Coast to Coast Inspiration: American Link

I like Mason Jars. I like the different shapes and their versatility as well as the vintage look that just makes whatever is in them look that much better. So if you are anything like me, the first thought about any given task at hand sounds something like, “What is the most efficient way to get this done?” The truth is, I am easily distracted, and naturally attracted to short and sweet methods to get it done.

 

I stumbled across the idea of packing salads in jars a while ago, and I loved the idea of just throwing a few easy ingredients into a jar and bada-bing-bada-boom; lunch/dinner is served. For someone who eats out often to avoid cooking for one-which can be challenging-this was one of the better solutions to my predicament.

 

Over this past weekend, with my fridge door wide open, I stood before bare shelves that inspired me to embark on an adventure to adorn them with some good-looking ‘Salad Jars’.

I bought some of my favorite salad ingredients at the store and started prepping as soon as I got home. It was like craft time; which happens to be one of my favorite things.

I started on the pasta right away; and as it cooked I rinsed the vegetables and got the jars and the other ingredients ready for packing. After draining the pasta, I added some olive oil to it to prevent it from becoming sticky and inseparable.

As the pasta was cooling, I chopped the cucumbers and deboned the rotisserie chicken, slicing the meat into chunks. I managed to get about a dinner plate full of chicken for the salad with enough leftover for chicken potpie for dinner.

I waited to dice the avocado until right before I needed to use it. I squeezed half a lemon over it to slow down the oxidization which causes browning.

Next I pulled out all the ingredients I needed for the first jar and got the show on the road. I usually layer the ingredients in the following order:

STEP ONE

Salad dressing

STEP TWO

Hard, hearty vegetables

STEP THREE

Grains or pastas

STEP FOUR

Proteins and/or cheeses

STEP FIVE

Nuts and/or seeds if any

STEP SIX

Salad greens

I normally use wide mouth one-quart jars for my salads due to the amount they can hold and also the ease of sticking my hand into the jar and moving the ingredients around as needed. I made four different salads, and here are the recipes:

The Standard Salad

Servings: 1 Salad Jar // Total Time: 20 Minutes

 

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons of Oil and Vinegar Vinaigrette

A handful of Grape Tomatoes

A handful of Sliced Salad Cucumbers

A handful of Tricolor Pasta

A handful of Diced Chicken

Romaine Lettuce (Filled to the rim)

Chicken and Feta Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

Servings: 1 Salad Jar // Total Time: 20 Minutes

 

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinaigrette

A handful of Grape Tomatoes

A handful of Sliced Salad Cucumbers

A handful of Diced Chicken

2 tablespoons of Crumbled Feta Cheese

2 tablespoons of Dried Cranberries

1-2 tablespoons of Chopped Walnuts

Spring Mix (Filled to the rim)

Chicken Caesar Salad

Servings: 1 Salad Jar // Total Time: 20 Minutes

 

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons of Creamy Caesar Dressing

A handful of Grape Tomatoes

A handful of Sliced Salad Cucumbers

A handful of Diced Chicken

2 tablespoons of Shredded Parmesan Cheese

A handful of Diced Avocados

Romaine Lettuce (Filled to the rim)

*Serve with croutons if desired

Spinach Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Servings: 1 Salad Jar // Total Time: 20 Minutes

 

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinaigrette

A handful of Grape Tomatoes

A handful of Tricolor Pasta

A handful of Fresh Mozzarella ‘Pearls’

Spinach (Filled to the rim)

When I serve the salad, I like to give the jar a good shake and pour it into a plate and eat to my heart’s content. The salads usually stay fresh up to five days. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to open my refrigerator door, stand in front of the ‘Salad Jars’ adorned shelf, and drown in this awesome feeling of satisfaction and triumph.

Credits // Author: Sue Ann Chong  -  Photos: Sue Ann Chong

Subscribe to our mailing list

QUICK LINKS

© 2015 Silverwings Productions, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED