Covid-19 has left most of us attending fewer parties and going out less often than we are accustomed to. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t practice socially-distance engagements that don’t involve any eating! That’s why you should consider hosting a weekly or bi-weekly salad prep party and alternate the host with the friends and family that will attend. A party like this is perfect to stay in touch with those closest to us and stay safe at the same time.
What’s a Salad Prep Party?
It’s a small gathering where everyone brings an ingredient that can go into a salad. The ingredient can be stored in a half tray or full tray. All guests will need to bring one to four wide-mouth large mason jars with a tight fitting lid so they can prepare their salad for the week. For a side salad, a pint jar will serve well, and for individual meals, you may want to opt for a jar that’s two quarts or larger.
The purpose of this salad party is for everyone to bring an ingredient. Then, all of the ingredients are shared amongst the guests. This serves everyone because each guest is only responsible for one ingredient in bulk. It helps everyone split the cost of the ingredients and only have to worry about bringing one or two really delicious ingredients. Guests are also introduced to a large variety of ingredients that they may not have had access to themself. The reason that this type of party is ideal for the now is that there isn’t really much eating that goes on at these affairs. Thus, no one has to remove their mask and risk spreading the virus or any type of seasonal illness for that matter.
A salad prep party is still really fun because it provides a comfortable space. People have the opportunity to spend time together, practice healthy lifestyle practices, and engage in low-risk, socially distanced rhetoric. It’s good for kids too because it teaches them how to easily create a balanced meal, the power and efficiency of meal prep, and the potential diversity of making a salad in this manner. Also, it reminds people how versatile a vegan salad could possibly be.
When filling your mason jar, it’s important to put the dry ingredients in immediately after the salad dressing like beans. This will keep them fresh for when you pour them onto your plate. Prepping salad like this makes it easy to have a healthy and inexpensive lunch on hand. It also makes it easier to consume nutritious foods during the busy workday.
Here is a suggestion for the order of vegan ingredients.
First/Second Layer: Salad Dressing, peppers, beans, carrots, broccoli, etc.
Next layer: tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, etc.
Final layer: quinoa/other grain, your choice of lettuce
Your ingredients may change each week, depending on what everyone brings. You can add a mixture of raw and cooked vegetables, fresh and dried fruit, a large variety of nuts and seeds, vegan cheeses and mock meats, and other miscellaneous salad ingredients like nutritional yeast, unique herbs and dressings, and more.
This is a fun activity to continuously host because the ingredients people bring from week to week will change. Also, since everyone in attendance will be bringing more than one mason jar with them, they will have the opportunity to mix and match different combinations of salads.
These salads will keep over a week in the fridge and the mason jar keeps all of the ingredients ultra-fresh. When you’re ready to eat the salad, turn it directly upside down when pouring out so the dressing is evenly distributed on the top.
I’ve been to a few salad prep parties, and I was always very pleased with the inspiration I got for new combinations as well as new places to source the freshest ingredients from. Not only are salad parties a good way to bring more greens, veggies, and healthy fats into your diet. It takes the worry out of meal prep, and allows you to have a hassle-free nutritious lunch during the work day. Forget about post-lunch crashes where you just want to take a nap, but instead reach for coffee or sugar to get you through the rest of the day.
If you’re totally opposed to in-person anything at the moment, which of course is valid, you can still host your own personal weekly salad prep time. Meal prep doesn’t have to be scary or boring and will save you lots of stress during the week, and money, too!
Eating more greens will always do the body good!