Meal Prep 101: Building a Salad Bar in Your Fridge

We often get asked for tips to help with meal prep and sticking to your clean-eating goals, so we decided to start a series of blogs with tips to help you thrive in your new clean-eating life! Today we’re focusing on how optimal refrigerator organization can simplify your meal prep.

One of the most common things we hear from people all the time is, “I don’t have enough time to make healthy food.” We totally understand! Many of us have this idea that grabbing food from a restaurant or salad bar will be quicker than eating at home.

However, when we consider the time it takes to drive to the restaurant, place an order, pay for the food, and drive home again, we could have already made our own meal at home for a fraction of the cost. Besides, food we make ourselves is always healthier because that’s the only way to be 100% sure of what’s actually in our meals.

So what’s a clean-eater to do?

One of our favorite ways of ensuring we always have a quick meal ready to go is by building a salad bar in our fridges.

After grocery shopping, we take time to clean, chop, and store produce in glass containers (mason jars work great too) so that throughout the week when we need something quick, we can simply throw the ingredients together in a bowl and voilá – a healthy meal in a matter of minutes!

If we can do it, you can too! It’s all about making your meal prep a habit so it becomes second nature, and that habits are easier to stick to when you have a plan. For more meal planning help, hundreds of recipes, coaching, and more, consider checking out our cleanse program here. Our food based cleanse helps you detox without ever feeling hungry!

Below are five steps to help you transform your refrigerator into a salad bar:

Build a Salad Bar in Your Fridge in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Clean out your fridge

Not a fun step, but a necessary one! It’s much easier to eat healthy when there’s enough room for your fresh food to take center stage. That random condiment that’s been sitting there for 6 months? Toss it – it’s likely filled with extra sugars anyway. 

Step 2: Gather the right tools

It’s all about the containers. We definitely recommend glass containers whenever possible. The chemicals in plastic containers can break down and actually leach to your food – gross! Plus, glass is a bit easier on our environment. We like to use a combination of good ole’ mason jars and lockable glass storage containers.

Step 3: Prep your veggies

Take time to prep your food as soon as you bring it home from the store! Wash and chop your veggies. Clean and dry your leafy greens and fresh herbs then wrap them in a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Having all of the veggies in their containers and ready to go in the fridge makes tossing a salad a cinch.

Step 4: Prep your extras

Toppings are what make your salad special! Gather toppings you know you like and can combine in many different salads – olives, artichoke hearts, pickled veggies, etc. Cook a big batch of tri-colored quinoa or chickpeas. If you’re a meat eater, cook up three extra chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces and place in another glass container so you can turn your salad into a hearty meal. Keep a jar of nuts and seeds handy for another good topper.

Step 5: Make a big batch of your favorite dressing

No salad is complete without a yummy dressing. However, store-bought dressings are often filled with manufactured oils and sugar so we always advocate making our own. Some of our favorites are our Sweet Basil Salad Dressing and Cashew Cilantro Salad Dressing.

So there you have it! Now your fridge is stocked and ready to serve you up a yummy, nutritious meal in a matter of minutes! Here are some of our favorite salad recipes for further inspiration:

Now we want to hear from you! Are you ready to turn your fridge into a salad bar? Please share your ideas and comments with us below and have fun!

With love and salad bars,

Jo & Jules

If you liked these tips, we invite you to join our online community! As a welcome-gift, we’ll send you our Meal Prep 101 Guide to Meal Planning (which includes a 7-day meal plan and recipes!)

We’ll also be sure to share new recipes and healthy lifestyle tips. Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here.

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