Which is Better To Keep Cut Lettuce Fresh: Vacuum Pack or Plastic Bags?

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Preview: Which method works better to keep cut lettuce fresh–Vacuum-sealing or plastic bags? Read the results of my test.

Not long ago, I wanted to see how long cut lettuce would last after being vacuum-packed in a Mason jar compared to other methods for preserving cut lettuce. So I experimented in my own lab kitchen.  This is the result–with pictures. I hope you enjoy the read.

THE LETTUCE EXPERIMENT

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In anticipation of post-Superbowl guilt and regret regarding food choices and excess, I’m revisiting the whole idea of vacuum-packing lettuce this week.

Several commenters on the first post published on this blog, An Amazing Way To Make Chopped Lettuce Last Longer, have asked questions about using other methods to preserve lettuce.  

Disclaimer:

Remember, you can’t be sure how fresh the lettuce in the store is, and I realize this fact could be a factor.  Nevertheless, I pretty much ignored that fact since it is out of my control.  I always try to buy the latest date I can find–as I’m sure you do, too.

Setting up the experiment

On Sunday, January 17, I cleaned, chopped, and vacuum-packed Romaine lettuce fresh from the store. I always use a regular knife–no plastic knife or hand tearing for me. Unfortunately, I don’t have time or patience for that.

In addition to the vacuum-packed lettuce, I  prepared a plastic bag full of lettuce with a paper towel to absorb moisture.  I also packed lettuce in quart jars but did not vacuum pack it. Instead, I just screwed the lid on.

comparing fresh cut romaine lettuce
Second Day

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comparing lettuce after storing for 4 days
Fourth Day

chopped lettuce after 6 days
Sixth Day

lettuce after 8 days
Eighth Day

lettuce after 8 days
Tenth Day

lettuce after 12th day
Twelfth Day

lettuce after 14th day
Fourteenth Day

Want to know the best part?

As you can see, there are no brown edges on the right sample like the plastic bag lettuce and lettuce from the unsealed jar because there is no oxygen inside a vacuum-packed jar.

Let me reiterate that I stored all lettuce in the refrigerator for the entire two weeks.

Romaine was the only lettuce tested.  I would expect results with other types of lettuce to vary.

Observations from this experiment:

1.  Up until the fourth day, there doesn’t appear to be much difference in the brownness of the edges.  However, the vacuum-packed lettuce is crisper and moister compared to the others.  

2.  Unsealed chopped lettuce goes downhill after four days.

3.  If you do not cut the lettuce, the results may be different.  However, my whole reason for vacuum-packing lettuce is to make a grab-and-go salad that requires absolutely no preparation on a busy workday morning.  This means I have NO EXCUSE for not taking a healthy lunch–every single day.

What should I look for when purchasing a vacuum-pack machine?

1.  If you want to pack lettuce, as I have shown, you ABSOLUTELY MUST have a wide-mouth lid attachment.  You cannot pack lettuce in plastic bags.

You may also use plastic canisters sold with some systems, but my experience with them is bad.  They crack. Quickly.  Don’t waste your money.  Besides, the glass quart jars are cheap, and you’ll want several of them.

2.  Do you regularly shop at warehouse stores?  If so, you can use it to freeze smaller portions. (Remember the plastic bags are expensive to buy.) Vacuum-sealed food does not turn icy as it does in plastic wrap or regular plastic bags.

3. Do you like to seal your flour, sugar, cornmeal, pasta, rice, etc.?  Quart and half-gallon canning jars work well.  Again you will need the wide-mouth lid attachment.

4. Do you like to keep your leftovers? If so, this is a great way to store them in the freezer while maintaining maximum freshness. 

The meaning of all this…

If you don’t cook much, don’t buy much food, don’t think more than one day ahead about what you will eat, and/or have no interest in storing lettuce or fresh produce longer than 3-4 days, I would not recommend a vacuum-pack machine.

On the other hand, if you cook a lot, buy in quantity, or want to get serious about eating right, think about buying this Food Saver vacuum-pack machine.

Why not try it?

Vacuum-packing chopped lettuce in a Mason jar has made my life easier. Hoping it will do the same for you.

Posts related to vacuum-sealing cut lettuce

Yes, You Can Use a Handheld Vacuum-Pack Machine to Seal Lettuce Inside a JarHow To Vacuum-Pack Lettuce Into a Jar for Less Than $6 (Plus a Video)
Is a Plastic Knife a Substitute for Vacuum-Packing Lettuce?
Can I Add Other Foods to My Vacuum-Packed Jar of Lettuce? 

