, is definitely so nice to have completed during a busy week at work!

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    1. For sure!! This would work for dinners too:)

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  4. I have thought about the mason jar salad thing before. I was taking salads everyday for a couple of weeks but - as luck would have it - I got bored. Now I'm trying to make a little extra of each meal I make for dinner and bring leftovers.

    I've never tried chickpeas on my salad - I'll have to try that!

    I haven't got into the juicing thing yet - I'm enjoying my smoothies at the moment!

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    1. you can season the chickpeas too and they are delish. Love smoothies too!

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  5. i really like the salad idea - thanks for sharing!!

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  6. What a great idea...it's funny, b/c just this morning I was cleaning veggies, after failing to do so on Sunday after the grocery store and cursing the entire time. :) This is such a good idea, and easy transportation to work as well. I'll def. be using this suggestion for my lunches!

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  7. I have been doing this for ages! Love it. Although, I put my salad dressing in first, then the toppings and lastly the lettuce or spinach. When you are ready to eat, you just flip over the mason jar and the dressing falls to the lettuce, then dump in a bowl. So easy and so good!

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    1. yup! I do the same thing with this. :) But I wait to put on the dressing just so my spinach doesn't get wilty.

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  8. Such a cute idea! I'll have to try it - because it's so stinking convenient.

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  9. Love this idea! I would rather make all salads at one time instead of having to chop veggies every night of the week. And all of your juice pictures make me want to go buy a juicer this weekend! I've been trying some of the juices that they have at the grocery store to make sure I actually like them before I go all crazy and buy an expensive juicer, ha! Also, we use the Grocery Gadget app and it's the greatest thing ever! After a month or two, all of your main items will be in the ingredient list and you just go down the list and add quantity to each one and then it will sort it in the order of your grocery store aisles and you can check off the items as you walk thru the store and put them in your cart. Highly recommend this for people who meal plan and only pick up certain items at the grocery store! Oh, and the best part is my husbands and my app are synced so if he adds something I will see it and get it when I'm at the store.

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    1. SUCH good info Ashley! Thank you for sharing with all of us!!

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  10. i feel like i always meant to tell you this but forgot. I CONSTANTLY now use IMO in texts/chats an such and no one ever knows what it means but i completely got it from you and its kind of stuck with me haha so thank you my dear!!

    salad in a mason jar who is the genius that thought of this!! I would also be the one to start with the lettuce first, so thanks for clarifying you put what goes on top DOWN BOTTOM of the jar haha id be that girl whose like ugh!

    this looks amazing! i need to make these!!
    xoxoxo

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  11. Another great idea! Thanks for sharing! And I'll definitely try out that first juicing recipe this week; I haven't used carrots yet. I'm a wuss when it comes to spices so I think I'll skip the fire breathing jalapeno one, though! Ha! Have a great day, Katie! :)

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  12. I love this idea but I get so grossed out by stuff that's been in the fridge for 5 days lol!

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    1. Promise you it stays good! The avocado is the only thing I might wait to add for the thurs/fri salads. Add it on Weds just to make sure. Everything else is good!

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  13. I'm so glad you put in the tip about avocadoes, I am guilty of freaking out when it has browned after taking it cut up to work. If you prep this (5 salads) on Sunday, are they still "good" by Friday or do you suggest prepping three Sunday and then two on Wednesday?

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    1. They are still good! The only thing I might wait to add is the avocado for the thurs/fri salads and I would add it Weds and drizzle lemon juice on it. By doing that, it has stayed good for me for 2-3 days but I'm not sure if it would last 4-5. So just to be safe. Everything else lasts the whole week!

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  14. I dont like to eat the food my food eats.

    BBFT/TUBBY

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  15. Meal planning is the best! Love the idea of putting the salads in mason jars! Makes sense that they keep for longer in glass! (Palm to head - duh!)

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  16. Mason Jar Salads... Genius... and cute, might I add ha!

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  17. Meal planning is the only way I keep sane. :) Love the mason jar idea!

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  18. Love the mason jar salad! So genius! :)

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  19. Wow! First of all I love your kitchen chalkboard! I want to do something similar and plan our our weekly meals. Second, mason jars! Mason jars are and continue to be one of the greatest inventions of all time.

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  20. I LOVE your menu area! I may have to copy that someday :)

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  21. These look awesome, I've seen them on pinterest and have wanted to try them! Glad to know it's not a daunting task!

    Shannon
    http://GBOfashion.com

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  22. not only am i obsessed with manson jars but I have seen this on Pinterest and thought it wasn't going to be as easy and effective as you just showed us! Now i am soo excited to try this out! Thanks!

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  23. I love using my mason jars for salads! I hate wasting the lettuce I buy when it turns brown and this has saved me so much!

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  24. i love this idea! and what a great way to be healthy. I really need to start planning out meals so that I can choose healthier options!

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  25. Love the idea! Looks delicious!

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  26. i am obsessed with meal prepping. i take chicken and veggies to work with me everyday, as well as 3-4 additional small meals. my Tupperware collection is slightly embarrassing, but the 3-4 hours it takes to meal prep on a Sunday afternoon for the week is SO worth it!

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  27. I've been trying to eat healthier but need to get better at meal prepping. It seems like every weekend I tell myself I'm going to prep on Sunday but then we're just so busy!

    i love juicing, but my recipes are still mostly fruit. I need to up the vegetables a bit, but I'm still too afraid it will taste too much like veggies.

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  28. Love it! I need to start doing this. Mostly because I will never eat a salad during lunch if I haven't prepared it. I am usually sprinting out of the door and don't have time for all that jazz. What a good idea. And I have about 500 bazillion mason jars from our wedding. Cha chhhhing!

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  29. I love the salad idea! Do you buy canned chickpeas or cook them yourself? Also, so you make your own dressing? I've been looking for some healthy dressings.

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  30. This is amazing! I have mason jars and I'm always lost when it comes to what I'm going to eat for lunch. This is perfect; thanks for sharing!

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  31. This is SUCH a good idea!

    Hope you're having a wonderful day!
    -Sheree
    The Hartungs Blog
    thehartungs.blogspot.ca

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  32. I love this idea. Salads that made and ready, so perfect for work!! I will be doing this!

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  33. I'm cheap/broke so I have to plan out my lunches for work. Lately I've been making turkey wraps. I can make about six wraps, then I freeze half and eat half that week. I just made tomorrow's lunch: added ramen noodles to some hot and sour soup I had made and frozen. I'm a big fan of making things and then freezing most of it.

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  34. Love your chalkboard! The meal planning is great. And the notes on your iPhone for grocery lists.. um... when I read this I wanted to face palm myself haha.. I have no idea why I haven't used that yet... especially since I always loose my list in my purse, but find the list from 2 weeks prior.. I think it's time I also clean out my purse... :)

    Have a great one girl!

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  35. That is GENIUS! I try to plan my meals for the week also, and tend to purchase meat in bulk so it's cheaper and freeze it, but I also tend to slack on my lunches. I will have to try this!

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  36. Great idea! I most definitely do not eat enough vegetables, so this is a good way to eat more throughout the week!

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