Sunday, April 7, 2013

Salad in a Jar Tutorial & Recipes

Have you ever gone to the grocery store, so excited about buying all of the ingredients to make fabulous salads throughout the week, only to find that some (or all!) of the ingredients have gone bad? Well, that's happened to me entirely too many times.

I began researching ways to make a salad last longer, which ended up with me finding Salad in a Jar on Pinterest. Basically, it's an awesome idea for a couple of reasons.

1. It really helps the salad last longer. Typically, the lettuce will stay crisp and fresh for 7-8 days!
2. Convenience. I don't always have much time in the mornings before work to make myself a salad. You put all of the ingredients into the jar, and when you're ready to eat the salad, you just dump it out into a bowl or shake it up and eat it right out of the jar!

So, here's how to do it.

First, gather up your ingredients, and your jars!

Second,, I buy organic lettuce in the bundle. I read somewhere that if you buy the pre-packaged lettuce, it sometimes has chemicals that help preserve it. I'm trying to stay away from chemicals, and you get more bang for your buck if you buy the bundles. Of course, that does mean a little extra time on my part. I have to wash the lettuce and then break it up into smaller lettuce bites. This time, I bought green leaf and romaine.

Next, I wash and cut up all the vegetables and/or fruits that I might be using.

Once everything is all arranged and ready, it's time to assemble. This is by far the most important part, and it's what ensures that your lettuce does not go bad. Here's a basic outline of the way you want to assemble your salad in a jar.

Important things to remember:
 - Lettuce and croutons need to never touch the dressing. They will become all soggy and disgusting.
- You can eat directly out of the jar. Just leave some room at the top so you can shake it up. I also recommend a wide-mouth jar if you want to eat out of the jar.
- You can use any recipe that you want, have fun with it! Just remember the assembly rules!

Some of the recipes that I came up with:

Grape & Mandarin Orange:
- Organic pomegranate vinagritte
- Grapes as the "in the dressing layer"
- Mandarin oranges next
- Top it off with lettuce

Carrots, Onion, Bell Pepper & Cheese
- Creamy French dressing
- Carrots, Bell Pepper, & Onion next
- Layer of cubed cheddar cheese
- Top it off with lettuce

Caesar Salad:
- Caesar dressing goes in first
- Carrots & Onions next
- Grilled Chicken, diced
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Lettuce
- Top with croutons

Balsamic Chicken:
- Balsamic Vinagrette
- Cooked chicken, diced
- Feta cheese
- Lettuce
- Pine nuts

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