Let’s talk salads….

Since I’ve moved to the desert, I’m trying to find new and awesome salads to eat for the summer. I know when it’s 100+ degrees outside, I just won’t want a hot soup. Here I’m sharing my favorite salad recipes and tips for mason jar salads that are perfect for work, school, on-the-go meals.

Salad Greens

1. Kale: Hands down, this is my favorite salad green. I buy the dinosaur or lacinato kale. It’s a milder green, doesn’t have to be cooked and holds up to salad dressings without becoming soggy. A couple of tips here:

  • Always remove all the stems from the kale. For this reason, I never buy the chopped kale in a bag because I have to pick over each piece one at a time and remove quite a bit of stems. Buy the kale unchopped to save money and use these kitchen shears to cut it off of the stem and chop for salads.
  • Take the chopped kale and place in a large ziploc or reusable ziploc-type bag and massage the dressing into the kale.

2. Arugula: This green is surprisingly very nutritious. It’s a cruciferous veggie (ya know, the ones with all kinds of good stuff in them) and a member of the mustard family. As an added bonus you can find this in the grocery store year round and it still tastes good.

Kale and Arugula are my top 2 salad greens. I don’t mind lettuce, but these provide so much added nutrition that I have these when I can. I don’t really like raw spinach salads. If I use spinach in a salad, I always toss with a warm dressing to wilt the spinach. Tastes much better to me.

Favorite Salad Recipes: Click the links below for my all-time favorite salad recipes.

1. Rachael Ray’s Statement Salad: I sub the smoked sundried dried tomatoes in this recipe. It gives the salad more of a Southwestern flavor.

2. Panera’s Green Goddess Cobb Salad. I’ve linked to a copycat recipe, but I highly recommend making Panera’s green goddess dressing or just go to Panera. This salad will not disappoint.

3. Asian Cabbage Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing: Turns out I DO like cabbage, who knew?! I just can’t eat it when it’s cooked nor when it’s slathered in mayo. But this….this salad is amazeballs.

4. Sandy’s Kitchen Caprese Salad: I love love love fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and basil. I hate raw tomatoes. Easy solution: roast tomatoes in the oven before using in this salad. Beautiful!

5. Sandy’s Kitchen Shrimp Salad with Peanut Dressing: I love love love shrimp. This salad feels so decadent with shrimp and the peanut butter dressing, but it’s totally healthy. Buy pre-cooked shrimp to make this salad super easy to make.

Salads in a Jar:

Jar salads make quick work of meal prep and having a grab and go option for work. Just make sure you assemble them correctly so they don’t end up a soggy mess.

How to make a Mason Jar salad?

Click here for instructions on how to build a salad in a jar.

Favorite Jar Salad Recipes:

1. Did Someone Say Sushi? Check out this recipe for a deconstructed sushi salad. I’m wondering if you could use riced cauliflower in place of the brown rice. I’m gonna have to try that.

2. Not a fan of Sushi? No problem. How about a quinoa salad that is sure please almost everyone. As an added bonus, this recipe makes 3 servings so you can have lunch or dinner for the family or lunch for a few days.

3. Mmmmmm avocado dressing. I’m sold. And if you’re doing low-carb or keto, you could swap out the black beans for cheese (queso fresco would be my top choice, but hey, it’s cheese so just about any kind of cheese would be awesome). Also, sub in smoked sun-dried tomatoes in place of raw tomatoes (’cause remember, I hate raw tomatoes) and OMG what a lunch! I’m hungry just thinking about this salad.

4. My love for avocados is trumped only by my love for bacon. So salty, so crispy, so awesome. This BLT salad in a jar is classic, easy and amazing. The hard part will be saving the bacon for the salad instead of just eating it straight out of the oven. If you’re not cooking bacon in the oven, try it. It’s so much easier.

5. And to finish it off…..dessert. How about a No Bake Key Lime Pie in a Jar? Yes please!! So creamy, so decadent, so tangy. Love this so much.

Looking for a great set to make your salads and take for lunch at work and/or school? Check out this Make and Take Set. There is even a cup for water to help you stay hydrated.

I need more recipes in my life! Share your favorite links for salad recipes.

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