Can y’all believe Thanksgiving is this Thursday?? I mean, I knew it was coming, but dang it came up quick!! I think the unseasonably warm weather last week tricked me into thinking that November was just beginning. But the frosty wind the past couple of mornings has brought the reality that Thanksgiving is vastly approaching. And I’m so incredibly excited about it!!!!! This will be our first Thanksgiving together in our own house. This time last year, we had just moved down to Texas (and my car had been run into within 12 hours of being here – yeah, that was a great welcome to Texas…), and we had Thanksgiving with some friends. It’s crazy to think that it’s already been a year. So much has happened, and I never could’ve guessed where we would be a year later, but I’m so thankful for where we are and for every step along the way. It gets me all sentimental wondering what the next year has in store for us. Time will tell!
But back to the main event here.
Thanksgiving is the bomb dot-com. It’s not Christmas, but it’s like the tailgate party before the big game. It’s what officially kicks off the holiday season. Growing up, it was the green flag to go ahead and deck the entire house out in Christmas swag, listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies, and begin the cookie making and pretzel dipping for all of the twenty million treat bags we would give to anyone and everyone – I’m talking friends, family, teachers, the school janitors – everybody. (Christmas was a big deal for me growing up in case you somehow missed the blatantly obvious) This year we’ll carry on Thanksgiving tradition by watching the parade and the dog show and football while I cook. And cook. And cook. It’s a bummer we won’t be with family this year. But I figure one of these years we’ll get everyone to come down here for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Maybe by then we’ll have the house outfitted with a couch big enough to fit everyone in the living room!
With the holiday season revving up, I can’t afford to waste a single free moment. Because honestly, there are very few actual free moments. Meal planning is something that I’ve consistently been doing for the past 4 or 5 years, and it’s now just part of my life. But I’d say that during the holiday season, it’s that much more important. Because I work late some nights, I don’t get to come home and leisurely cook dinner. I need to have something ready to go for my husband (I’m sure he could survive on his own, but I’m here and my job is to feed everyone around me, so there ya have it), and I need a plan. Because the last thing I want to do is come home from work at 10 and figure out what I’m eating for lunch the next day. Which leads me to an awesome method of packing salads for lunch. And my love of mason jars. I’m sure people have been doing this forever and I’m just now catching on, but it’s cool so I’m still going to talk about it, K? K.
Pretty much what you do is you take a quart size mason jar and fill it with all of your salad ingredients in the opposite order you would put them together in a salad. You start with your dressing, then add your toppings, and then you add your lettuce at the end so that it doesn’t get soggy sitting in the dressing. And that way, you don’t have to bring one of those tiny containers to hold your salad dressing that ultimately leaks oil ALL over the inside of your lunch box, coating every single tiny nook and cranny that you can never truly fully remove. This has been my sole turn-off to bringing salads to work in the past. That and wilty lettuce. Because who actually enjoys wilty lettuce?? But with this, all you have to do is pour everything into a bowl and stir it around. It’s so AWESOME!! If you can manage to spare the time at the beginning of the week to assemble all of the working parts that go into said salad, it becomes an incredibly easy portable lunch idea. And I’m always on the lookout for more ideas. My salad is slightly tweaked from Danielle Walkers salad for simplicity’s sake. You could definitely add chicken to this salad if you wanted to. I was just running out of time to get everything together. And sorry for the so-so picture. It was late, and it was either a so-so picutre, or no picture at all!
Mason Jar Salad
1 large head romaine lettuce, shredded
10 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
5 slices of bacon, chopped
1 avocado, diced
1 cup grilled/marinated artichokes, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I completely spaced this part in mine – it was a late night)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 basil leaves (I honestly just grabbed a handful)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
dash of pepper (you can add more of the salt and pepper if it’s not quite enough for you)
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a food processor, and add about 1/5 into each mason jar.
- Divide your topping ingredients between the 5 jars and add them next.
- Fill the remaining space of each jar with the lettuce.
- That’s it! Now you have lunch for the week!
The original recipe can be found here.