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

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122 Comments

  1. Julie Alexander says:

    I enjoy new recipes for low-calorie main dishes.

    Enjoy your recipes and ideas!!!

  2. recipes for main entrees and vegetable side dishes. Your blog is on my favorite bar.

  3. I wore my vac. packer out…I had one of the old ones that first came out about 12 years ago! Thanks for your ideas….I particularly enjoy family favorite recipes!

  4. The new Food Saver is a real improvement over the older models – glad you have one. I prefer salad ideas. Thanks so much for the basic idea, too!

  5. I have been doing salad-in-a-jar for 6 months now. I started when Paula started her food blog and did step by step instructions. I first became intrigued with the idea about 2 years ago when she explained it to me at a mutual friends wedding but never followed through.

    I do change my actual salad up a bit. I use equal parts iceberg and romaine. I also add cilantro, scallion greens, and fresh basil. I vacuum pack all of that in jars. I grab my salad and various toppings and I always have a wonderful healthy lunch.

    As for my favorite kind of food to see on the blog, I don’t think it would be a specific category. One of my favorite parts of your blog is when you introduce us to new stuff or old stuff used in a new way.

    Thanks to your blog I now:
    Eat fiber one cereal as a topping on my salad.
    I add smoked sun-dried tomatoes to any thing that needs some extra pop.
    I heat up my granola bars in the microwave.
    I make chicken broth from left-over rotisserie chicken bones and then
    Freeze my chicken broth in loaf pans.
    I buy uncooked flour tortillas from Costco
    Julienne cut sweet potato fries (Costco) Thanks for this tip!
    And I add Instant Espresso Coffee by Medaglia D’oro to just about everything chocolate.

    Thanks for the past 6 months!

  6. I am on my third foodsaver. I have worn 2 out. With having three teenagers, it really helped to repackage food and keep the freezer stocked and still have good quality after freezing. Now we love it for freezing the fish my husband catches at our house in Mexico. We package the fresh fish, vacuum seal, deep freeze. When we go home, we fill a small soft sided ice chest with the vacuum bags and throw it in our suitcase. The airlines have never given us a problem with this. The fish is still frozen solid after a 5 hours flight. We get to enjoy fish all winter long thanks the foodsaver. I’d like another one so that we do not have to keep carrying our old one back and forth with us on the plane.

    I like the salad ideas and the low calorie main dishes. Healthy food can be good food! Thanks for all your efforts. I really enjoy your blog.

  7. I am excited about all of the foods you post but I am most interested in entree dishes. I just love desserts and I participate in baking along with other bloggers. But, honestly, sometimes I pass on some recipes because I just can’t bring myself to serve such high-calorie, fat laden foods to those I love. I will be baking a cupcake recipe with a group that is over 700 calories per cupcake!!! (My husband calculates calories on FitDay). It uses 6 sticks of butter! Woah!

    Sorry about my rant 🙂

    Your giveaway is the best! I would be delighted to be entered!
    Kindly, ldh
    PS I have searched unsuccessfully for a cook-along blog that features more main dish/side dish recipes, maybe recipes from Giada de Laurentiis. Are you aware of any blogs like that?

    1. Low-cal entrees and salads.
      I’ve been using a Foodsaver since the 80’s and love it. Vacuum-sealing also extends the storage time and is wonderful for cheese.

  8. This post is like crack (not that I use it), but I eat lettuce daily. For year, I haven’t missed a day. Red leaf, romaine, green, butter… I grow it during the spring/summer/fall, it’s like water to me! How fantastic!!! What a great experiment – but what do you thing about the “green bags” – those “keep fruit, etc” fresh? I bought a bunch, but didn’t see a tremendous difference. But I am bad – I’ll eat wilty lettuce, slighly brown lettuce, etc – it’s all good, and not to be wasted. BUT, I’ve never kept it in a jar (or a food saver, for that matter)! My salad spinner is home – in the fridge, it gets used so often! GREAT post Romaine!

  9. I would love to try the salad-in-a-jar idea. I love salads, but won’t take the time to prepare the lettuce everyday. I especially like recipes for family meals, things that can be made in bulk and frozen are always good. And veggies. We can’t see to get enough of them.

  10. What an AMAZING give-away! That would be perfect for us budget-minded moms. I am always looking for a way to save (money, food, my mind!) It would be great to buy in bulk and vacuum pack everything. Thanks for the chance!

