Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Salad in a Jar: Lunch Ideas

I'm told I'm way late to the game on "salad in a jar." But forget that! I am behind on a lot of trends, and that doesn't lessen my enjoyment any.

"Salad in a jar" is just a good idea. And perfecting the technique—while it might not help you contribute to water cooler conversation, if that's still a thing—is simple and immediately yields dividends. It's all about layers, and building your salad carefully so as to keep the ingredients fresh, crisp, and just as delicious as you need them to be when lunch hour looms. Ingredient amounts and jar size will vary depending on what sort of salad you'll make. Side salad? Go for a half-quart jar and balance your ingredients accordingly. EntrĂ©e? I used a quart jar and loaded it up with chickpeas and quinoa ... greens were sort of an afterthought, but definitely made it in!

Your layering strategy should be as follows (find my route in italics):

• dressing on bottom: I doubled Cooks.com's recipe and reserved the extra.
substantial vegetables next: Chickpeas, grape tomatoes, then zucchini.
grains: I cooked a cup of red quinoa and added 1/4 cup to the two jar salads I made, reserving the rest—quinoa gets used quickly around here.
• cheese: Feta crumbles.
greens: Spring mix and kale.

To serve:
Shake the jar and then empty contents into a shallow bowl. Toss, then enjoy.

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