Lunchtime at work can be annoying at times. Some colleagues want to go the Italian restaurant with the unfriendly staff and their super heavy pasta dishes again. Others want to grab something from the supermarket. But it’s a little expensive and not exactly satisfying either. Yes, we’re in dire straights. And that’s why I want to show you how to make a salad in a jar (also known as mason jar salad)!
Of course, bringing your own lunch to work is not the newest idea in the world, but this way of doing it is healthy, time saving, money saving and really tasty. In theory you could prepare lunch for the whole work week in about 45 minutes on a Sunday. The only thing you need are 5 jars (or lunchboxes) and enough space in the refrigerator.
The idea is pretty simple: start with filling a dressing into a jar and then layer various ingredients like greens, veggies, rice and cheese on top. Keep those jars in the fridge until you need them. Grab a bowl and empty the jar. The dressing will then cover the whole salad. Done.
Sounds easy? Well, it is! To get you a little inspired I’ve put together a step-by-step tutorial plus 21 awesome recipes to try out! Alright then, let’s start!
HERE IS HOW TO MAKE A SALAD IN A JAR
Layer 1: Important! First add the dressing into the jar . You can take any type of dressing. If you add the dressing later, ingredients that you’d much rather stay dry might get soggy. We don’t want that. This is particularly important when you prepare glasses for several days.
Alternatively you can keep the ingredients for a quick dressing at work and just prepare right before you eat.
Here are my favourite three dressings to get you started:
Refreshing sweet and sour dressing (enough for 2 jars):
- ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp honey
- 5 tbsps olive oil
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of salt
- Couple of chili flakes (or dried cayenne pepper will do the trick nicely)
Honey Mustard Dressing (enough for 2 jars):
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 tsp maple syrup (or honey for non-vegans)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Asian Style Peanut Butter Dressing (enough for 2 jars):
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup to make it vegan
- 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon
- 2-3 tbsp water
- A pinch or two of chopped or grated ginger (dried is fine)
Layer 2: Now enter crisp ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, asparagus, celery, peppers, carrots into the jar. This level is important to “protect” the other ingredients from getting soggy. Best are vegetables that you can imagine pickled in vinegar.
Layer 3: This level is for ingredients that should not necessarily swim in dressing, but it’s also not a drama if they do get wet. Some ideas would be mushrooms, zucchini, beans, lentils, peas, corn, broccoli and so on.
Layer 4: More delicate ingredients such as hard boiled eggs and cheese (feta, gouda, cheddar etc.) can be added now.
Layer 5: Now it’s time to add something more substantial! From rice over pasta to more exotic ingredients like quinoa or couscous, use anything you like to “seal” the jar.
Layer 6: Finally we’ve arrived at the last level with ingredients that are less palatable when wet (cool word, eh?). These include nuts and greens such as lettuce, spinach or arugula.
Now just close the jar or the lunch box and place it in the refrigerator. Each morning, pick one and off you go to work.
The variations for salads in a jar are as endless as the universe. Also, heretics are welcome: no need to follow these 6 levels religiously! Think of it rather as an entry-level guide.
How to Pack a Salad in a Jar
This is the Definitive Guide to Salads in a Jar! Awesome dressings, info on shelf life of produce and everything else you need to know to get it just right.
- Clean jars with lid (around 24oz/ 700ml)
- Layer 1: your favourite dressing
- Layer 2: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, asparagus, celery, peppers, carrots
- Layer 3: mushrooms, zucchini, beans, lentils, peas, corn, broccoli
- Layer 4: boiled eggs and cheese (feta, gouda, cheddar etc.)
- Layer 5: rice, pasta, quinoa or couscous
Layer 6: nuts and greens as lettuce, spinach or arugula.
Get all the ingredients ready, meaning cut, peel, wash the veggies/fruits. Boil the pasta, quinoa or rice.
Prepare the dressing(s)
Once everything is laid out chuck all the ingredients according to the layers into the jars. Then lid on top and off they go into the fridge. As easy as that.
You’ll be a meal prepping master in no time!
Article from: HurryUptheFood.com