  11. I would love to see low calorie salad dressings, I feel like I get stuck in a rut.

  12. I LOVE looking at the photos of the baked goods. My daughter likes to bake, so I try to find interesting things for us to try out. Thanks for all the gorgeous pictures and easy instructions.

  13. I love all of your bread recipes. We make your basic roll recipe frequently. Thanks for all the great recipes and pictures!

  14. I love the pictures and step-by-step instructions, and the personal storeis that accompany the recipes. I made your Browned Butter Pecan Pie twice during the holidays and it was a hit with everyone.
    My favorite category would be your family favorites, especially the vegetables and other sides.

  15. I bought a used Food Saver at a yard sale, about 5 years ago. It cost me $10. The best $10 I’ve ever spent. I used it again tonight (though it’s getting tired) to seal the cookies I baked for my soldier. I would love to see more low-calorie main courses, and, of course, salads!

  16. Microwave recipes. You do things with your microwave that I would never ever think of. Love the blog, thanks for the give away!

  17. Your wonderful pictures inspire me and challenge me to try new things, but my waistline is being to show it! Guess I had better start concentrating on the “skinny secrets”. Maybe a Food Saver would start me down the right path.

  18. I like the quick and easy meals…..and your family favorites!
    Thanks for the give-a-way!!

  19. I love desserts. One of my favorites is choco lava cake. I also like slow cook recipes and breads. I have used your two bread recipes such as favorite dinner rolls and twirly seeded buns. They came out very delicious. I even made dinner rolls for my 3 co-workers and they all loved it. Thank you for sharing your recipes and for emailing me the choco bundt cakes.

  20. As a young family, I’m always interested in things that make only 2-4 servings over huge casseroles. Many of your recipes can be modified for more people or less people, which I like. What a great prize! If I win, will you teach me how to use it? I still have a GPS I’m trying to figure out. Oh, and my coffee maker just died, so my suggestion for a future prize is a coffee maker like you have at your house. 🙂

  21. I have really been into Breads this past week so I would have to say Bread recipes. Although, just like you said about getting back to eating healthy after the superbowl, that would be ME!! Thank you for your blog and this giveaway!

  22. What a fantastic give away! I love everything, so you can’t help but please me. Breads, desserts, veggies-bring it on!

  23. baileybakes says:

    I am always looking for new dessert recipes, they’re my favorite

  24. I like new salads and low fat food recipes.

  25. I love most things you post, especially easy main dishes and sides that freeze well! I have been using my food saver like crazy and make anything that you say “this freezes well”. Huge time saver! Thanks for all of your posts that I stalk regularly!

  26. I love looking at your desserts. Though I should probably cook the healthier things….

  27. Your pictures are wonderful and your comments are so creative…you are a great writer. I can’t wait to see your upcoming cookbook. I would like to see more main dish recipes or recipes for a special dinner for a crowd. Thanks for an inspiring blog!

  28. I have been following your blog for about a month and was so impressed! I went back thru the archives so curious as to why it was called Salad in a Jar. What an EXCELLENT idea! Our family is always in a hurry do to work and church!

    I would love to see more main dish recipes and look forward to future posts!

  29. Thanks so much for doing the giveaway!

    I started coming for the Tuesdays with Dorie posts (and still love them) but would love to see more healthy/quick-and-easy meals. Balance can be so hard to find (as my waistline can attest to!), but it seems to be something you do really well-kudos!

  30. Oh, Paula, you’re the best!! I love it all, but probably more salad and healthy family favorites. I agree, your pictures are so beautiful and I love your whole website! God bless all your efforts, I know He does!

  31. Madam Chow says:

    I love seeing everything that you’re making, but if I had to pick one, it would be desserts.

  32. I love seeing the family favorites because I’m big on dirt, um family history LOL.

  33. I would like to see flourless chocolate cake. Do you have a recipe for this?
    Also, I would like to see how to make BBQ beef brisket.

    1. John, I do not have a tried and true recipe for flourless chocolate cake. But I’ll work on it. I do have a good brisket recipe. I’ll work on that too.

  34. I like the family favorites and the salad ideas. Usually not too many left overs, but the salad in a jar is a wonderful idea.
    So happy you share all these great ideas with everyone.

  35. Romaine,
    I love all of your family favorites and the stories that go along with them. I really appreciate having the recipe for Beefy Sausage pinwheels. It is a favorite of mine. I also like the fact that you post all the different categories. There is something for everyone to try. It’s amazing looking back at past recipes just how many you have shared. The pictures are fantastic and are really inspiring. Thanks for sharing your God given gifts.

