Food here is sort of a big thing. I have found when I neglect this part of my mothering, I end up with crabby kids.
My most recent discovery is packing washed and cut romaine lettuce in wide mouth canning jars and vacuum packing them. It is very easy to do with my Foodsaver vacuum packer. I started doing this about 3 weeks ago. The amount of salad the family is consuming has tripled. We now regularly go through 5 large heads of romaine lettuce. I buy the romaine at a wholesale vegetable store, look for white bottoms of the head of lettuce (indicating freshness), bring it home and pack it up. The whole family helps out with different stations/jobs. One washes, I cut, one scoops into the salad spinner and dries, the lettuce goes into a big bowl and is then packed into jars, then vacuum packed and into the frig. The lettuce lasts 10-14 days this way.
It has been wonderful for meal prep. Absolutely wonderful! I grab a couple jars and some toppings and we have a fresh salad on the table.
I have also been making homemade dressings. They taste so much better than the store bought. I have been making salad dressing for a while but we had glop problems because I was making them in canning jars. #4 and #5 regularly had "ranch floods" on their plates. I found at Gordon's Food Service squeeze bottles. The opening of the bottles were wide mouth so it is easy to pour dressing after it has been made.
DH thinks a salad isn't a salad without croutons. I learned how to make croutons. I now have a use for all those bread crusts and ends that the kids won't eat. After I make a batch, normally an entire loaf of bread worth, I also vacuum pack them in mason jars. With the whole family eating croutons the jars are regularly empty! I know I hit upon a good way to make them when the 16 year old said at lunch yesterday, "These are the best croutons Mom."
Salad-in-a-jar.com has other great ideas.
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