Salad for a Week

A while back, my friend, Judy, sent me a link to Salad in a Jar.  Why didn’t I think of that?  Most nights I plan to fix a salad and then it’s almost time to put dinner on the table and I haven’t made the salad; the sink is full of either dirty or clean dishes so I have no place to wash the salad ingredients; or I get the lettuce out and realize it’s been in the fridge too long, so we end up not having salads.

When Judy sent me the link, I couldn’t wait to try it but I had a problem.

Both ends of the hose are supposed to have that little gizmo and during the move, one end was broken.  We have two hoses so while at the grocery store Sunday evening, I bought all the makings for a big salad, thinking I would find the second hose.  Didn’t happen. I’ve ordered a new hose but it isn’t here yet.  The piece on the left fits over wide mouth jars and the piece on the right fits over the regular mouth jars.

While at Wal-Mart yesterday, I found this little gizmo.

This little hand held sealer is designed to work with these bags.  It took some work but I did get it to work with the jar lids and actually had better luck with the jar lids than I did with the baggies.

One bag of leaf lettuce, washed and torn, filled 3 quarts and 4 pints of salad. We will share the quarts for dinner and the pints will either go in Vince’s lunch or I will have them for lunch.  There has to be a cucumber hiding in my fridge but I surely could not find it so I added sliced radishes, carrots, tomatoes and black olives.  (Some of the lettuce looks brown in the jars but it’s actually a reflection of the tomatoes.)

I will monitor the freshness as we progress through the next week.  I have no idea if adding the tomatoes, olives, carrots and radishes will cause the lettuce to get soggy or go bad faster but there’s one way to find out — try it!

All we have to do is grab a jar, add whatever we want to add — maybe ham, boiled egg, sprouts, plus a little dressing and we will have a fantastic salad with no effort at all!  Pretty smart, huh?

Thanks Judy for sending me the link!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I like that idea! My husband and daughter both go on salad kicks and never make it through the bag before it wilts. Can you re use the jar lids for the next batch of salad, or do they have to be new ones each time?

    • 1.1

      says

      While I don’t re-use the lids when pressure canning food, I do re-use lids for vacuum sealing. I will put an “X” on top of them using a Sharpie so that I don’t accidentally use them for pressure canning. I also keep them in a separate ziploc bag so I know which ones to re-use and which ones not to re-use. I’ve used some of the lids 5 or 6 times before they didn’t want to seal again.

  2. 3

    SharO says

    awesome idea. I hope my jar sealer will workas I’ve never tried it. Can’t wait to get at it tonight.

  3. 4

    says

    WOW! I have a jar sealer… never used that thing. Do please keep us posted on how this works. It would be so nice to make the bag of salad last a little longer… especially since it is SOOOOOO expensive now.

    KAT in Tamale Land

  4. 5

    Pauline in PA says

    I stopped buying washed lettuce as it does go bad very quickly. I get 2 different heads of lettuce and sometimes spinach, wash it, spin it out in my lettuce spinner and wrap it in paper towel layers and put in a big plastic bag. It lasts all week as we also eat salads every night. I don’t have a jar sealer but Tupperware does keep chopped veggies fresh for a few days too.

    • 5.1

      says

      The lady whose blog I referenced did a test of storing lettuce in a bag, in an unsealed jar and in a sealed jar and it lasted quite a bit longer in the sealed jar. As long as you’re using it all before it goes bad, that’s what matters.

  5. 6

    Debbie R. says

    I don’t have a jar sealer but have used Ziploc vacuum bags never thought about sealing the lettuce…. will have to look for the jar sealer… will be watching to see how the salad lasts in the jar… I just last week had to throw some lettuce out… then didn’t buy more because I was mad at myself..

    • 6.1

      says

      For me, it’s also a matter of getting all the stuff out and making the salad. If this works and all I have to do is open a jar and everything is already in there, I will be so happy!

  6. 7

    says

    I also don’t buy washed lettuce. I’m to scared of not washing it so why pay more and in the stores where I’ve shopped, the washed in the bag never looks as fresh as does the leaf lettuce.

  7. 8

    Sherry says

    I found this or a similar article on the web about a month ago and since we already have the big sealing machine, the same one they used, and we hate the waste of lettuce because it browns so quickly, we gave it a try and it works like a charm. We have three week old lettuce, knife cut, and sealed in jars and it is amazing! Don’t know why I didn’t think to send you the article but glad that someone else did. What a great moneysaver.

  8. 9

    says

    That sounds like a great idea and I’ll be watching for your report. Not sure if it really matters – but one thing I would do differently is put all the ‘heavy stuff’ in the jar first and then add the lettuce… so it wouldn’t get squashed.
    I usually wash a head of romain and wrap in a barely damp cotton towel and keep in the fridge. This keeps much better than any of the other methods we’ve tried – I just sprinkle the towel with water if it dries out. I also don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets on my towels so they are clean and chemical free for use with food.
    Looking forward to see your results – now I’ll go check out the web site.

