How I Hack Lunch in San Francisco

It’s important for me to walk my walk in a busy city lifestyle. I have been able to cut my total weekly lunch prep down to 45 minutes. I am able to stay consistent with a healthy diet with a demanding schedule and not break the bank. The way I am able to do this is by creating salad jars.

Why Mason Jars?

Mason Jars are tall, so they fit easily into my work bag and I can fit a big salad in one jar. It also fits more compactly in my refrigerator.

How it goes:

In order to do so, I need to prioritize and plan. My number one priority is getting to the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market every Sunday from 9:30 – 1:30 pm.

My first stop is Happy Boy Farms. Not only do they have a wide array of organic veggie options, but they also pre-wash all of their salad greens. I usually grab a 1-lb bag of mixed greens with edible flowers (about $6) and romaine lettuce as my solid year round base. From there, my choices are dependent on the season. Right now in summer, I am all about the herbs (mint, basil, lemon verbena), radishes, heirloom tomatoes, and squash varieties. Happy Boy Farms circulates many of the markets in the Bay Area, so look them up.

My second stop is Roli Roti Rotisserie Cart where I pick up a delicious organic rotisserie chicken ($13). Roti is also all around the Bay Area.

My third stop is the olive stand that actually has incredible giant lemons. From there, I browse and pick up extras that look tasty and in season.

Other great Sunday additions include:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli florets
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • If you do grains, brown/wild rice or quinoa

Sunday Prep:

When I return home from my trip to the market, I break out the 6 giant mason jars and get to work. I add the pre-washed veggies (mixed greens, edible flowers, and romaine lettuce) equally between all of the jars. I wash the other vegetables (radishes, herbs, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes) in Honest’s Veggie Wash and dry them. I cut up the radishes and cucumbers and mince the herbs to add them to the jars. I leave the tomatoes aside for later use.

Next, I shred the rotisserie chicken and disperse it into about 4 jars (enough to get me through Wednesday). I throw in a handful of Kalamata Olives to add a little kick of delicious. I place the top on and store them all in the refrigerator.

Salad Dressing:

I make dressing using lemon juice, olive brine from the olive jar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a separate container. I keep this bottle in the refrigerator at work. If I want to create “creamy” dressing, I add a bit of hummus to my original recipe. It works great!

Last Additions on the Night Before

I slice up the tomatoes and an avocado and throw them in. The tomatoes are a bit soft and filled with liquid that could cause a soggy salad and the avocado turn dark when exposed to air.

After Wednesday, I will grill steak or ground beef/lamb/turkey patties and add them to the rest of the jars.

This has been super helpful for me and hopefully, you find it to be the same.