I've always been a bit of a lunch packer. I love to feel organised and packing lunches for the week is part of my weekend routine. With Mr N starting school last week, the organisation just got ramped up a notch.
I love a good salad for lunch and I've been making layered salads lately, which are working out fabulously. Although I've used a jar here, you can layer them in a standard lunch box just as well. I use a litre lunch box or this litre preserving jar.
The trick with getting these salads to last the distance is in the layering. The Kitchn blog does an excellent summary here. Go check it out!
I'm not very adventurous with my salad. I know what I like and what works for me. This is how I make my jar salad. The dressing goes in first (I use Martha's recipe) followed by any hard salad ingredients, such as carrots, cucumber, radish and capsicum. The next layer is any beans, grains, lentils or pasta. My first preference is chickpeas but I do like brown lentils with rice as well. I then add a layer of feta cheese but you could add hard boiled eggs, cheese or tuna, if you're eating it within the next day. On top of all this I add a handful of Rainbow Salad Mix (shredded carrot, brocolli stalks and beetroot) before packing the rest of the jar with green salad leaves. You can really jam them in. To top it all off, I add a few whole cherry tomatoes.
This jar salad lasts quite a few days in the fridge as long as you don't shake the jar and mix the dressing with the salad. I make 3 days worth on a Sunday and they last just fine. If you're using eggs, tuna or meat, you'll want to eat it within the day.
When it comes to eating the salad, simply tip it out in to a bowl. I like to give it a good shake to cover the salad with the lovely dressing. If I'm out and about, I just eat it straight out of the jar!