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21 June, 2016

Salad in a Jar

Posted in : Pre-prep, Salads on by : Nicole

Until recently I thought the Salad in  Jar thing was simply silly.

Salad In A Jar Ingredients

Really? It will last over 5 days? And what? You eat out of a jar? It was just too kitch for me to take seriously!

But then, i joined a friend and she changed my world!

She had a “Salad in a Jar” party. You get about 10 people. Each one brings an ingredient or 2.

Diced Cucumbers

Each ingredient is chopped and washed and prepped and ready to go.

You put the ingredients in a specific order and then send your people through the line to make their bottles!

For me, I don’t like the dressing in the bottom, it certainly works well and can marinate the meat while it sits, but i like to put mine on after i pour the salad out.

The group thing works well and can end up more cost effective since each person is only buying a couple things. It’s also a nice social event and a good reason for wine…

For me – i’m a creature of habit. I like what i like…  

My Perfect Salad in a jar:

Diced English Cucumbers (they still get watery, but you can pour out the water, before you pour out the salad, and it all works great!

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Next is Pepperoncinis – i discovered the joy of pepperoncinis on a salad in a  lovely staple of Fresno California – Cosmopolitan Restaurant. Since then, I add them whenever i can! Try it – trust me!

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After these lovelies, add in some Crumbled Feta (approx 1/4 cup per bottle)

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Next I like to add the Cherry Tomatoes – they hold up longer than chopped tomatoes and less watery!

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And then, Dried Cranberries. They add just a tid bit of twang!

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Final step – Spinach! You can place them in a nice pile and just keep squishing them in, you can press them down and fill it up nicely.

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Put the cover on, and pop them in the fridge. I’ve had them last definitely for a full 5 days – and sometimes longer depending on the freshness of the spinach.

When you are ready to eat – take out a jar, my preference – pour out the water first – then pour it into a bowl.

Salad in a Jar - outcome

Isn’t it gorgeous??

From there i chop a hard boiled egg, cover lightly with a lovely EVOO and Balsamic! And final coup de ta – sprinkle a little Slap Your Mama to give it a little kick! Perfection in my book!

Note: hard boiled eggs – you can dice and add them when you add the feta, but they might get a little squishy after the first couple of days.

Some of my favorite dressing combos:

  • Blood Orange EVOO + Lemon White Balsamic
  • Garlic EVOO + Lemon White Balsamic
  • Chipotle EVOO + Pomegranate Balsamic
  • Mushroom and Sage EVOO + Lemon White Balsamic
  • etc…

Other Options:

Other add ins depending on what is available –

  • artichokes
  • hearts of palms
  • Sesame seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Black beans – rinsed and drained
  • Corn – rinsed and drained
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Garbanzo Beans – rinsed and drained
  • Lentils
  • left over steak – say from your spicy flank you cooked the other day?
  • Left over chicken – maybe that hoisin chicken you made?
  • Left over shrimp – perhaps you didn’t eat all the spicy coconut shrimp?
    Anything and everything is generally game..  I’m not a fruit – fresh fruit – in my salad type of gal, but that can be nice as well – again – either add it after you pour it out, or only add it to ones you will be eating quickly.

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I have found that I can actually get all the ingredients for my salads at costco and make it work for my needs!

Shopping list:

  • 1 container of baby spinach – 3.99 (can get 5 salad in a jars, 1 dinner salad, and 2 or more morning shakes)
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes – 4.99
  • 1 container of crumbled feta – 7.99 (lasts for approx 6 month)
  • 2 jars of artichoke hearts (hasn’t been any in  while, could do 5 salad jars out of 1 container)
  • 2 English Cucumbers – 2.99 – use one for the salads, and the left over one for dipping into hummus
  • Dried Cranberries – 12.99?  – bag lasts forever  – it’s a dried fruit!- can use them in tons of recipes. I’ll give you more soon! (quinoa salad and dog treats)

So – per week it’s a $10 investment for 5 days plus

The feta, cranberries and artichoke hearts are not an every time purchase, maybe once every 6 months or so…  And the jars are a one time investment of around $16-$20… for 12… so share with a friend if you want!

The only outliers are the pepperoncinis – buy them on sale 1.99 – in fact they were recently on sale!

So the choice is yours – make it an event, or do your own thing – but i’m a believer, it works and it’s delicious!

Here are a couple sites for suggestions on other ingredients as well as the best order of things in the jar:

@Kitchnn –How To Pack the Perfect Salad in a Jar

Pop Sugar – 25 Mason-Jar Salad Recipes to Make Co-Workers Jealous

These should give you good ideas for doing your own thing!

Note: I like big salads – so i get the quart, wide mouth bottles.  If you are dainty – go for smaller, but the wide mouth lets you pack and dump with ease! Enjoy!

For the pre-prepping info – do this on your prep day.

  1. Start the hardboiled eggs
  2. Get out all your ingredients
  3. Wash tomatoes – only enough for your bottles – the rest will last longer if not washed
  4. Dice cucumber – add them to your bottle (if putting dressing in the bottle, start with dressing. Cut the extra cucumber into slices or sticks, store for use during the week – can you say paleo hummus dipper?)
  5. Dice Pepperoncinis – add to your bottle – (rinse the knife, put the cutting board into the dishwasher)
  6. Sprinkle in the feta cheese (put the container back in the fridge)
  7. Sprinkle in the dried cranberries (put the bag away)
  8. Pour the tomatoes onto a towel to get the excess water off -add enough to cover what is in the jar. (put the strainer in the dishwasher)
  9. Add the spinach (hubby got me in the habit of taking off the stems, i save those for dog treats – put the spinach back in the fridge – top side down – it will last longer, trust me!
  10. Drain the eggs, and set aside till cool, put the pan in the sink to wash

Done – and your kitchen is clean!

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