  36. Probably desserts, but guess I would have to say I like everything really. I always find something intriguing, a good variety of foods, and a unique way to cook. Did not know you were writing a cookbook but you could certainly use all of this information in a book. And I certainly agree that you have used your gift of creativity in your cooking and the sharing on this web site. It has been a fun experience to see it all develop!

  37. Paula,
    I pretty much like everything you post. You are a very versatile and creative cook and baker.
    Mimi

  38. Elizabeth says:

    Just found your great site while looking for instructions to make Greek yogurt. It’s very attractive and the recipes sound wonderful. You asked for suggestions for using the whey from the yogurt. Research has shown that whey diluted with water (1 part whey, 3 parts water) can control powdery mildew on grapes and other susceptible plants! I’ve used milk (diluted 1 milk/9 water) and it worked. Whey from yogurt will be the experiment this year. Thanks for the recipe. I’m always looking for lower fat recipes.

  39. I love reading about quick, low-cal main dishes! Healthy eating doesn’t always have to take tons of time, just prep. ahead and planning!

    1. Oh Katie, I couldn’t agree more. That’s what salad in a jar is all about. Planning ahead and prepping so you can grab and go/eat. So important when you’re hungry and want to eat immediately!

  40. Wayne Bryant says:

    Paula, what a great website. Vegies in a jar! What a great concept. We own a foodsaver, however we have never used the vacuum saver containers that came with the system. I think it’s about time we used them.

    I noticed that there are a number of folks responding to your blog that are looking for a simple, easy to prepare, healthy dish. We prepared this simple party food receipe and took it to the recent superbowl party…it was a hit. Wanda and I have been taking a Vegan Cooking Class at Baylor Medical in Fort Worth and this receipe is one from our class. It is as follows:

    VEGGIES IN A BLANKET
    1 cup low-fat hummus or bean spread
    8 whole wheat totillas
    4 carrots, grated (organic)
    8 lettuce leaves or 1 cup spinach leaves (organic)
    1 red or orange bell pepper
    365 Organic Mild Salsa

    Spread hummus thinly on the tortilla. Add the carrots and lettuce and/or spinach, spread a small amount of salsa lengthwise in the middle of the totillia, place a strip of bell pepper across the tortillia. Roll up each tortillia and slice into 5 even pieces (have toothpicks available if you need them). Place them cut side down in a dish and serve immediately or cover tightly and refrigerate. I like to add sliced olives and cucumber strips to mine.

    Per Serving (5): 122 calories; 2.8g fat: 0.3g sat fat; 18% cal from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 5g protein; 206g carbs; 1.5g sugar: 4.9g fiber; 251 mg sodium; 27mg calcium; 2mg iron; 2.1mg vitamin C; 1424mcg beta-caritene; 0.4 mg vitamin E.

    It can be made with your favorite bean spread and fresh vegetables, and kids love them. Take a whoe wrap as a to-go lunch–it’s filling and loaded with health-promoting nutrients.

    Thanks again for the blog. We look forward to future blogs.
    Wayne & Wanda

  41. I have never won anything nor do I expect that I will this time, but I want you to know how much I enjoy your Blog. Your recipes, photos, cooking tips, and commentary are great!

  42. I am enjoying the site. You have such a great variety. I like entrees and the veggies to compliment them. Keep the ideas coming.

  43. I love baked goods so that’s what I’m drawn to but the info you have on healthier options is also great.

  44. Just found your site today, and have so enjoyed reading it. I’ve used the vacuum bags with pump for sealing food, but they don’t stay totally sealed very long. The bags I froze last year, I ended up putting a piece of tape over the vacuum hole to keep it sealed.

  45. IRENE KEGEL says:

    i could use a way to bring my lunch to work and for my kids to be able to take salad to school…
    thank you love you blog

  46. Hi. Paula

    I wrote a few weeks ago about my Pump N Seal experimenting, and I am glad to report I am fairly satisfied with the results. I will say, it seems to be an expensive piece of kit, for what it is. And the Tab-Chek item is reliable, if not also a bit pricey–for a band-aid like piece of tape with a swatch of latex(?)material for the actual valve, in the center of the vinyl tape. It is elegantly simple, yet effective.

