As part of our new way of eating for 2013, we’ll be doing our best to up the leafy greens in our daily diet and cut the meat at least one day a week. Given we’re HUGE fried chicken lovers (with a honkin’ side of steak, of course) combined with our busy schedules, this new found culinary plan has potential of being quite a challenge. But when it comes to our health we refuse to give up, so we consider this awesome idea a HUGE kick start in healthier living but without the added headache or expense of pricey meal plans. We’ve taken the old “Shake n’ Bake” adage and repurposed it into “Shake & Take”! Ready to get your health kick on while squeezing in an arm workout too? Then Lets Do The DIY Thang, shall we? First up is everyone’s favorite southern beverage holder, the Mason Jar! The rest, dear kiddies, is pretty much up to you – fill it with Cobb goodness or maybe a bit of Waldorf wonder. The key to making a great Shake & Take salad is (wait for it) LAYERING. Your first and bottom layer should ALWAYS be your dressing. Then add the heavier ingredients that can still stay intact while being submerged in dressing. (ie. beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, onion, etc.). Next, pop in your items that are substantial in texture but may not do so well sitting dressing when stored like avocado, oranges and mushrooms. Your leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, and our personal fave, rocket (aka: arugula) should follow, topped with any accent items you prefer such as quinoa, nuts or croutons.
What’s great about the last few layers is that they won’t get soggy in the dressing and help to weigh the down the greens a bit to fit in more yummy goodness. These salads are great to make in advance for a quick lunch packed with healthy options to-go and should last up to a week when refrigerated. At the very least, a solid 4 days…depending on ingredients. Once you’ve reached your final destination, you can either shake it like a polaroid picture or unscrew the cap and dump in a bowl. Because of that oh-so-particular layering, your greens are crisp, the accents are still fresh and that yummy dressing’s applied perfectly. Could it get any better? Why yes, in fact, all set to the power of you. When it comes to the Shake & Take theory, the possibilites (and flavors) are endless. Don’t just stop at salads on the go….you can create a week’s worth of pre-prepped meals for the week and store in the fridge until it’s time to eat! Whether it’s a quick quinoa stir-fry or a meaty marinate, you can take the guess work & prep out of the whole “whats for dinner tonight” dilema. Let this an easy solution to your new year’s resolution of eating healthier – grab a mason jar, fill to your heart’s content and shake it baby, shake it!