About a week or so ago I saw something posted on FB that originated on Pinterest, about salad in a jar. The idea is that you create the salad in a jar, which is taller and narrower than the typical Tupperware, Rubbermaid, Hefty, Zip-Loc plastic container you’d pack a salad in to take to work for lunch.
The idea of the taller narrower jar is that you put the dressing right in the bottom and then start layering salad ingredients based on items least likely to wilt in five seconds, i.e. sugar snap peas, red cabbage, carrots, etc. I personally love the idea of the glass jars because I personally hate plastic containers….no it’s not a love-hate thing, it’s a hate-hate thing…..I hate storing them, I hate the fact that the tops are worse than single socks as far as getting lost goes, I hate seeing them dirty in the sink, I ate that I don’t know WTF is going on with the chemical composition of the plastic in the hot dishwasher and what I’m subsequently eating, and of course, I hate that they don’t come out of the dishwasher nice and dry like my Polish pottery does :
The first order of business when you want to make jars of salad is to secure the appropriate jars. My research told me that quart-size is just about ideal and I did not need to worry about the lids being vacuum-sea-lable because I wouldn’t be doing that with salad. Quart-size glass jars went onto my shopping list and then I had a nice surprise…
Someone in my local Free-cycle** group was looking to unload a dozen quart-size jars with lids….hmmmmm….could this be fate, I think not….we all know it’s that divine intervention thing, right?
So I reply that I’d love to have the jars and lo and behold the first person to claim them could not pick them up after all and so on Friday evening a dozen quart-size glass jars with lids became mine. Earlier today I set aside 3 of them to give away to another friend and the rest went into the dishwasher for a nice hot, sanitizing bath.
Having already created a salad shopping list, while all this bathing and sanitizing was going on I set off for the produce section at the local Wegman’s where I purchased lettuce, baby spinach, red cabbage, grape tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, alfalfa sprouts, turkey, baby swiss cheese, eggs to hard boil, and unsalted shelled sunflower seeds. Oh, and a can of beets.
I got home, unpacked the groceries, took the jars out of the dishwasher, lined them all up, donned my usual gloves that I wear when preparing food, washed down the counter and the sink, washed the produce and my cutting board, grabbed a sharp knife and went to town. Less than an hour later I had 6 quarts of fresh green salad to take to work for lunch this week. A slice of turkey and a slice of the baby swiss, along with a hard boiled egg and a container of the sunflower seeds will accompany the jar of salad to the office with me tomorrow….oh, and some of the beets and a fresh bag of Stacy’s pita chips (multigrain).
I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold off until noon because I’m already dying to pour one of these babies into a large bowl and dig in…..this yummy-ness will very closely approximate my favorite lunch of all time which is the Vegetarian Powerhoue from Chopp’d – which I have not had in months and months and months since there is no Chopp’d near my office nor by my house.
The trick will be to see whether I repeat this salad prep performance again and again which is my plan…..I really hate going out to buy food at mid-day when I’m in the middle of working, really hungry but not for anything in particular, and everything costs about $10 when all is said and done and it’s still not Chopp’d and if I went to my 2nd favorite of all time and got a burrito bowl at Chipotle I’d weigh 250 pounds in no time….and be broke on top of it….
So you’d better believe that the next time I’m downtown (why didn’t I think of this yesterday when I was there???) or in Rosslyn I’m going to make a special stop at Chopp’d for a Vegetarian Powerhouse with egg and pita chips – Buttermilk ranch dressing – pepper no salt…. but in the meantime, call me crazy, but I think I’ll be happy to get up for work tomorrow knowing what awaits me at lunchtime!!
As you’ll see when you get to the related articles, this is a real thing, this jars of salad thing…..I am not crazy, well a little bit I am but about this I’m totally on point!
Since I already had some of my ingredients at home here is a list of everything I put into each jar in the order that I layered them:
Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing! oh yeah! Yes, you put the dressing right in and then layer according to what ingredients are least resistant to wilting, etc. lettuce is on top. Obviously the idea is to try to keep it upright and not let the dressing creep up to the top and make everything soggy.
Sugar Snap Peas
Chopped Baby Carrots
Sliced green pepper
Mixed field greens
Taking on the side – not sure if this is all of it every day but I have it on hand if the spirit moves me:
Sliced honey baked turkey (deli)
Sliced baby swiss cheese (deli)
Hard boiled egg (I only eat the whites b/c I have to watch my cholesterol)
Sunflower seeds – shelled, no salt
Sliced red beets (canned w/ no salt added)
Stacy’s multi-grain pita chips – I like a little texture in my salad!
One of the other beautiful things about this is that I made 6 of them so if I only eat 3 or 4 for lunch and the mister only tries one this week we also have the option of having one for dinner. I think that a quart of salad, which is the perfect size for lunch for me with some of the add-ins is also the perfect size for dinner for the four of us.
**Check out Freecycle – a terrific way to recycle and/or repurpose the stuff you have filling up your house but don’t use anymore AND every once and again you get lucky and someone is giving away something you’ve had on your list but haven’t managed to buy!
- Mason Jar Salads. (workofheartandsoul.wordpress.com)
- The Mason Jar Salad Movement: A Real Thing? (sfist.com)
- Salad in a Jar (somekindoflovelyride.com)
- Salad In the Jar (whatsyourdiet.wordpress.com)