Why Salad in a Jar Will Change Your Eating Habits and Save You Money (and a little bit about me)

Salad in a Jar

Do you have good intentions to eat better but get derailed because of too little time or energy? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Do you buy lots of lettuce, then throw it away because it goes bad before you can eat it? Me too. But not anymore.

My name is Paula Rhodes, and I have a solution.

Salad in a Jar (vacuum-packed, chopped lettuce) can save you money and calories. It works so well for me that I started this blog in 2009 to share this money-saving technique, along with other ways to make healthy eating more convenient, tasty and economical. Hopefully, this will create leftovers in your monetary budget AND your calorie budget to spend on the occasional treat. I’ve got a few recipes for those, too.

There’s a lot more than lettuce going on around here…

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About me…

My favorite mixing bowl!

  • I grew up on a large farm in Indiana but always dreamed of being a city girl. After graduating from Oklahoma Christian, I moved to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where I met and married a native Texan. In case you never noticed, Texans think Texas is the only place to live, so it looks like I’ll be here for the duration, Lord willing.
  • I have a degree in Home Economics (known as Family and Consumer Sciences these days) and one in Ultrasound (my current day-job).
  • I’ve had a few jobs in my life. Those related to food include Johnson County extension agent, hospital kitchen supervisor, supervisor and cooking school teacher at The Greenhouse (a luxury weight-loss spa), research and development with Pizza Inn, and microwave cooking school instructor for some major appliance companies.
  • Since I cannot live on bread alone (Matt 4:4), I’m a follower of Jesus, even if I straggle far behind at times. Thankfully, he keeps drawing me back — close to himself.

 

Contact me at:  pzrhodes at hotmail.com.  

I look forward to hearing from you.

Paula Rhodes

 


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{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

Deb November 21, 2009 at 12:38 am

Paula, I see there is another Debbie blogger, so I will shorten to Deb until I can come up with something more creative

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Deb November 21, 2009 at 12:40 am

My salivary glands are becoming active and it is all your fault.

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Sis December 31, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I like the picture of the flour sifter (seems like I may recognize it), and your new icons on the site look cool. Happy New Year and enjoy Christmas with the kids this weekend.

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Betsy January 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I just came upon your website while looking for recipes for Greek yogurt – thanks for the great tips!

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Connie April 21, 2013 at 11:12 am

All though Greek yogurt is creamer ..remember if you are looking for calcium it is lower than nonfat yogurt..most people eat it for the protein.

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Susan January 11, 2010 at 5:46 am

Paula,

so far I have prepared 4 of your recipes. Each one is so easy to prepare and delicious. Thank you for this web page.

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Nicole February 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Hi Paula! Your site is great! I love you recipies! I discovered you via your cute comment today on PW. Happy Valentine’s day!

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Melissa March 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Paula,

LOVE your site. Your recipes look divine and the photography is truly gorgeous. Can’t wait to spend many, many more hours with you!

Melissa

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Cheri March 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I happened upon your site through a search engine actually looking for jars to make a Turkey Layered Salad for a novel way of serving individuals. What a great site, I love it and intent to try several of the recipes listed. Have a Blessed Day.

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Romaine March 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Welcome Cheri. Thanks for your kind words. Did you find the Turkey Layered Salad? Now you’ve got me to thinkin.

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rachsbabycakes March 30, 2010 at 10:53 am

I’m so happy to find your site! Way to eat your veggies! Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas!! Blessings, Rachel

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Marie Nunnally April 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Hi Paula,

I remember you well from PR. I just returned from a road trip with Jane Roberts and she told me about your site. Looks great!!! Anything that lets me eat dessert is a good thing.

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Debby McCrary April 29, 2010 at 5:20 am

If we ever get together again, lets eat brussels sprouts and eggplant, talk about our “2nd favorite people” and of course have dessert. Your grandson is is handsome just like your boys. Love this website and getting to see 2 of your many talents. Thankful we share the Savior, and daily know HIS love.

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Jon May 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I tried making the greek yogurt and it came out EXCELLENT!!!! Thank-you so much. It tastes better that the one’s I can purchase at the store. One question: you mention in your recipe that after the milk has been incubated and formed, I can leave as is and eat it as reg yogurt. Do you know what the nutritional facts are for that? I used nonfat milk and dried milk just like the recipe called for. Thanks I would greatly appreciate it.

