It’s all the rage in foodie world: salad in a mason jar. And truth be said it is an easy quick way to make a delicious lunch, take it to work, the park or on the road. So I had a go at it after a little research and some trial and error, here the do’s and don’ts on packing the perfect lunch jar!
Avoid a soggy salad by adding the heaviest non-absorbent ingredients with the dressing at the bottom of the jar. I prefer keeping it separate all together and having a little dressing jar on the side.
Keeps in the fridge for several days if tightly sealed but I recommend avoid putting tomatoes, avocados, hard boiled eggs and cooked chicken in the jar just yet if you are going to store it for a few days.
To plan for the week, prep all your ingredients and store in fridge, ready for a quick assembly line in the morning before going to work. Saves time and let’s you enjoy your morning tea in peace.
So here is how you do it:
- The dressing: this is easy weather you go for a little bit of lime juice with olive oil or a Greek yoghurt with chives – anything is possible.
- Add first the hard vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, peppers, beats and fennel.
- Now come the grains, rice, pasta or beans: add some chickpeas or green beans; if you go for pasta a butterfly or spiral pasta works best. I love also bulgur or quinoa. I season already with spices or herbs and toss in just a little splash of olive oil or everything gets lumpy.
- Next are the proteins: a little grilled chicken or a hard boil egg, can be delish. Tuna is also a great choice. Best to have cooked protein versus raw fish, can be tricky. a bit of cheese works well to, maybe some mozzarella or feta. what about a bit of bacon, or shredded ham.
- A soft vegetables and fruit like a peach, some figs or some strawberries can truly lift the salad from boring to exciting but of course some heirloom colourful tomatoes (incidentally also a fruit) will be just as fab. Try some dried fruits too. Some olives work also in this layer.
- For crunch some nuts or seeds ; try maybe some almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds or toasted pine-nuts. Maybe some croutons, why not.
- At the end add the green leaves; as I am not a big fan of lettuce or roquette, I tend to add freshly chopped herbs such as basil, marjoram, chives, coriander.
Voila your lunch-to-go in a jar is ready, just toss or shake it or tip on to a plate – ready to enjoy a healthy home made lunch hopefully at the park and not at your desk in front of your screen, like I end up doing a lot!
In this vegetarian salad I used: a greek yoghurt dressing with chives, cucumber, radishes, bulgur spiced with raz-el-hanout and coriander; some fresh peaches, red, yellow and green tomatoes, pine-nuts, chopped marjoram and baby lettuce.