Party In My Tummy: Jar Salads from Joe Turic Photography
I’m so excited to have my friend Joe guest posting for me today! I’ve known him since college when I told him I like his Zildjian hat. Somehow having a girl recognize a brand of cymbals seemed to make me stand out among all the other people you meet as freshmen…that and the fact that we were then in almost every class together. Anyways, now we work at the same place, and he is an amazing photographer in his free time. Check out his work at Joe Turic Photography! I love that I can bother him at lunch (or anytime really) to help me improve my own photo taking skills!
Working a full time job, preparing a healthy lunch day to day is tough. Most people are in a rush in the morning, and getting a nutritious lunch together is probably on their mind, but easily slips away when you remember you have a 9 am meeting and you’ve got to run out the door.
Enter jar salads.
I originally saw this method of preparing salads on Lifehacker. I’ve prepared and brought salads to work for lunch for many years, but this method is by far the best, and also allows you to prepare multiple salads for the week so there’s no more thought than “grab and go” in the morning.
The basic idea is that you put your dressing in a nice thin layer on the bottom. Sink some “dressing impervious” vegetables into that, like tomatoes or some edamame, and then begin layering everything else on top. The fun part comes when you realize that the variations are endless, and you can stuff anything from black beans to leftover salmon to cous cous to brown rice to hard boiled eggs to quinoa in the middle of the jar. Start by cutting up a bunch of veggies — cucumbers, mushrooms, peppers and carrots.
I like to throw in some artichokes and edamame and sometimes black olives as well.
I usually make up my own olive oil and balsamic based dressing, but you can use whatever you suits you. Keep chopping and add in some tomatoes and spinach. I like getting everything chopped so that putting the salad together (especially if you’re doing multiple) or more of an assembly line process.
Now, beginning with the salad dressing at the bottom, start layering. Like I said before, I like to start with tomatoes submerged in the dressing, they don’t seem to be affected too much.
Keep layering up, try to avoid putting any vegetables that might soak up moisture next to wet stuff, this will keep the salad nice and crisp, even for a couple of days in the fridge.
A few more layers and we’re almost done! Make sure to leave some space at the top to stuff in your greens. I used spinach here, but romaine lettuce, kale or cabbage are great choices as well.
That’s all there is to it. When I’m ready to eat, I give my jar a shake and then dump it out on a plate. You can eat straight from the jar but it can be a little tough with a container of this size (you can get smaller ones if your goal is to eat straight from the jar).
My advice is to start out with a couple salads, maybe go day to day, to see how your fridge is and how the vegetables fare. When you feel comfortable, you can make a little army of these on Sunday afternoon in various size jars for a super healthy, super quick lunch that will last all week.