It’s been about a week and a half since I started the One a Day Project! In case you missed the last post, the goal behind this whole thing is to drink one smoothie and eat one salad every single day so that we can eat healthier and get lots of fruits and veggies in our bodies!
There are several things I have learned from this experience so far, but the following is the first and most important: I don’t like radishes.
RADISHEESSSS. I proooobably should have tried one before prepping all of my mason jar salads with them…but I didn’t. So I had to pick each little radish slice out every day. Grr.
But oh well. You live and you learn #amIright?
Let me tell you one other thing before I dive in.
I had SO. MANY. PICTURES. of this mason jar salad process. I loved doing it the first week, so I decided to document the whole process this week so I could show everyone how it’s done.
I mean I had dressing pictures, chopped veggie pictures, step by step pictures of each layer that goes into the jars, and several of the finished salads.
I attempted to upload them to my computer, and either my laptop or my CF card reader decided to ruin my day (not really…I’m being very dramatic) and deleted ALL THE PICTURES. So then I had to go back and pull the completed mason jar salads out of the fridge and just re-photograph the finished project.
So this week doesn’t have many pictures, but I’ll take step-by-steps again next week and pray that my computer and card reader behave.
Or they will go in the trash.
After being demolished with a baseball bat.
It doesn’t look like there’s much dressing at the bottom in this picture, but that’s just because I’m tipping the jar backwards to give you a good shot of the ingredients.
Okay! So I am going to start with the salads and smoothies from last week.
#1: Romaine lettuce, spinach, 1 hard boiled egg, turkey bacon, chickpeas, carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, radishes (MISTAKE), and Greek yogurt ranch.
#2. Arugula, spinach, radishes (MISTAKE), chickpeas, bell peppers, feta cheese, broccoli, walnuts, dijon vinaigrette.
#3. Romaine lettuce, spinach, feta, chickpeas, cucumbers, broccoli, sunflower seeds, Greek dressing.
#4. Arugula, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, radishes (MISTAKE), bell peppers, hard boiled egg, feta cheese, turkey bacon, sunflower seeds, walnuts, broccoli, Greek yogurt ranch.
#5. Arugula, spinach, hard boiled egg, walnuts, broccoli mix, celery, radishes (MISTAKE), cucumbers, dijon vinaigrette.
#6. Romaine lettuce, spinach, black beans, peppers, southwest Greek yogurt ranch.
Greek yogurt ranch: Greek yogurt, milk, ranch dressing mix. The amounts here will depend on the consistency you prefer for your ranch. Whisk the yogurt and milk together until you get the thickness that you want, and then add the ranch mix to taste.
Dijon vinaigrette: 1 part champagne vinegar (I just had this in my pantry, you can use another type of vinegar or lemon juice and it will be just as good), 2 parts extra virgin olive oil, a little dijon mustard, salt, pepper, dried oregano.
Greek dressing: 1 part red wine vinegar, 2 parts extra virgin olive oil, dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley, a little dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
Southwest Greek yogurt ranch: Start with a base of Greek yogurt ranch and add a little cumin, chili powder, and salsa to taste.
#1. Mixed berries, banana, Greek yogurt, spinach, water/coconut water
#2. Peaches, banana, strawberries, Greek yogurt, water/coconut water
#3. Strawberries, banana, spinach, Greek yogurt, water/coconut water
So as for the salads – they were all absolutely delicious. Here are the positives and negatives:
Positives – great flavors, a lot going on so you don’t get sick of eating salads, a good variety of dressings, lots of yummy veggies, good protein from the chickpeas and black beans.
Negatives – the broccoli started to get a little sketchy by the end of the week, the olive oil would solidify in the fridge a little bit (this wasn’t a big deal to me, it seemed to go back to normal-ish by the time you take everything out of the jar and stir it around), and radishes = blech.
The smoothies were all super yummy too. My favorite by far is the first combination: mixed berries, banana, Greek yogurt, spinach, and water.
I have always made my smoothies with coconut water, but recently I bought a brand at the grocery store that was just overwhelming in coconut flavor. The kind I used to buy just tastes fresh and bright, not super coconut-y. So I just used water as my liquid for the entire week. Just enough to get things moving around in the blender.
So this week when it was time to prep again, I decided to go really simple and see if I get sick of the salads then. I took out several of the ingredients, and only used spinach and romaine – no arugula.
Rather than making six that were all a little different, I just created two varieties.
#1. Romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, celery, hard boiled egg, sunflower seeds, Greek yogurt ranch.
#2. Romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, creamy balsamic vinaigrette.
Greek yogurt ranch: recipe listed earlier in the post
Creamy balsamic vinagrette: 1 part balsamic vinegar, 2 parts extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and a little mayo. Blend until creamy
I made three of each salad this week.
I will let you know how this batch goes!
Now as for the assembly of the mason jar salads – there is a particular way to do it so that your ingredients stay fresh.
Here are the order of layers you should try and stick to:
Layer 1 (very bottom): dressing
Layer 2: hardest items that won’t get soggy as easily – carrots, peppers, beans, onion, etc…
Layer 3: softer items – nuts, seeds, hard boiled eggs, bacon (or turkey bacon), any type of meat, broccoli, cheese, etc…
Layer 4 (very top): greens
Screw your lid on tight and make sure you store in an upright position so the dressing doesn’t seep into the other layers.
My salads all stayed fresh for over a week. The broccoli was the only thing that got a little sketchy (like I said earlier), but I think moving it up to layer 3 would prevent that in the future.
I was kind of under the impression that I would be able to eat the salad out of the mason jar, but I had way too many ingredients packed in there – it was too tight. I just dumped mine out in to a big bowl every day and ate it, which was totally fine.
So – my thoughts on this project so far.
I am absolutely LOVING it. I love everything about it. I love that I don’t have to think about breakfast and lunch every day – I already know I’m having a smoothie for breakfast, and I already have a yummy salad prepped for lunch.
It makes me feel great eating so healthy. In fact, my body is getting so used to eating so many fruits and vegetables all day that meat has sounded much less appetizing to me lately. I am still creating some meat filled meals for the blog to keep variety, but other than the one (maaaaybe two) meat meals I post a week, I haven’t been eating any meat at all.
It’s kind of weird, and definitely new, but I like it!
I would absolutely recommend this One a Day Project to anyone. It really doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all!
MAN that was a long post. My fingas are tie-yad.
Have a great rest of the week! I’ll see ya on Friday :).