I have been hooked on salad in a jar lately!
I am trying hard to eat more vegetables. Yes, I eat plants, but plants include things like grains and sugar… foods of which I can definitely eat too much. One of my big problems with vegetables is when to eat them. I don’t often have them at breakfast, but lunch is a great opportunity. Dinner too, but there’s only so many veggies I can eat at one meal!
Of course, I’m at work during lunch. Sometimes I go out and may order a salad, but more often than not, I eat in my office. If I don’t bring something green, I won’t be eating any! Yes, you can bring salad in a bowl, but the jar is much more convenient. Not to mention, pretty!
At the bottom goes the dressing (I like vegan ranch ). From there, the idea is to build with the sturdier vegetables and fruits, leaving delicate bits for the top. Once you’re ready to eat, you simply give the jar a few hard shakes to distribute everything, and then you’re ready to eat! You can also pour it into a bowl, espeically if it’s packed tightly. Sounds simple enough, right?
So what goes into a salad in a jar? When I think of salads, I tend to think of lettuce. Lettuce is certainly easy enough to find in the winter in any supermarket, but winter is a great time for some of the other leafy greens, like kale and arugula, available at some of the winter farmers’ markets . I usually keep the rest of the veggies simple- a little carrot and onion, but you can also stuff your jar with fruit! During the winter I like citrus, but whatever you have on hand is fine. Other options this time of year are to add beans, chopped tofu  or tempeh , roasted veggies, cooked or sprouted grains/grain salads or toppings like vegan cheese, vegan bacon bits or croutons (always check labels- most brands I’ve seen have dairy. Or make your own from stale bread!).
Bottom to top: Vegan ranch dressing, kale, onion and carrot, a satsuma, and spinach.
This is something you can easily make at night, when you’re preparing for the morning, and as long as you use sturdy veggies, you can make up a few of these at a time.
Lastly… where to get a jar this time of year? This is a quart-sized jar- you probably won’t want anything smaller. If you don’t have any on hand, try repurposing an old marinanra jar, or jar of similar size. If you don’t mind buying a dozen of them, you can still find them at places like Chef Central  in Hartsdale- split them with a friend, make a bunch up at once, or save the extra jars for canning projects in the summer.
It’s easy, cute, and great way to get some greens and other veggies in every day!
- vegan salad dressing
- sturdy leafy greens, like kale or collards
- favorite veggies
- fillers such as tofu, tempeh, beans, roasted veggies, grains, fruit
- delicate greens, such as spinach, arugula, mesclun, lettuce
- toppings- croutons, vegan cheese, sprouts, edible flowers
- Pour dressing of choice into the bottom of the jar.
- Add sturdy greens.
- Add favorite veggies and fillers to the middle.
- Delicate greens and/or toppings to the top.
- Shake when ready to eat, or pour out into a bowl.
I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan . Follow her on Facebook , Twitter  and Pinterest .