    Since I ordered the Pump N Seal and learned how the system works, I have found yet another alternative, the Ziplok Vacuum Pump. It is a similar to the Pump N Seal, but MUCH cheaper. I have seen them in Dillons (Kroger) Supermarkets for $4.00 and it includes 3 vacuum zipper bags in the box. The bags I have tried are useful, but inconsistent, in terms reliability. The Foodsaver Vacuum Zipper Bags are better. Foodsavers valves on their zipper bags look EXACTLY like the Ziplock Vacuum Bags but for some reason the Foodsaver Zipper Vacuum Bags just hold WAY better. I’d trust them for short-term freezer usage, but Foodsaver doesn’t recommend them for freezers at all.

    BOTH of these pumps will work for jars nicely, with the following addition: Tab-Cheks. Tab-Cheks are a must, but I am aware that there are homebrewed valves. I have been unsuccessful with the homebrewed alternatives–so far–but am still trying. The supplied Tab-Checks from http://www.pump-n-seal.com/ work nearly flawlessly, making this alternative VERY portable and electrically independant.

    If I can find a way to duplicate (or approximate) their excellent Tab-Cheks I will report back. Here is one idea: http://www.judyofthewoods.net/pump.html

    Sorry I took so long to post my promised follow-up.

    P.S. Your salad in a jar idea is my favorite, with ANY bread recipes a close 2nd!

  47. Great giveaway! I love main dish recipes.

  48. Hi-I really enjoy your recipes. I would like to see more bread machine recipes. Thank you, Mary H.

  49. Other Sis says:

    Everything you do is great! But I confess I really enjoy the family favorites. 🙂 Thanks for all your hard work–you make it look easy. And beautiful!!!

  50. I missed your giveaway, but I appreciate the tips on the vacuum sealer. If I ever get one, your advice will be very helpful!

  51. I always wonder how to keep lettuce fresher than normal. Now I have the answer. Thanks.

  52. rachsbabycakes says:

    I always keep my veggies in jars or glass, it just keeps so much better. You have taken it a step further and I’m so impressed!! I just love this idea! Thank you so much for showing me how to do this!!

  53. Lee Jacintho says:

    I have to agree with EVERYTHING SAID HERE! Foodsaver is the best. I think they were called by a different name when they first came out.
    I’ve had 2, I’m on my 2nd now, and I really need a new one. $$$ is the issue with me. I’d love to have the new vertical type. My apartment is so small, senior apartments usually are! I guess they think we don’t need much room.
    Food saved in the vaccum bags and jars are by far better quality tha saved any other way. I’ve tried some of the other handheld type and even they are not as good as FOodsaver. Since I haven’t been able to break the habit of cooking for more than 1, my freezer is always full. Thank goodness for vaccum sealing with Foodsaver!

  54. Pj gehring says:

    I would love to see any lo-cal recipes as I’m dieting a d LOVE this site! The salad in a jar idea is genius!

  55. Kristi Kearl says:

    What a fascinating idea . . . makes me want to buy a FoodSaver. I’m wondering if you’ve ever experimented with those oxygen-absorbing packets you can drop into a jar before sealing. Do you have any idea how that method would compare with the air-sucking method?

    Thanks!!

    1. Kristi, I have no experience with the oxygen-absorbing packets. I’ll try them if I can find them.

  56. I would love to see low calorie foods on this site.

    1. There are quite a few. Look in the recipe index under skinny secrets for my favorites.

  57. I recently discovered your blog and was so intrigued by the salad in a jar. I have a husband and son who seem to be descended from rabbits in regard to eating salads. In reading American Wasteland, the realization struck that we are all responsible for wasteful eating habits and I’ve taken that responsibility to heart. The salad in a jar absolutely reduces waste and trips to the store. Vegetarian meals are a big part of our diet and would love to see more. As someone who has not cooked much variety in the past, the instructions and pictures you offer are invaluable.
    Thanks,
    Gale

    1. Thanks for stopping by Gale. Hope you are able to incorporate Salad in a Jar into your diet.

  58. i found your blog today when looking for a greek yogurt recipe. yours looks great and i can’t wait to try it. i would love to win this awesome giveaway and seal up some salad for myself! i would love to see more low calorie dishes. everything i have already looked at looks great. going to try your tortilla soup this week too!

    1. Hi Jackie, Hope the soup works out for you. It’s one of my favorite recipes on the blog. All of my lower calorie recipes are grouped together under the tab “Skinny Secrets” at the top in case you missed it. However, I need to add more. They aren’t quite as much fun to make or photograph as the sweet stuff and bread. 🙂

  59. Hi! I really appreciate your instructions on making Greek yogurt. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge.

