Salad in a Jar!

So Toby and I have a bunch of Mason jars left over from the wedding. When I ran across the concept of salad in a jar on some blog I was linked to, it was a natural.

It's a way to make a hearty salad in advance and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. You layer the ingredients in a Mason jar with the lettuce on top (to make sure it doesn't touch the dressing), and there ya go. We made 3 each this weekend, and had them for lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and dinner today (we both felt like going out at lunch), and we just made two more each for Thursday and Friday.

Mine are the two on the left, Toby's are the two on the right. You can tell we have very different tastes in salad. :)

Mine, from the bottom up:

(I don't like most dressings, and am happy with naked salad)
Green onion
Carrot shreds
Hard-boiled egg
Diced leftover pork kebabs*
Black beans
Shredded cheddar jack
Iceberg lettuce (most darker lettuces taste unbearably bitter to me)


Makoto Ginger Dressing
Red bell pepper
Green onion
Hard-boiled egg
Diced leftover pork kebabs*
Shiitake mushrooms
Crumbled feta with basil and tomato
Black beans
Romaine lettuce

* Not the ones I was asking about a while back! Different pork kebabs, grilled with bacon and onion. MMMMMM! We had one serving left. Our earlier salads had shredded rotisserie chicken instead - we picked one up from the store rather than cook it ourselves. We also had bacon last time--had 6 strips of bacon left that we needed to eat before they went bad, so we fried 'em crispy and dumped them in.

If you've got dressing, right before you eat, shake the jar up and then pour it out. Or, if you've got a long enough fork, eat out of the jar. If you use dressing, especially an acidic one, you'll find the vegetables sitting in it pickle a bit. Toby reports that red peppers sitting in Makoto ginger dressing for a few days taste fantabulous. (Possibly not his exact words. I might have paraphrased.)

Anyway, this was the blog post I was originally linked to, which has a drawn schematic for what order to put things -- it's mostly: dressing, denser bits, proteins, lighter bits, lettuce.

And here and here a guy experiments with a week's worth of salads in a jar.

You've got to be careful carrying them, as they're glass. I've got a bento bag that goes with a food jar which fits a plastic Gladware container that I use for a bowl and the jar, nestled into the bowl, perfectly. Toss in a fork, and it's ready to go. And it's VERY NICE to have my lunch already made.

Down side is that it takes us 45 minutes or so to chop everything up, boil the eggs, cook and cool down the quinoa, but you can make a bunch at once and if you were making something for dinner that had a few of those items in it, it'd cut the time down drastically.

I think maybe I'll try a pasta salad next time, without lettuce, and see how it goes.

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Tags: bento, food
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