Monday, October 21, 2013

Mason Jar Salads

I posted a pic last night of 12 Mason jar salads ready to go for the week and the response was "tell me more."

I've experimented with this over the past few weeks and here's what I've found...

Dressing first- put your salad dressing in the bottom of a clean (I ran them through the sanitize cycle in the dishwasher first) quart-size Mason jar. I used three different dressings this week.
1. Homemade Lemon/Italian (olive oil, lemon juice from 1 small lemon, 2 cloves pressed garlic, italian herbs- whisk together.
2. Homemade Creamy Cilantro-Lime (found here)
3. Annie's Green Goddess (store-bought)

"Chunky Stuff" next
On top of the dressing, I placed chunkier items, or items that I wanted to marinate in the dressing.

Keep layering
I layered from most durable foods to most delicate at the top, ending with my greens at the top of the jar, far away from the dressing at the bottom. In cases where I added cheese, that was at the top as well. Push down lid to hand-seal, and screw on the top. I use a removeable glass marker (Vis a Vis) to write the salad name on the lid- it washes off easily.

So, what did I make? In layered order:

2 Lemon/Italian dressing, chopped artichokes, walnuts, whole grain brown rice (cooked/cooled), arugula, spinach, Gruyere blend of cheese (shredded)

4 Southwest- Creamy Cilantro-Lime dressing, shredded carrots and broccoli, cherry tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, corn, zuchinni, avocado, red peper, green onion, arugula, baby romaine, pepper-jack cheese

2 more Southwest, with shredded pork on top (leftover from weekend pork roast)

4 Green Goddess dressing, shredded carrots and broccoli, cherry tomaotoes, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, zuchinni, green pepper, power to the greens mix, arugula, shredded parmesan

The combinations you can make are endless.
We really enjoy the SW style salad, so I make the most of that style. The Hubs has asked me to start putting more grilled chicken into these, which can be done.

I've found prep goes fastest when all ingredients are cleaned, chopped, and placed in separate bowls- it makes it go much faster when filling. Other variations I've included in past weeks are chia seeds, flax seeds, pepitas, cashews, and sundried tomatoes.

When you are ready to have the salad, it's really grab and go. I take my mine, shake to distribute the dressing, and pour onto a plate.

If you give this a try, be sure to comment and let me know how it goes!

Note, I use organic/non-GMO whenever possible, I just don't note it in the layers.

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