    Marjorie

    1. You’re welcome Marjorie. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you. paula

  60. Having just started Weight Watchers – this totally appeals to me!!! Please – PICK ME!!

  61. Mark Paul says:

    Nice blog. You are showing the difference through comparison. So that the benefit of using Vacuum bags can be recognized. Actually the main aim of vacuum packaging machine is to provide the items safety and preserve it for long time. there are many types of vacuum bags are available in the market, but the best one which is more user friendly must be chosen.

    Vacuum packaging machine

  62. Ranae Graham says:

    I enjoy canning meats. Last month was my first attempt and find it really easy and the meat is so tasty, moist and easy for cooking last minute. You do need a vacuum canner, but it is well worth the money spent. An example of meat canning would be good.

  63. I just love the pictures! It makes the food all the more delicious. But if I must pick a specific type of food, I would have to say desserts.

    1. I’m with you Leah but man cannot live on dessert alone. 🙂

  64. Hi! I’m a grad student in the doctorate of chiropractic program in Marietta, GA. I am always on the go and LOVE the salad in a jar idea!!! I am always frustrated when I buy lettuce (either in bulk from Sam’s or smaller bags from the local grocery). I can never finish the lettuce before it goes bad… I despise cutting my own lettuce, so I tend to buy lettuce in bags that are already cut and washed and just hope for the best! My favorite is hearts of romaine as well. I only live 2 minutes away from my campus, but I still can’t find the time to get home for lunch on most days. My boyfriend commutes about 30 min to and from work each day, and I’m always looking for new recipes that are health conscious but taste good. We both come from southern Mississippi and Louisiana, so our cooking style tends to be from the creole/cajun family. The Foodsaver would be a big help in our lives. We are both on a tight budget (mainly because I don’t work – just school for now), and anything that would save time and money would be amazing! I recently discovered your blog on Stumble.com. I absolutely LOVE it!!! So many great ideas and recipes. I am a sucker for sweets. In fact, the main reason I work out is to be able to eat more! Next on my list to try is your triple coconut cake recipe (coconut is my mom’s favorite). Thank you so much!!!

    1. Welcome Ashley, Nice to meet you. Good luck with your school.

  65. thanks for the tips here. I have had a Food Saver for some time now………just never thought of the “salad in a jar” thing. Great Idea!

  66. WOW! what a fabulous idea! Tonight I’m making a salad with the last of the iceburg lettuce I vacuum packed 10 days ago. It still looks green and crisp and I did what you suggested… cut it up and spun it dry and stuffed it in a half gallon jar. The ease of having that lettuce ready to go is such a bonus.
    I’m fairly new to the foodsaver world and these tips are very welcome.
    Many many thanks

    1. You’re welcome, Connie. Thanks for dropping by.

  67. Hi Paula,
    I would love to hear more about quick and easy healthy recipes.

  68. Hi, I found your blog through pinterest! I’m starting cosmetology school in Jan/’11 and am really excited. I have a hard time eating right, always just going for ease and convenience. I really want/need to lose weight & get healthy so my husband and I can have a baby, and am really hoping to use school as a fresh start. Finding this is such a blessing, I love salad so i know i can stick to this! I truly hope and believe that this is what can help and jump start me to change my life and eating right. I thank you so much for sharing your great idea with us, and providing this opportunity to win this awesome product to get it done right! Thanks again and best of luck to everyone! *fingers crossed* :o)

    1. Hi Kristin,
      So sorry. The contest is over–long ago. Good luck with your salads. Let me know if you have any questions. Paula

  69. I would love to see some flavorful and healthy crockpot recipes. I am a busy mom and full time college student, so preparing a meal in the evenings can be challenging.

    Thanks!

  70. thanks so much for the tip of salad in a jar….awesome!

    Also, loved the Black and White Sesame-Teriyaki Chicken Thighs recipe!!

  71. I saw lettuce in a jar on pinterest. I recently became vegetarian (not on my own will) and I am having a major issue with store bought salads turning brown or pinkish in just a few days. I can’t afford to keep throwing my produce out! I have a serious hereditary illness and recently had a surgery to help ease the symptoms. My body no longer tolerates meat or dairy. My family however, still does eat meat and dairy. I bought a Foodsaver 12 years ago, but it needs to be saved itself at this point! I would love to have another so maybe I could save my produce plus freeze small portions of meat for my family. Thanks for your great ideas!

  72. Wow, I love this idea! I’m single and really enjoy cooking, but it’s a hassle sometimes cooking for one. I have thought about a food saver and seeing this trick is inspiring me to think about it more. I’m always up for good dressing recipes. I like variety in my salad dressings, but the store bought salad dressing isn’t the best quality and I end up with tons of bottles in my fridge. I’m happy to have your ideas.

