Mason Jar Salads

Mason Jar Salad 1

These Mason Jar* salads are a recent discovery of mine. They are genius!  Since I went back working I have been buying my lunch out each day which is not something I can or want to keep doing. Apart from the expense I find I am eating stuff I wouldn’t normally choose to eat. In line with my 80/20 philosophy about food I like to eat healthily during the week so I can relax at the weekend and enjoy a few treats plus a few glasses of wine. This requires a bit of organisation and planning though during the week and these salads in a jar are a brilliant idea.  I make two at a time and they fit neatly in my handbag. With these salads it is all about the order of the ingredients – salad dressing first, this is so important as it guarantees that your salad ingredients don’t get soggy. Then put in a grain or a protein or something else big and chunky (e.g. chick peas, quinoa, sweet potato, butternut squash, pasta etc) layer your ingredients according to how heavy they are, e.g towards the top add nuts, grated cheese, seeds and lastly top it with your salad leaves. When you are ready to eat it then you just turn it out into a bowl, the salad leaves will be at the bottom.  Just mix it and there you go – a perfectly fresh and satisfying salad.   This website which I came across will give you some great ideas to encourage you to give this a go.

*PS – I bought the jar in SuperValu for €4.50 – however any clean jar that has a suitably wide opening will do.

In the one in the photo there is the following (from the bottom up!):

  • Spiralised / grated courgette
  • Shredded carrot
  • Black olives
  • Cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • Cucumber chunks
  • Cooked chicken
  • Mange tout(lightly steamed)
  • Broccoli (lightly steamed)
  • Mixed leaves

 

 

Winter quinoa salad

Quinoa salad 6

This beautiful and nutritious salad will brighten up any dark, dreary day. I know you are probably saying salads are for Summer but the ingredients in this recipe are available all year round in our supermarkets so there is no reason not to give it a go to brighten up any day –  you will be so glad and your body will thank you for it. You will know from a previous recipe that I am a big fan of quinoa not just because it is quick and easy to make, but also because it is a super healthy source of (plant-based) protein and a slow release energy sustaining food (i.e. keeps you full for longer!).  It also keeps and travels well so very handy for making wonderful healthy lunches to bring to work and also for using up leftovers such as cooked chicken or roasted vegetables. Beats a ham sandwich any day! Continue reading