Canning lettuce...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
...Okay, so it's not really "canning" lettuce.  But I piqued your interest, right?  ;)

Welcome to my new best friend for lunch, the vacuum-sealed "salad in a jar".  This is lettuce that I have washed, spun dry, chopped and then sealed in pint jars using my Food Saver and the mason jar attachment.  I store it in my fridge, and it lasts for quite awhile (up to 2 weeks).  The edges don't go brown, and the lettuce actually stays very crisp!

So when lunchtime comes around, all I have to do is pull out a jar, open the lid and dump it in a bowl.  Then I can add whatever other items I want, and I'm good to go!  It saves me a lot of time on days when things are crazier than the normal chaos that usually reigns around here.

Another time saver for my salads?  Using home-canned chicken!  Just open the jar and add to lettuce - its already cooked. 

With my dairy-restricted diet, I've had to make a few modifications to my normal salads.  I've found a fabulous recipe for a dairy-free, egg-free ranch dressing.  And I occasionally add a dairy-free "cheese" subsitute.  But my newest love is perhaps my favorite - using a little Grape Nuts cereal (its dairy-free) in place of croutons (which  are not dairy-free)!  I have really missed that little bit of "crunch" to my salad that came from croutons, but now Grape Nuts cereal has saved the day!

For more info on vacuum-sealing lettuce or the "Salad in a Jar" method, check out this great blog: and her post, "How to Make Salad in a Jar"