Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Salad in a Jar

Oh boy am I excited!!

Remember me being all bummed out about convenience and how I'd never have it again if I try to be a bit more healthy by avoiding pre-packed and processed foods? Well along came a post on my Facebook newsfeed and it had all the things I wanted - quick, easy, delicious, cost effective and healthy AND it was slimming as well - *bonus*. What am I going on and on about? It's called "salad-in-a-jar". Seriously it couldn't be more descriptive than it is! It is...... wait for it....... a SALAD.IN.A.JAR!

Basically you get a glass jar (in my case a beetroot one) and put your favourite salad dressing at the bottom and then you layer it potjie style!! After the dressing you add non-absorbing stuff like cheese, cucumber, lentils, beans, seeds, nuts etc (croutons wouldn't work very well!) and then you add the rest, like meat (I added roast chicken) or anything left over from dinner that would be considered salady (e.g. couscous, rice, even curry) finishing with the leafy stuff like lettuce or spinach. You cram it in and shut the lid tight and pop it in the fridge ready for work or any rushed lunch-on-the-go. I LOVE IT!

What's even more amazing is that you can make 7 salads-in-a-jar for the whole week, in one go, when energy strikes (with 3 children you really need to take advantage because it doesn't strike as often as it used to!) In order to stick to my eating plan I have to prepare ahead of time because if I'm not prepared and get too busy I end up eating everything that's not nailed down in a starvation-induced feeding frenzy. So making salad is a mission especially in winter when my hands freeze. So this is perfect for the lazy food preparer - do it once and it's done for the week.

But won't lettuce wilt and go slimy? No! Because the dressing doesn't reach it, it stays crisp and delicious and due to the glass container, it lasts so much better than in a Tupperware. Also, we like glass because plastic releases toxins and although plastic is really handy, we are trying to limit the use of it. So lazy time-challenged people like me, can make lunches for the whole week and line them up enticingly in the fridge. Now this is something I can work with!

So I immediately set to work [actual meaning - I saw Hubby making a salad and told him about my new discovery and he made me one - gotta love a man who knows his way around a kitchen!] We were having a chicken salad for dinner so he just popped some in a jar, it looked so delish. I often have salad for lunch that was made the night before and in a Tupperware it never looked so inviting. This darn jar was tormenting me - "Eat me!!!" it was screaming! Normally the only food screaming at me to eat it, is chocoate, so this was a pleasant surprise!

This is my salad-in-a-jar

Salad dressing on the bottom (homemade awesomeness with honey, balsamic vinegar, plain yoghurt and mustard) then carrots, cucumber, red pepper, tomato, roast chicken and lastly lettuce. Admittedly I was running out of the homemade dressing because I ate most of it at dinner, so it looks a little sparse in these photos, but I'm sure you get the picture.

And it became this after I dumped it out into my bowl :)

This salad in a jar making was completely unplanned and we didn't have any exotic ingredients like nuts, seeds and feta - but not too shabby for a first try!

This is where I got the idea Salad in a Jar and she's got some great combinations if you want to try.

Now I'm off to eat some more beetroot as I only have 3 empty jars and that's not going to make me a week's worth of lunches!