Salad in a Jar - yummy & healthy Lunch @ Work or Home

I am really happy and proud of myself these days. In general, with my blogging (hey, I just graduated from another A-Z challenge, and I think I did pretty well), and where food at the office is concerned. 

Around our office we do have a few choices:

  • Walk across the street to the market to grab a sandwich, a pre-packed salad, some yogurt or the "lunch of the day" which is usually some fried meat or fish with a side of carbs and -if any- overcooked veggies. Not a fan.
  • Drive 6-8 minutes to a butcher's store that offers a warm meal. More of the same, see above.
  • Order ahead and drive 10-12 minutes to an Asian eat-in restaurant that is nice enough to pack your chicken and rice into containers so you can pick it up. 
  • Drive 10-12 minutes to Burger King or McDonald's, wait in line for at least another 10-12 minutes either at the drive thru or in-store.
  • Bring your own. We have a large fridge, a microwave and some dishes in our break room.

I usually do a bit of everything, but recently more often the latter.  It started with canned sweet corn, some cherry tomatoes, leftover broccoli and an avocado. I would have this 2-3 times a week without getting tired of it.

When I got home from my trip to the West Coast, I wanted to recreate the Souplantation salad bar at home. It doesn't look like much, but for this I spent over two hours in the kitchen!

I put the leftovers in Tupperware containers and thought "wouldn't it be cool to have them in those jars you keep seeing?" I'm really not a fan of washing, peeling, chopping and grating every day, so having a couple of mason jar salads in the fridge at all times would be really nice. Probably prevent me from snacking on crackers and other junk, too.

The next day I went jar hunting. You can get them in many places, household stores, your regular market, IKEA, Landi, you name it. My challenge is going to be: how many can I store in the fridge and / or in the cupboard at the same time?

I watched a couple of videos where ladies show you how to recreate their salad. 

There are basically two approaches:

  1. Put in salad dressing first, then add non-absorbent ingredients,lastly,  stuff in lettuce 
  2. Put in "compact" ingredients first, lettuce last, keep dressing in an extra container

Both promise that the ingredients stay fresh and crisp for days and days.

This is a pretty graphic by Katie, over at Pieces in Progress on how to layer your ingredients:

As I am not a fan of soaked food, and I keep my favourite store-bought balsamic vinaigrette in the office fridge anyway, I went for approach #2.

The left jar is from Landi, the right one from Depot, I'm happy with both.

I was a bit sceptic as for staying fresh and crisp, but I wanted to give this a try. 

I was so very positively surprised!

I layered my ingredients, avocado included, in the jar on Wednesday at noon and put it in the fridge. And it still looked and tasted the same on Friday at noon! 

So when lunch time finally rolls around... just open your jar, dump its contents on a plate, place some leftover roasted chicken pieces, sprinkle with sunflower seeds, toss your dressing and enjoy!

There is really no need for recipes! Fill your jar with what you like and what's around in your fridge! If you're looking for inspiration on how to pair your favorite ingredient, save this pin.

I am still trying to make my own version of the HRC haystack salad that has disappeared from their menu. 

There are so many varieties I can think of, depending on the cuisine, season and availability:

  • 🇲🇽  Mexican: Iceberg lettuce, black beans, cooked ground beef, tomatoes, cheddar, tortilla chips
  • 🇬🇷  Greek: Cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, feta
  • 🇹🇭  Thai: lettuce, mango, carrots, cucumber, roasted peanuts

  • Spring: Green asparagus, strawberries, baby spinach (above)
  • Summer: Tomato, mozzarella, arugula
  • Fall: Baby spinach, pears, blue cheese, dried cranberries, roasted pecans
  • Winter: ummm. Winter salad? Does Mac'n'Cheese count?
    I like to eat grated root celery with pineapple and walnuts, but I don't like to make it from scratch, and the store bought grated celery tastes like nothing. I don't like beet or brussels sprout, but if you do, go right ahead ;-) I think I'll have some
    gingerbread salad in the meantime... As a matter of fact I commit to come up with one and blog about it. How about that?
If you are going to try a salad in a jar variety, please let me know about your experience!