    • 9.1

      says

      I packed the lettuce in pretty tight to start with but figured if there ended up a bit of liquid in the bottom of the jars, I didn’t want the carrots, radishes and tomatoes sitting in the liquid. I can always toss out a few sprigs of lettuce if needed but didn’t want to have to toss out the other veggies. I will be sure to post pictures so you can all see how it holds up.

  9. 10

    Diana in TX says

    Will be interested to see how it works with at the veggies you put in. Would love to do that for Dad. Get smaller jars and have it all ready for him. He likes salads but doesn’t always fix them for himself. It’s crazy for him to buy all the ingredients so i usually share the lettuce etc with him. Always make sure we have a salad when he eats with us, but that’s once or twice a week.

  10. 11

    says

    What a cool (sic) idea! The only thing that would concern me, and you’ll have to let me know how it goes, is that I’ve been told to never refrigerate tomatoes. I guess they break down more readily in the cold. Cherry tomatoes, all intact though, might be fine.

  11. 12

    Terri says

    Well I can’t wait to see how this turns out. I’ve been looking high and low for the jar sealer attachment and a bowl/lid to store lettuce in but can’t find one anywhere! Guess it’s time for good ole Amazon.com lol. I never would have thought to put together little salads in the jars! Making salad for 1 (I have a hard time with lettuce) is just way more trouble than it’s worth, drag out all that stuff for 1 little salad. But now I can make several. Thanks for passing on this idea!!

  12. 13

    BFromM says

    What a great idea! Your description of wanting to have a salad for dinner sounds just like me! I’m always running into the same obstacles! One of those sealer thingies would be worth it if it works for salad. I will definitely be reading and watching for your results. (I read everything anyway, but now I’ll have to read it twice!)

    • 13.1

      Sherry says

      The sealer was originally purchased to freeze meats so there would be no air left in the package which means freezer burn after a short while. It works perfectly for sealing meats so getting it to work for lettuce is a bonus.

  13. 15

    Linda says

    Great idea! Sadly, we don’t get enough salad around here, as I end up throwing out nasty looking lettuce. This looks promising.

  14. 16

    says

    I’ve been vacu-sealing lettuce for a long time and it really does keep a LOT longer. I also like to bring salads to work and what has worked well is to put all the chopped veggies in the bottom and mix them with the dressing then I loosely pile the lettuce on top of that. It makes a perfect salad – still very crisp at lunch time.

  15. 17

    says

    I have one of the little sealers….one of the best things I have purchased…..those bags come in two sizes….I keep all my cheese, cooked meats and cold cuts, fresh veges in them….since i have started using it, alot less of those items go to waste…..and the bags can be resealed as many times as needed.

  16. 18

    barbara says

    in your picture, it looks like the jars are covered with regular canning lids. is that wrong? i thought the sealer only works with it’s own lids, which are very bumpy and can only be used once.

    • 18.1

      says

      The beauty of the food saver vacuum is that you use regular or wide mouth canning lids and the same ones can be used over and over again!

  17. 19

    says

    I absolutely love my vacuum food sealer and have both of the jar size sealers for it. For years, I’ve put lettuce or salads or melon chunks in my 1 gallon canister and after sealing it, put it in the fridge. Keeps the melons or lettuce fresh so much longer!! I also keep my vacuum sealer out on the counter so I WILL use it! For me, if it’s tucked away in a cupboard, it won’t get nearly the use it gets when I see it there all ready to use!

  18. 20

    LisaS says

    I can’t wait to find out how this experiment goes. I’ve been considering asking for one of the sealer machines for Christmas. This might put me over the hump.

  19. 21

    says

    Thanks for that tip – had never thought of using the sealer for lettuce. What a good idea as I too have trouble keeping lettuce good and it is never ready when I need it so we skip salad often too. Am going to give it a try too.

  20. 22

    LInda in NE says

    Great idea if it works as advertised. The lettuce always get brown so quickly and fixing a salad for dinner every day gets to be a chore.

  21. 23

    Diane says

    I will be trying this! I think the jar would be good for when it comes time to put the dressing on, you can just put it in the jar replace the lid and shake. It will make the dressing get on every little shred and probably use less dressing.
    Years ago when my kids were little we might stop at Wendys and get a side salad and the kids never thought they got enough dressing. After putting it on the top, resealing, shaking, we were surprised at how much there really was.

  22. 24

    Sara in AL says

    Told my Mom about this. She pointed out to me that tomatos give off a gas, like apples do when they have been picked. She said that the gas causes greens to turn brown. Maybe someone else knows more about this than I do.
    (excuse errors, hand surgery today, typing with one hand.)

  23. 26

    Susan-North Idaho says

    I too use the Foodsaver Vacumn Jars for salads. It keeps for at least a week. I did find that cut up tomatoes and cucumbers do better stored separately. Too much liquid. I also shred broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower for my fresh doggie food and store that mixture in the jars for over a week, and that is using them everynight and then resealing. Great kitchen tool.