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Romaine May 24, 2010 at 6:06 am

I poked the ingredients into the calorie analyzer at http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php. For a 6 ounce serving, they tell me there would be approximately 82 calories in regular nonfat yogurt made this way. It’s very easy to use the analyzer yourself in case you want to try it with different fruits or flavorings or a different serving size.

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Donalyn May 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Hi there – I wanted to invite you to check our new food photo submission site at dessertstalking.com. We concentrate on beautiful photos of the sweeter side of life. Hope you will come and check us out – all the info you need are in our FAQ and Submission Guidelines. Look forward to seeing you soon!

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Paula May 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

First of all, thanks so much for visiting my site and especially for taking the time to leave such a nice comment.
Secondly, so glad you did or I don’t know if I would have found your site! I love it and I love what you create. The breads look amazing and I certainly intend to try a few of them.
Thank you again. BTW, I don’t meet too many people with the same name as me!

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Lou May 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

I enjoyed talking with you tonight. Your web site is great – if only I cooked!! Grandson must be very special since he is in most of the pictures!! I really would like for you all to come down to visit.
love, Lou

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Christina Lee June 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Yes ma’mm! I’d love to do a picture for you!
My email is cleeelegantphoto@gmail.com

Look at dates and let me know what works best for you. As of right now, I’m planning on having surgery on either July 13 or 22—so before that would probably be best.

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H. M. Miller September 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Paula – I am so inspired by your website! I love the idea of eating salad so there’s room for guilt-free desserts. And you’re a talented photographer, too. I’m in Canada and there are as many recipes for Namaimo bars as there are bakers. I would suggest you visit Canadianliving.com or foodnetwork.com and search for a recipe that strikes your fancy. Each batch I make is different – I tend to use pecans, walnuts or almonds chopped in the Cuisinart – and less sugar, because we don’t enjoy too many levels of sweetness. You can also use mint extract in the topping for a fresh flavour. Enjoy!!

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Julie A. McGinley November 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Hi Paula,
I am researching on how I can market me salad dressings. Any tips? I have a local little market that would be willing to sell them but I don’t know if there are any packaging loops I need to go thru? Shelf life, cooking before hand, etc? Can you help? Julie

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Peggy Helmick November 19, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Hi Paula, Today was the first time I saw your site. I copied about 3 of the recipes to try. They all look yummy. One of the most exciting things about your site though is your witness for Christ. PTL Thanks again

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Nandana Hazarika January 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Hello Paula,

Firstly, this is not a press release!

I came across your site and wanted to know if you might be interested in writing a blog about our newly launched green site, http://www.ecobold.com which does video reviews of green products (they’re also sold cheaper than list price).

If not, do you know someone who might be interested in writing about us?

Feel free to call us if you wish, 408-476-0938

Thank you for making a difference in our world!

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Rebeca Del Pinal January 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Hi Just found your website by accident, and am so glad that I did. I can’t wait to tryout some of your yummy recipes. I love your salad in a jar concept- It’s Genius.
Keep on sharing!

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Vicki V January 27, 2011 at 7:11 am

I just found your website today when I did a google search for “Best Cooking Blogs.” They weren’t kidding. I’m smitten! I’ve learned so much in just 10 minutes. Can’t wait to read more. BTW, I’m a fellow transplanted midwesterner (Michigan) who lives in DFW. The salad-in-a-jar idea is just brilliant, and I am definitely going to give the homemade greek yogurt a try.

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Paula January 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Welcome Vicki, look forward to getting to know you better. These warm days beat a midwestern winter day anytime, don’t you think?

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Connie March 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Hi Paula

Just found your website and I love it! Tried the non-fat Greek yogurt yesterday and I am hooked! One quick question – what kind of yield do you get? I used 2 quarts of skim milk and ended up with only about 2 cups of yogurt. It is VERY thick so maybe I strained it too much? Just wondering if that was about what I could expect.

Also, I wanted to share my method as I thought it was quite ingenious! I used a 1 quart pyrex casserole that came with a plastic snap on lid and an insulated bag for toting casseroles and keeping them hot. After I microwaved the milk and let it cool and added the starter I snapped on the lid, poked the probe of my thermometer through the plastic lid, and placed it in the insulated bag on top of a heating pad that I placed in the bottom of the bag. I set the heating pad on low and zipped the whole thing up! It kept it at a perfect 110 degrees.

Thanks for all the great tips!

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Paula March 21, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Connie, I love your method of incubation. Maybe it will help somebody else. Thanks for writing.

