Salad to Go | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Salad to Go 

Published September 1, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

click to enlarge ERINN SIMON
  • Erinn Simon

It's my job to figure out what the 40-plus toddlers and preschoolers at the Burlington Children's Space should eat for lunch — and I'm pretty good at it. But I still struggle with fresh ideas for my own kids' midday meal. Every September I find myself wondering yet again what the heck to pack in their lunch boxes.

click to enlarge ERINN SIMON
  • Erinn Simon

We are just as rushed as everyone else on weekday mornings, so the kids' lunches have to be easy to prepare. It helps if they're visually appealing; the kids will likely ignore a peanut-butter sandwich that's been squashed under an apple all morning. Of course, the cook in me wants the food to be delicious, too.

This year, just as I was beginning to doubt there was a packable lunch that met all those requirements, I turned to Pinterest — and found salad in a jar.

The Mason jar is ubiquitous on the internet these days, filled with everything from breakfast smoothies to wedding favors. Using it as a salad container is a simple and brilliant idea.

You can pack dressing and salad together by layering ingredients from the heartiest to the lightest, with dressing on the bottom, so your fixings stay fresh and crunchy. And you can mix and match ingredients depending on your kids' likes and dislikes. If you don't want to use a glass jar because your kids are young (if their school doesn't allow glass containers), just use any tall container with a tight seal.

Kids can dig right in, shaking up the jar so that the dressing is distributed and eating the salad "upside down," or turning it out onto a plate or bowl. Add some bread, crackers or tortilla chips and fruit, and you're done. Easy, healthy, fresh and delicious. You might even want to make an extra one for yourself. K

Salad in a Jar

This is not so much a recipe as a set of suggestions. (I made a southwestern salad with homemade spicy ranch dressing.) Just follow the basic guidelines — and have fun!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Mason jar or similar container with a tight seal, at least 4 inches deep
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite dressing (see right for ranch recipe)
  • 2 cups assorted veggies, protein and garnishes, layered from the heartiest to the lightest

Directions:

  1. Pour your dressing into the jar.
  2. Next, layer your salad components. I started with chickpeas and black beans, followed by cubed cheddar cheese, shredded carrots, diced cucumbers, black olives and romaine lettuce. You could also use firm, cubed tofu, sunflower seeds, cooked chicken, grapes, raisins or Craisins, quinoa, farro or brown rice, and nuts (if their school allows them). If your kids aren't into leafy greens, just omit them and sub in veggies they do like.

Spicy Southwest Ranch Dressing:

Makes about 1 cup; keeps in the fridge for up to a week

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain full-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried dill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a small bowl and mix well. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking until fully incorporated.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Erinn Simon

Bio:
Erinn Simon blogs for Kids VT.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation