I recently discovered what can only be described as the best lunch idea since the sandwich- jar salads! These are salads you make and layer in a canning jar in such a way as to retain the appropriate texture of all the ingredients. You can make a bunch at a time and they keep for days in the fridge.
The trick is in how your layer the ingredients. Here are the basics of layering:
Dressing goes on the bottom, followed by dense, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cucumber, bok choy, cauliflower, bell pepper, kale. Next add anything starchy such as brown rice, quinoa, barley. Then comes your protein (chicken, seafood, steak, eggs, cheese, tofu). Top that with your light salad greens (spring mix, any type of lettuce, spinach) and then finally sprinkle a few nuts for crunch on top. Now, take care to keep your jar upright until mealtime to maintain those layers, then dump everything over a bowl, toss and enjoy a salad that tastes as good in a couple days as when you first made it!
As far as recipes, they are only limited by your imagination. Here are a couple I have made but really you can use anything you have on hand, leftover chicken and meat, cheeses, rice, pasta, any vegetables, salsa, citrus… you get the idea!
Dense Veggies: Coarsely chopped red bell pepper, green onion, Lebanese cucumber
Protein: Thai chicken (made by stir frying diced boneless skinless chicken breast in equal parts fish sauce and soy sauce with some fresh grated ginger and garlic.)
Starch: Brown rice
Nuts/Toppings: Peanuts and a wedge of lime to squeeze before serving
Dressing: basic vinaigrette (2 parts olive oil to one part red wine vinegar with a dash of Italian herbs)
Dense Veggies: Broccoli and cauliflower
Protein: sliced and diced salami and provolone cheese
Starch: Spiral pasta, or none
Nuts: Slivered almonds
I hope you enjoy making your Jar Jar salads as much as I do. Please let me know in the comments if you have any recipes for them that you think we should try!