Who has a New Years resolution that involves eating better, being more organized, and/or saving more money? If so, then meal prep can help… and one of my favorite meal prep meals types is the Mason jar salad! Once you know the formula, it’s easy to modify and make your own, which is why I teach it in my book, The Gutsy By Nature Meal Prep Method.
Why meal prep?
The idea of preparing all or many of your meals at the start of the week and then packaging them into individual meal sized servings is popular among folks who are “dieting” to lose weight, because it creates a built-in portion control system. There is certainly validity to that as an incentive, but I see a long list of other benefits, including:
- Portability for busy people who can’t eat every meal at home
- Time saved during the week, when you don’t want to cook
- Cost savings over buying pre-made and packaged foods, or eating lunch out
- Less decision making required during the week
- Much easier to stick to whatever eating plan or special protocol you are following, including AIP
Isn’t meal prep a lot of work?
It doesn’t have to be! Yes, you need to set aside some time at the beginning of the week (Sunday is a popular choice for people who work standard office schedules), but if you plan ahead and are organized, you can get a lot done in a short amount of time.
Looking for meal prep training?
I created an affordable ebook that teaches my personally fine-tuned method for planning an executing a meal prep session. It includes instruction, printable worksheets, and a “done-for-you” prep plan with recipes and a shopping list to get you started. Because that first volume was so well received, I created a second follow-up “done-for-you” prep plan which is 100% AIP compliant. Both are now available as a reduce price bundle. Learn all about that here!
Here is a free bonus recipe for you to use in your meal prep sessions to kick off the new year! I love including Mason jar salads as part of my weekly meal prep plan. When you are ready to eat, you simply flip the contents out into a bowl so that the dressing ends up coating the vegetables, protein, and lettuce.
Balsamic Steak Mason Jar Salad Recipe
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 8-10 ounce New York strip steak or similar cut
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 4 carrots, cleaned and cut into coins
- 12 small radishes, cleaned and sliced
- 4 clery ribs, chopped
- 2 romaine lettuce hearts, or 1 full head, cut into bite sized pieces
- In a small jar with a lid, place garlic, onion, oregano, salt, and water. Set aside while you prepare the steak.
- Season steak liberally with salt. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add coconut oil. When oil is hot, sear steak in skillet for 3-4 minutes on one side. Flip and sear for 3-4 minutes on the other side. (This will result in a medium-rare steak. Cook longer if you prefer it more well done). Remove from pan and set aside to rest.
- Prepare carrots, radishes, and celery as indicated or desired.
- To small jar with dressing seasonings, add vinegars, olive oil, and anchovy paste. Shake vigorously to combine.
- Slice the steak in half lengthwise then cut slice against the grain into pieces about ¼ inch thick.
- Distribute dressing evenly among 4 quart sized Mason jars. Then layer, in this order: carrots, celery, radishes, steak pieces, and lettuce.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to eat. Serve by inverting contents into a large bowl.
For more guidance, worksheets, and recipes for meal prepping – please consider purchasing the ebook. I would sincerely appreciate it, as that small bit of revenue makes a big difference in helping defray the costs of creating these recipes each week and maintaining a blog to share them with you. I thank you in advance!
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