British Summertime officially starts on June 21st … and knowing our luck it’ll probably still rain!
So while you’re waiting for the sun, why not do a bit of Summer meal prep?
After all tis the season of the salad and June 16th is the official Fresh Veggies Day!
This lightweight healthy wundermeal is just what we need for a lunchtime pick me up when it feels like we’re roasting like rotisserie chickens.
They’re ridiculously easy to make and with the right ingredients you can have a tasty low calorie meal.
Let’s face it, nobody likes a soggy salad but with the help of our new BFF and favourite 2016 trend: the Mason Jar!
Why should I start using a glass jar for my salad?
Other than a Mason Jar salad looking really cute and colourful, there’s method behind this Mason Jar madness.
An air tight glass container will keep your food fresh by keeping out as much air as possible, while plastic lunch boxes can sometimes make your food taste like… well, plastic!
To get the perfect salad, it’s all about how you layer your ingredients in your jar.
The ingredient at the bottom of the jar, layer 1, is always your dressing. When you tip your salad in a bowl or on a plate, the dressing will cover the top without being soaked up.
Layer 2 is something a bit chunkier that will stop the dressing splashing your leaves while layer 3 is usually the stuff you want to stay dry until it hits your plate. Usually it’s your crunch like croutons, nuts, or seeds but can also be a thicker ingredient too.
Your leafy greens are always your final layer to create the salad bed when you tip the jar upside down to make it all fall on the plate.
You can have as many layers as you like for a Mason Jar salad, as long as your first and second layers follow this formula you can mix and match your other layers.
The Beetroot Blaster
Eat a rainbow for lunch with this blast of bright colours and sweet succulent flavours! Not only will your colleagues marvel at your desk dining art but your kids will love your glowing gourmet lunch too, so a this Mason Jar salad is a great way to get them eating healthy.
Layer 1: A light balsamic vinaigrette will bring out the sweetness of those beets!
Layer 2: Beetroot will make this sweet salad appear radioactive when tipped on a plate!
Layer 3: Bacon bits – we hate to go bacon your heart (get it?!) carnivores, but these little crouton chums are vegetarian yet still full of deliciousness!
Layer 4: A little grated carrot can hydrate your salad and stop it from being too sweet. Plus the purple and orange look really pretty together!
Layer 5: Mixed lettuce leaves for a crunchy blend of flavours for your salad bed.
The Edgy Veggie
Technically this isn’t a salad but we’re throwing it in here for an honorary mention! As well as keeping soggy salads at bay, your jar will also stop your veggies from turning to mush so you can tip them on the plate ready to reheat. If you're feeling cheeky, drizzle with a bit of gravy after you've reheated your roast! So if you have any leftovers from your Sunday roast this is perfect for making the start of the week Monday Funday!
Layer 1: Roast potatoes or parsnips to soak up that gravy goodness on top!
Layer 2: A little bit of chunky cauliflower will soak up any bits of gravy your spuds have missed.
Layer 4: Leftovers like carrots add more moisture to your mix and a subtle sweetness to this vegetable powerhouse!
Layer 5: Tender broccoli will give you protein, iron, and a slice of Sunday lunch while you work.
The Protein Packer
Breaking a sweat at the gym for those cheese grater abs? Then you need the protein packer salad! Filled with protein and fibre rich ingredients like chickpeas, seeds, and nuts, you’ll be energised ready to pump iron at the gym after work!
Layer 1: A drop of balsamic vinegar or olive oil for flavour enhancement.
Layer 2: Cherry tomatoes or sundried tomatoes for a burst of sweetness.
Layer 3: A little sliced cucumber keeps your body and this salad hydrated!
Layer 4: Subtle chickpeas that truly pack a hefty punch of protein.
Layer 5: Turkey or chicken breast for a meaty sweetness.
Layer 6: A light sprinkling of iceberg lettuce to keep you refreshed and watered before your workout!
The Vampire Slayer
This is the salad you should eat if your colleagues have no sense of smell and romance is off the cards for the evening! Full of our favourite pongy veg like spring onions, red onion with a chilli kick of jalapenos, it’s a tasty and tangy treat!
Layer 1: Sour cream and chive or cottage cheese will cool down any heat. If that’s not your bag then a little garlic mayo will do the trick too!
Layer 2: Sliced Bombay potatoes for a classier version of cheesy chips.
Layer 3: Red onion and spring onion thinly sliced and mixed.
Layer 4: Jalapeños if you dare to spice it up!
Layer 5: A layer of cooked kale seasoned with ground garlic for extra flavour!
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