  73. Bobbie Malvini says:

    Some of my favorite recipes to read about are feezer meals for giving away.

  74. Thanks for the comparison of bagging/jarring/vacuum sealing. I’d like a jar sealer (do have a foodsaver 🙂 ), but can’t justify the cost for just myself. With your results I’m now comfortable just jarring the salad.as I would only be making it for myself. Four good lunches and just make another lettuce and other stuff run.

  75. We receive a lot of organic beef from my father-in-law each year…. round steak, t-bone steak, chuck roast, hamburger. I would love to learn about creative ways to work with beef. I’m a Chicken girl… but my husband and boys love their grandpa’s “cows”.
    Thx!

  76. Ardelle Brenteson says:

    I just happened to go on your site looking for tips on vacuum packing lettuce. What I have looked at so far, appeals to me as I love to cook and bake also. Thanks for all the good ideas and recipes. Any recipe posted is welcome. Thanks for doing the give away prize.

  77. Just saw your website and made the balsamic dressing with yogurt. I’m eating a salad right now with the dressing… very tasty!

    Here’s another recipe I found somewhere. Would give credit if I could remember! This is awesome on a salad with fruit on it:

    Citrus Dressing:

    1/3 c. rice vinegar
    2/3 c. OJ
    2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (omit if you don’t like it!)
    1 smashed and finely minced clove of garlic
    2 tbsp of olive oil (or less)
    1 tbsp dijon or brown mustard (tho I’m sure yellow would be fine too!)
    a little salt and pepper

    Shake it up. It makes a wonderful, refreshing salad. For Christmas Eve dinner, we had a salad of red and green lettuce, orange sections, pomegranate seeds, orange zest, goat cheese crumbles. It was good, I garontee!

    1. Carolyn,
      Thanks for sending the recipe. I love cilantro so can’t wait to give this a try. Also want to try adding pomegranate seeds to my salad. pr

  78. And by the way, I buy artisan lettuce from Costco: it’s an assortment of whole, small heads of lettuce in a plastic container. I immediately take them out and put in a green bag when I get home and it keeps for weeks. Then I rip up and wash a bunch at once, spin and put the spinner in the fridge. I cannot claim “nine days of salad”, which of course is absolutely brilliant, but it’s enough for me for 3 days or so.

  79. Love the salad idea! Need the vacuum!

  80. Great idea. I wonder how it works with other salad items. I like carrots, celery, broc., … Can you put these in the jars and seal them and they stay fresh?

  81. Bev Wuollet says:

    I would love to see ideas for gluten free dishes. My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease a year ago and now my husband has a gluten sensitivity, so he is doing gluten free foods too. We picked up a food saver at a garage sale and have loved what it can do. I’m going to need to find a place to pick up a jar sealer. Great idea. We love to eat salad, but hate it when it spoils so quickly. Thanks for the great idea!

  82. Oh, I love how you do the salads. I would love to win this set so I could do my salads like you do yours.
    Thank you,
    Beverly
    Texas

  83. Katrina Yarber says:

    Oh my goodness! I think THIS salad idea is the best! I love salads but after a couple of days it just gets mixed in with other stuff like tuna salad, etc to use it all up (it kind of disguises it that way), then I have to buy a whole new batch of different lettuces to mix and hope THEY will last… HA! Thank you SO much for this idea!!! Hopefully I can make this happen soon!

  84. I chanced on this GREAT idea, just when I needed it! The green bags definitely leave much to be desired….this looks like the way to go! How nice to have a contest to go with it!

    I like any posts about making store-bought items at home…the yogurt is my favorite so far. More home-made items usually equals healthier living, and that is what i am working towards.

    1. Hi Misty,
      Thanks for stopping by. Unfortunately, that contest has been over for a couple of years. But I do hope you’ll try the salad in a jar idea. pr

  85. Becky Neeley says:

    This may be a silly question, but can you reuse your seals for your jar or do you need to replace them each time like you would when you can?

  86. paula Billingsley says:

    I tried the salad in a jar and was happy to see the lettuce last so long. I am going to do this as often as I can. Great Idea!

  87. What an awesome idea. I would love to see how you would do low carb salads and other low carb dishes.

    1. Hi Patricia,
      Glad you stopped by. I’m not really into low-carb dishes so I might not be very helpful. My philosophy is to eat everything–in moderate portions. I don’t believe in diets because I personally can’t stick to them so why torture myself. That’s why I love salad in a jar. It makes eating salad every day so healthy and convenient, it’s something I can stick with. I’ve been doing it over 8 years now.

