Being fifty-something, I’m always on the look-out for new lunch ideas. I’ve counted the beans and figured I’ve had close to 20,000 lunches in my fifty-something lifetime. No wonder I’m keen for something novel!
I noted a lot of online chatter about “salads in jars” and my fancy was tickled sufficiently for me to give it a go.
Regular readers will know that I have an abundance of vintage Fowlers preserving jars. I’m working my way through them, gifting them full of home-made cookies, filling them with creamy soy wax to make scented candles and storing all sorts of bits and bobs in them. I’m down to a collection of about seventy-five now (so watch this space).
The “salads in jars” project looked like a one stone/two birds proposition – healthy lunches + purposeful use of vintage Fowlers preserving jars. Win. Win.
The concept (not complicated at all) is that you make up multiple salads, layered into jars, and store them in the fridge. The trick is keeping the greens away from the dressing. Theoretically, you can make up a week’s worth of salads and have an easy, convenient option every day. I’m not convinced of the food safety issues around storing salads for five or so days. But I can vouch that our salads remained crisp and crunchy, for two days. I’ve found knowing there are two days’ of lunches prepared, packed and ready to go is a satisfying way to begin the week.
How do you make a salad in jar? There are few rules … it’s all about using your favourite ingredients and layering them up, using common sense, from the bottom of the jar. Ours have been different each time, but always with a couple of tablespoons of dressing squeezed into the bottom of the jar and finished off with lettuce/greens on the top.
Our ingredients have included carrot, cherry tomatoes (they last better than sliced tomatoes), hard-boiled egg (whole), cucumber, snow peas, red onion, capsicum. I’ve seen others included sliced meats, but again, I’m unsure of the food safety issues involved there.
Come lunchtime, you just grab your jar, empty it out onto a plate and there you have a dressed, crispy salad, ready to go.
Be warned. Once you start making meals in jars, you may find yourself on a slippery slope. I’ve already slid into breakfast in a jar thanks to seeing this recipe for Blueberry Overnight Oats over on the always-fabulous The Life of Clare blog. This recipe led me down another rabbit hole of LSA and chia seeds. I love the scenery down here. And the flavour. And the novelty of it all.
I’d love you to give salads in a jar, or breakfast in a jar, a go for yourself. Perhaps you’ll dare to go for a full week of salads? Let me know how it pans out for you … and if you need any jars, I just happen to know where there are a few (dozen).