Friday, December 16, 2016

12 Days of Christmas Day 4 - Salad Jar

Possibly as motivation for myself, in the spirit of a balanced approach, today's 12 Days of Christmas Recipe bonanza recipe is also a healthy, nutrition-packed option. I know that over the next week I will be surrounded by a lot of Christmas baking, my own baking included, so when I am not stuffing my face with shortbread and mince pies, I need to remember to stuff it with vegetables.

Salad Jars are a fantastic way to transport salads without everything getting soggy and without taking up much room. They are also a fantastic option to take on a summer picnic (since we are technically in summer in NZ over Christmas, even if the weather doesn't always come to the party). 

There are a couple of key principles behind a salad jar:

  • Top Layers: Salad Leaves and Crispy bits. Basically all of the things that you don't want to go soggy, i.e. croutons.
  • Middle layers: Cheeses, nuts, tomatoes etc. In the middle layer go all of the things that can afford to get a little dressing on them if the jar tips over, but that you don't want to be drenched in dressing.
  • Second to bottom layer: Proteins and hard vegetables. These are the items that are going to absorb or be covered in dressing. Things like beans, chicken and carrots are great in this layer.
  • Bottom layer: In the bottom layer you put your dressing. 
Really the beauty of these is that you can throw anything that you have on hand into the jar and have a great, healthy lunch on hand.

To get you started, I thought that I would share one of my favourites with you. This salad makes the most of summer ingredients, such as blueberries and avocado. It is full of healthy fats and absolutely delicious!

  • Top Layer: Baby spinach and sprouts
  • Middle Layers: Cherry tomatoes, almonds and blueberries.
  • Bottom Layers: Avocado and feta (because I like it when it takes up some of the dressing), and of course in the very bottom was my dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, honey and a little sea salt.

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