Commence My Yearly Organizational Freak Out Oh and I Made Mason Jar Salads

If this post seems a bit spastic, I want to apologize. This is the time of year that I start organizing drawers, cabinets, and closets. I also try to purge what we are no longer using and start making list upon list of things that need to be bought and organized.
Why all the craziness? School is starting soon. I have always treated the beginning of the academic year as my own personal January 1st. I will sometimes still make New Year’s Resolutions in January, but I have always felt that September is a great time of year to start with new routines.
Last day of school last year.
Last year, I panicked a little bit about our entry storage. I knew that with kids starting school and sports they would be bringing home all kinds of things that would need to be storied. I did some major organization in our front hall with converting our closet to one with hooks and a bench and baskets for the kids to easily put away their things. I also created like a command center by using an old dresser.
This year, I started to panic about the kitchen.
I was filling out the calendar with some upcoming events and schedules, and I realized there are going to be a lot of nights that we will be eating dinner in a hurry. Then, I looked at the pick up schedule for the day, and I realized that there will be a lot of running around in the middle of the day too.
That is when I decided it was time I organize every kitchen cabinet, clean out the fridge and freezer and start some batch cooking.


I scoured the internet looking for lunch ideas and I of course found the crazy popular phenomenon of Mason Jar Salads.
They are EVERYWHERE, and now they are in my fridge too!
I decided to try my hand at these delicious looking and healthy lunches (and in a pinch dinner).
I was able to find Mason jars pretty easily. This is a great time to buy them as people are harvesting from their gardens and pickling all kinds of veggies. I got a box twelve 32oz jars at Target for ten bucks.
I washed them thoroughly and made sure they were COMPLETELY dry. Nothing wilts a salad faster than added moisture.
Next, I prepped all of my veggies. I wash, dried, sliced and chopped everything I would need.
Then, I poured about one or two tablespoons of my favorite dressings in the bottom of the jars.
Next, I started stacking. I hunted around the internet looking for the best way to stack, and here is what I found:
– Hearty veggies first. Carrots, cucumbers, unsliced grape tomatoes, or peppers. These veggies will hold up in the dressing, also will taste delicious as they have been marinating in it for awhile.
– Next comes proteins, grains or cheeses. These will help to create a barrier for the lettuce to keep it dry.
– Last is the lettuce or in my case spinach.
– Last put a tiny piece of paper towel on top of the lettuce and close up the jar. The paper towel will help to draw out any extra moisture, but don’t forget to remove it before you shake up your salad to eat it.
I made a few of my favorite salads for the week. I made Mexican quinoa salad, which didn’t really need to be stacked as it contains no lettuce and hearty veggies.
Then, I put together a basic garden salad with balsamic dressing.
Next, up was strawberry vinaigrette, chicken, goat cheese, cucumbers, whole strawberries and spinach.
Finally, I made a more elaborate Caprese salad with extra veggies and fresh mozzarella and mixed in some basil with the spinach.
Put the jars in your fridge. The next time you are hungry, grab a jar and a fork, shake up the salad with the dressing and have a delicious and healthy lunch.
This is a routine I can get used to!
Anyone else freaking out about the start of school?

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