Masor Jar Salad--the Perfect Work Lunch

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

As you guys know, I am a working mom. I work in NYC, one of the most expensive if not the most expensive cities in the US. I also try to eat healthy which means a $10 to $12 salad from one of the local places (Chop't, Just Salad, Sweet Green, etc). Meanwhile, I have a perfectly stocked fridge at home.

About 6 months ago, I started to see these Mason Jar Salads popping up all oven Pinterest. I have it pinned forever like I do many many recipes (hanging head in shame), till finally, I tried it for the first time last week and fell in love!

The combinations are endless but the most important thing is the order of ingredients and packing your items tightly. I can't stress this enough ORDER OF INGREDIENTS IS KEY!
I make 2-3 jars at a time, usually on Sunday night and the salad stayed fresh and tasty with the greens being not at all soggy.

I have been using 1 Pint mason jars which is just about enough but am thinking of picking up some Quart jars to see if I can pack more greens. If you pack the ingredients tight, you would be surpised how much fits into a pint size jar.
Mason Jars are available on Amazon, if you are looking to pick some up, please search through the link on my blog (it's on the right side of my page)

The key to preventing the greens from getting soggy is placing the hearty veggies on the bottom. Note that the veggies on the bottom that touch the dressing get a bit pickled which tasted delicious, particularly for red onions, carrots and radishes.

Layer 1: Dressing (to go on the bottom)
You can choose any combination you like.
So far I have done:
  • Extra virgin olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Dijon, Chopped Shallots
  • Extra virgin olive oil, Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
  • Extra virgin olive oil, Fig BalsamicVinegar and Berry Preserves
About 2 tablespoons of dressing is more then enough for my taste.

Layer 2:Hearty Vegetables
I have used thinly sliced red onions, radish, thinly slice carrots, cherry tomatoes with success.

Layer 3: Less Hearty Vegetables
Less hearty vegetables such as zucchini, corn, beans, edamame, beets, roasted butternut squash, avocado (if using avocado, squirt with lemon to prevent browning)

Layer 4: Grains or Pasta
Any grains you like-- quinoa, wheatberries, faro, rice.

Layer 5: Protein and/or Cheese
Protein and/or cheese would go here. So far I have used grilled chicken and goat cheese. Both with great result.

Layer 6: Greens and seeds
So far I have used arugula and kale as the top layers. I also brought pistachios but in a separate ziploc baggie which I broke out when I mixed my salad.

That's it, you are done. Close the jar tight. Refrigerate and bring to work!

To eat, I throw the salad into a large bowl that I keep at work and mix well.

Mason Jar Salad Ready to Transport

Mason Jar Salad in a bowl at my work desk.
With Kale, Red Onion, Carrots, Radishes, Quinoa, Tomatoes, Avocado,
Pan cooked zucchini, Grilled Chicken

Another option: carrots, green apple, freekeh, avocado w a squeeze of lemon, chicken, shaved parm.
Dressed in evoo/apple cider vinegar and honey.

Another Mason Jar Salad (with Arugula, Red Onion, Carrots, Radishes,Avocado, Beets,
Wheatberries, Roasted Butternut Squash and Pistachios)

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