  88. Barbara Barlow says:

    I love the idea of salad in a jar. Extra idea – At a Book Club meeting, our hostess served her salads (all ingredients) in pint size jars and everyone loved the idea – and the salads. I would like to see ideas that can make it easy to prepare meals for one and more than one serving to save for another meal.

    1. Hi Barbara,
      That is a great serving idea, especially if you need something portable. Of course, that is a completely different animal than my vacuum-packed jars which are all about convenience and storage of chopped lettuce. I don’t recommend vacuum-packing salads with lots of other ingredients. Better to eat them in a day or two, depending on the ingredients. You might find this post interesting.

  89. I love the salad ideas! Just found your site and love it! Looking forward to staying on my diet with the salad in a jar!

  90. How serendipitous to find your website since I was thinking of this same concept and already store most of my dry and refrigerated goods in wide mouth canning jars using my food saver.

    Here is what I was wondering: I am looking for an alternative method of storage because I keep my fridge at 38 degrees but my lettuce always freezes even when in the crisper drawer. Does vacuum packing in glass jars help with this? Thanks 🙂

    PS – New to the site, but would like to hear more on ways to make eating salads more convenient with less handling time. This is how I too keep my weight down. BTW – love your site!

    1. Hi Rachael,

      You might experiment with where you place your jars of lettuce in the fridge. I keep mine opposite the side that abuts the freezer. They don’t freeze there.

      You can read more about how I do salad here and even more here.

  91. Hi,
    I am looking into buying a vacuum packer and was wondering if you could give me the model number of the one you have used and are happy with. Thanks!

    Dana

    1. Hi Dana, I don’t think they make my vacuum packer any more. It is a Food Saver. Any model FoodSaver will work as long as they have a port for the hose.
      However, now I use the small hand models because they are so much more convenient. You can read about them here.

  92. Perfection! This is what I will be using my state tax return on instead of treating myself to a fancy (read: high calorie) restaurant!!! Love this idea and would like to re-blog.

  93. First participation on blogging ever…. June 2013. My kids are grown and I do struggle with preparing food, having too many left overs etc. I love salads. I believe this is a GREAT idea. I can make twice the amount and have a nightly salad prepared for my husband too! No more going to the store every three days for freshness (which I get burned out of doing alot). I think I will try cutting up broccoli and see how it fairs in vacuum jars! thanks so much. Oh, I am going to try Fiber One also, I love tortilla strips & Chinese noodles on my salads.

  94. lazy three ranch gal says:

    Salad in a jar…..fast, handy, and will fit in my saddlebag….blessings…

  95. My refrigerator started malfunctioning and I wasn’t aware of it right away. By the time I was home and realized how warm it was inside, the now room temp. food was probably gradually warming for a week. The 3 unopened two weeks past their date vacuumed sealed R. lettuces still look totally fresh. Since they are still sealed, I don’t know if they are “slimy”, but look picture perfect otherwise. Do you think they are ok to wash and eat? I know samenella-laden recalled lettuces probably looked ok also. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  96. LIDL store in Dublin sells salatrio lettuce with roots. I planted this in the garden, still growing 3 weeks later. Just pick off what I need. I never heard of salatrio lettuce before, that’s what it says on pack.

  97. Omi Boone says:

    Hi, can you do vacuum pack salad in a jar and freeze it? If so, how long will it last?

    1. You can never, ever freeze lettuce. It will be a wilted mess. So sorry.

  98. Patrick Ramsey says:

    I have found the best way to store food in the freezer is using a vacuum sealer. I think the food stays fresh a lot longer and doesn’t get the freezer burn taste as fast. It is good to know that when storing broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower to blanch them before so the bad doesn’t expand. I will keep that in mind the next time I’m

  99. Anke Fuchs says:

    We’ve been using this for over a year now and it is still working very well. The only problem we’ve had is that the handle can become squeaky, but some Olive oil cleared that right up.

  100. Vacuum packed paula is wrong about using a vacuum bag 2 ways to do it 1take a container plastic no lid I use a 4×8 put the salad in the container and then in the bag it won’t crush the lettuce
    2 same way but they sell ziplock vacuum bags and they are reusable.

    1. Well, Robert. I’m impressed with your creativity. I haven’t tried your method yet, but it sounds like it would work. Way to think out of the box (or jar). 😜