Re: yield. For two quarts milk, I usually end up with 1 quart of yogurt–sometimes slightly less. I suspect you strained too much but you can always add milk back in. Makes it super creamy. Also, the more often you keep using your own fresh yogurt as starter, the better and thicker your yogurt will set up–which means it will not drain as easily and will yield more yogurt.

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Sara March 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I am so happy I found this blog. I have recently fallen in love with baking and cooking. All of your recipes are so well written, and all your little blurbs about each makes me giggle. I am 20 years old, and suddenly realized I think I need to get married, just so I have another excuse to make more food :) (I am totally kidding… maybe)
Your bacon wrapped chicken bites are on the grill right now :D

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Christine April 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I’m so impressed with your photos that I had to let you know. If you ever want to start a new career I’m sure you could be a food stylist/photographer.

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Julian April 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Hi Paula, Incredible recipes, photos and information! What is the brand and model number of the bouillon strainer that you use to pour your 2 quarts of yogurt in? And is it large enough to contain the entire 2 qts? Following your recipe, I make 2 qts. also which sets up beautifully and creamy after being strained. Indeed, the other straining methods are messy. So I ready to invest in the best type of strainer that will accomodate my needs.
Thank You in advance, Julian.

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Paula April 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Julian, This is what I have and use.

Matfer 17360 Exoglass Bouillon Strainer

You can get it on Amazon or check at a restaurant supply which is where I got mine. And yes, you can put the whole 2 quarts of yogurt in there. The mesh is so fine, you don’t need cheesecloth. TOTALLY worth it with my yogurt habit. Note: If your yogurt goes through it, something is wrong and your yogurt isn’t setting up as firm as it should. I lose very few solids. The whey that drains is easy to see through. Glad you wrote. paula

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Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com May 6, 2011 at 7:19 am

Love your site! it’s making me very hungry this morning. Found it via your Howard Johnson’s post (and RoadsideFans) and had to say also that I love the photos you take of your creations. The props and lighting and placement- excellent. Have a happy Mother’s Day!

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Paula May 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Thanks for your kind words. Hope you also had a good Mother’s Day.

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jan knapp May 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Paula, Thanks for your info. about your site, and self. I too am a follower of Jesus and am glad he never leaves me nor forsakes me. He is good.

I have an 18 year old daughter who is heading for college in the fall. She is looking at a nutrition based degree, The reason I say all that is because she has some of the same interest you do. Photos good food creating it and eating it. I have already told her she will have to do the salad in a jar in college and I really want her to read your blog. You are inspiring and I think you will inspire her. Thanks for blogging and your sharing ideas and recipes. jan

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tammy June 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

can someone give me advice on using a 2 pound convection bread machine for GFCF bread? I cant find a recipe,,,can i just use a recipe for the oven and just PUT it in the machine? HELP!! My son cant wait to have some bread! Thanks!!!

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Paula June 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Hi Tammy, First question: What is GFCF bread? You can use a recipe for the oven in your bread machine IF you only want to use the machine to mix and knead your bread. When you also want to use the machine to bake it (something I almost never do), then things get quite a bit more complicated and you will probably need to experiment a bit. paula

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tammy July 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Thanks Paula!!

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tammy July 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm

PS :) GFCF bread is Gluten free and Casein free (dairy free) It’s been a real headache we still haven’t made the transition fully, Things seem a lot more complicated and I’m not much of a chef to begin with :) Thanks again for the advice!

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Lori S July 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I had to share my fun experience with you. I am a member of the LDS Church. My son will be leaving on a 2 year church mission on August 31 of this year. The week before he leaves, he speaks in church, and all our friends and relatives come from everywhere to hear him speak and come to our home for a meal afterwards. I expect about 150 people for lunch. I have been thinking all day about a fun dessert to add to my usual desserts. I thought, I’m going to check out Salad in a Jar. She is amazing. First thing I see is your tartletts. I knew immediately, that is what I was looking for. Thanks again. P.S. I still make your sweet milk bread everyday. I doubled the recipe in my Zojirushi, and it works out perfect.

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Tamara July 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I found your blog thru a salad-in-a-jar pin on Pintrest. I’m still looking around but I got all excited reading your profile because my oldest daughter just graduated this spring from Oklahoma Christian!

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Andi July 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I couldn’t find a way to email or tweet you to request permission to use a photo, but I want to blog about salad in a jar on my site. Please let me know if with credit I can use your photo. Thanks!

