Whatever We Have Around Salad with Making It Up As I Go Dressing

The intersection of healthy eating and parenting tends to get congested quite a lot. Sometimes you look in the fridge on Sunday as the kids are screaming and fighting with each other and defiantly refusing to nap, and you realize that you don’t have enough lunches prepped for the week. At times like those, it’s necessary to think fast and think minimal. Thankfully, jarred salads are both.

This week we roasted some vegetables, whipped up some rough peanut dressing, and topped it with some roughly shredded kale. The time spent working in the kitchen added up to only about 10 minutes, and it padded out our lunch count by two full days. Mission accomplished.


Green beans, trimmed
Carrots, peeled and sliced
Mushrooms, chopped into small chunks

4 Tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2.5 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
Garlic powder to taste

Kale, chopped roughly


First, I didn’t put amounts for the vegetables or greens because this is based around whatever you’ve got around. If you’ve got zucchini and no green beans, you’re golden. Broccoli instead of mushrooms? Sure. Whatever fills a jar and is tasty and healthy. Same with the greens. If you don’t have or don’t like kale, throw some lettuce in there. Or some arugula. Or some spring mix.

Ok, so now we get down to brass tacks. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Put those veggies on a baking sheet with a small spritz of the oil of your choice, and let them roast for half an hour or so. Meanwhile, turn to the dressing. I’ll outline my process below, but you can probably figure out a more streamlined process if you read between the lines.

Put 3 Tbsp of the peanut butter, the sesame oil, the tamari, and 3 Tbsp of the rice vinegar in a bowl. Whisk together until fully incorporated. Taste, and discover that its way too salty. Add the fourth Tbsp of peanut butter, but worry that the dressing would be too thick without something else. Add the fourth Tbsp of rice vinegar. Taste, decide it’ll work, and then add in some garlic powder because you’re feeling saucy.

Finally, divide the dressing among 4 pint jars. Divide the roasted vegetables among the jars. Then top each jar with shredded kale. Refrigerate, breathe a sigh of relief, and eat a few days from now.