Cooking in College: Mason jars aren’t just for jams

Some people have complained about how expensive salads are on campus and how annoying they are to transport to class, so I thought I’d share a little tale of the salad-who-could. This little salad started its life in a Mason jar. He didn’t understand the way he was built, as his dressing did not dissolve the leafy greens he contained and he was left uneaten for days. Yet, his 20-ounce jar was his home. On that day that he was the chosen one, he did take much delight in the foretold “shakening” and let all parts of himself delight in the dance of the Salad Toss.



One can make up to five days’ worth of lunches at one time with this recipe. To start, one will need a few 20 ounce self-sealing Mason jars, which can be found at most grocery stores. Then gather your preferred ingredients.

The trick is to make a parfait of your favorite dressing, juicy veggies and hearty bits, meat that can be served cold, some type of cheese, leafy greens, and pretty much whatever else you want in there. Just make sure they’re added to the jar in the order shown below. For larger items, make sure you cut them into cubes or wedges for optimal edibility. The best part of this recipe is that you can make so many different variations depending on your preferences!

Seal, keep refrigerated and when the time comes, shake that sucker up and enjoy!


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Layer 1: Your choice of dressing — about a quarter-inch high when poured into the bottom of the jar. Add or subtract the amount based on your dressing habits.

Layer 2: Heartier bits and juicy veggies — tomatoes, pickles, olives, beans, chickpeas, etc.

Layer 3: Meats — salami, pepperoni, imitation crab, ham or pretty much whatever won’t need to be heated!

Layer 4: Cheeses — grated parmesan, pepper jack cubes, crumbled feta, etc.

Layer 5: Leafy greens — spring mix, spinach, iceberg, etc. This layer should take up about half of the jar and must not be tightly packed.

Layer 6: Light toppings — bacon bits, croutons, anything that won’t weigh the greens down.