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Jen August 25, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I have followed your blog since last year. I just read you live in DFW – me too! I feel like a goober haha! I am about ready to move with this crazy heatwave, drought, whatever it is :/

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ana silva September 10, 2011 at 5:17 am

hello just want to mention was reading about bread machine beginners and noticed in your poppy seed rolls receipe how high the dough rises my dough never does that i have a tefal bread machine some times i just think what is the problem when the receipe i follow just like it requestes?

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Diann September 25, 2011 at 8:35 pm

My daughter is going to OC next year, so neat to see you did. I love the salad in a jar. I eat salad all day long!

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McKayla Williams September 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm

So excited to have found your blog! I was googling greek yogurt recipes and came across your site and I am soooo anxious to try some of your recipes! I too went to Oklahoma Christian University and majored in Family studies/child development! Love love love the blog!

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Wandered By... October 11, 2011 at 12:52 am

Im so glad I found your website. Love all the your posts and the philosophy that goes behind it. Keep writing and inspiring!

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Ranelle House October 14, 2011 at 2:03 am

I was looking for information on strained yogurt and stumbled on your blog and boy was I impressed, I can’t wait to try your yogurt and brioche recipes!

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Trinette October 26, 2011 at 7:28 pm

could you suggest which food saver would be the best option and which ones do or do not work with the jar lid attachment? at this point i would really only use it for the vacuum packing the lettuce in jars…. thanks!

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Nicole@The Galley Gourmet November 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Hello, Paula! What a lovely blog! I am headed over to your recipe page and I think I will check out the desserts first:)

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Cindy December 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I loved spending time here today. I copied several of your recipes to try. I think you and I have much in common. Thanks so much for sharing and God Bless you always!

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Karina December 28, 2011 at 2:39 am

Hi Paula! I just found your blog whilst looking for a fat free greek yogurt recipe. So glad google brought me to your site:) The recipe looks great and I am going to try it this week. Living in China a tub of greek yogurt is usd$12 a container so am finally looking forward to enjoying fat free greek yogurt at an affordable price.

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Tracy January 3, 2012 at 5:58 am

Paula,
Thank you so much for your tutorial! That strainer is on my list for sure!

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Heather January 16, 2012 at 9:11 am

Hello, I just stumbled onto your blog from a google search of “greek yogurt salad dressing”. I can really relate to a lot of what you’ve said here and can’t wait to check out all your recipes. Thanks for such a neat blog!!

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Amy January 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Just stumbled upon your site while searching out condensed soup recipes. I am looking for a way to eliminate BPA lined cans in my cooking. Your condensed mushroom soup looks great but calls for a can of condensed milk. Do you know of any substitute for this that doesn’t involve a can?
Thank you,
Amy

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Peggy January 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I am a recent newcomer to your site after making the BEST greek yogurt I have ever tasted thanks to your recipe :)

I have a close friend who is doing chemo for esophogeal cancer. She has been unable to eat very well for some time and has lost a dramatic amount of weight. I have been making her full fat soups and am about to make her her own greek yogurt from…are you ready…FULL FAT MILK with a little bit of WHIPPING CREAM thrown in for good measure!!! I used skim for mine as I have NOT lost a dramatic amount of weight :)

I am not a follower of jesus (in fact I am a pagan lesbian woman married to my wife of 12 years) but I respect those that do and in my opinion, the only thing that is important to me is that people believe in something!

I’m not sure why I told you these things, but thanks for the recipe…it’s amazing and I can’t wait to try out others that you have posted.

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Paula January 29, 2012 at 7:28 am

Hi Peggy,
So glad you took the time to write. How did your full-fat yogurt turn out? I’m anxious to hear. Seems like the more fat the milk contains, the softer my yogurt. Was that your experience? One reader told me she makes it for her cats and they have fattened up quite nicely. YIKES!

Best wishes to you and your friend with cancer. I hope she likes your yogurt and I’m sure your caring love is even more beneficial. pr

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Peggy January 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Hi Paula,

Our full fat yogurt turned out really well – as a matter of fact, it was the same creaminess (is that even a word??) as the skim milk yogurt. We made our second batch this weekend at the same time we were making the full fat – it turned our even better than our first batch.

We are going to invest in one of your strainers I think as that’s the only frustrating part for me :)

As for my friend, she shaved her head yesterday as she was losing too much. She loves the yogurt :)

Cheers xo

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Paula January 30, 2012 at 6:26 am

Peggy,
You will not be sorry about the money you spend on a really good strainer if you make yogurt regularly.

So sorry for your friend. Kinda puts my complaints about a bad hair day in perspective. pr

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Peggy January 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

We’re already looking for a strainer like yours!

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