If you’ve spent any time on pinterest recently, you’re sure to have noticed the current mason jar craze taking over feeds everywhere. Oh, you haven’t seen this?!? Well maybe I just have a few jar-crazy friends 😉 Sadly, I too have now become another statistic to the mason jar epidemic.
It started innocently enough. The polar vortex has been bringing lots of cold air to my little slice of heaven in the south, thus I have been eating an inordinate amount of soup as of late. Soup is one of those weird things that I typically don’t think of as a ‘meal’ except when I am sick. Lately though I have actually been craving it, which is totally bizarre for me. Along with all this soup I still wanted something of substance to crunch on, thus the idea of a pairing salad with it. I know, revolutionary, right? Watch out world, I’ll be figuring out this whole ‘internet’ thing next!
Now I kept seeing these pins for salads in mason jars claiming that they stay fresh for days, and I finally had a friend share a post that made some sense for me out of these claims. It detailed how to layer your jar salad to keep things from becoming soggy and unappetizing. So off to the store I zoomed for salad fixing and some jars* to try this out.
So, according to eHow, the proper way to layer your mason jar salad (from bottom to top) to keep them fresh is as follows:
- Dressing (your wettest ingredient)
- Marinade-able ingredients. Examples are dried fruit, picked veggies, and/or root veggies like carrots, onion, or radishes.
- Wet Ingredients. Such as cucumber, tomatoes, corn, apple, or anything else that would make the lettuce go soggy.
- Dry Ingredients. Beans, meats, cheese, whole berries, etc.
- Lettuce and toppings. I am still experimenting if its works better to do croutons bellow or on top of the lettuce. This is also where you can include such things as edible flowers, nuts, or tortilla strips.
*Jars – I never realized how many different types of mason jars there are. I went with a wide-mouth quart jar, which has turned out to be just perfect. Easy to get things in and out of, and makes a good main entree salad serving size.
The great thing about these salads is, once you get the basics of layering down, they are infinitely customizable. Below are 4 salads I have made recently that I came up with off the top of my head. Don’t like something in my version, no worries, kick it out and replace with something you do like!
Hard Boiled Egg slices
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Strawberry Fields Salad
Honey Roasted Almond Slivers
Feta Cheese Crumbles
Update: After trying several iterations with the croutons in different places, I would definitely recommend them on top, or carried separately (I know, hassle). If your salad is not going to sit long before eating, they will remain mostly crunchy on top. After 24 hours in the jar however, then get kind of soggy. Personally, I just brought a small sandwich bag of them to my office to add at the time I devour my salad.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! What better day is there to discuss this herb so closely linked with Latin American food?
Personally, I love cilantro! I think it adds great flavor to a wide variety of meals. For those that don’t care for it, while I can’t say I understand, at least there is a possible explanation as to why you shouldn’t be faulted for your feelings. Apparently Cilantro is one of those items that is extremely polarizing, as evidenced by the Cilantro hate groups, such as http://www.ihatecilantro.com/ and the I Hate Cilantro Facebook group. Apparently there are some sent molecules in Cilantro that aren’t far away on the chemical compound chart from those found in soap, hence the common complain from Cilantro haters that it tastes like soap.
But, if your like me, you enjoy the flavor notes Cilantro adds to food, here are a few recipes featuring this unfairly maligned leaf of the Coriander plant.
Spicy Cilantro Pesto – Pesto is so versatile. It’s not just for pasta folks!
Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette – Along with zesting up a salad, this would made a fabulous marinade also for chicken for fish!
Cilantro Lime Rice – I love an herby rice. Takes an otherwise boring grain and gives it some personality.
Here is a recap of some of last weeks posts, in case you missed them due to the nice weather calling you outside and away from the warm glow of your monitor.
Lots of recipes last week:
- Avocado & Mango Salsa
- 6 Ideas for Leftover Ham*
- Awesome Lemon Pepper Catfish
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
* I did make one of these last week, so keep your eye’s peeled for a review.
Continuing the Ham theme, there was the Bacon AT-AT and B-AK-47.
Also a heads up about a local Atlanta event for my friends into Hosting and Entertaining.
Since the weather is predicted to continue to be very pleasant for the next few days, I’m sure some of you will miss this post to, but really I can’t blame you. If I wasn’t chained to my cubicle I’d be right out there with ya!