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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Salad in a jar

Salad in a jar, have you heard about this? The deal is it's supposed to make the salad last longer, and it's prepped ahead of time, making life so much easier. I'm going to be honest, I'm not a big salad eater, it's not that I don't like salad, I in fact love salad, especially if someone else made it, LOL! While I love to cook and bake, I've just never been a big salad maker, it's always been easier and quicker to make a sandwich or make almost anything else, I suspect that is because I didn't grow up eating salad. That was something that was served at a restaurant before the meal, typically at a buffet or some such place. I do remember as an adult there was this restaurant called Souper Salad, it was just that, it had soups and salads, it was buffet style, you paid first, then you went through the line and added whatever salad fixings and soups you wanted, in the amounts you wanted... It felt like eating healthier, but a little green lettuce with tons of really rich salad dressing, creamy soups with lots of crackers, and don't forget the dessert bar, I enjoyed the sweet breads, pumpkin, blueberry, chocolate... I think what I liked best was the fact that someone else did all the prep work, I didn't mind eating the salads I just wasn't into cleaning, cutting, mincing, storing all that hard work afterward.

So today, I tend to just not think about salad, and honestly it's not something I can buy from the dollar stores that I service, the grocery stores where I could get the fixings for salad are closed by the time I get done with my jobs. Another issue I have with salad, I buy it then I don't eat it quick enough, I do like the pre-made salads in the stores, but those are starting to get more and more expensive. When I look at the ingredients and realize I can buy everything I need for just a few dollars, it's hard to justify spending the money on a mere convenience.

Earlier today, I needed to go to town, my truck was just about running on fumes, I knew I wouldn't have enough fuel to go to church on Sunday AND make it back out to town on Monday to go work. Sure enough, my truck complained about half way to town (about a 22 miles one way trip), I was expecting it, I knew I'd make it, just...

Before I left to go to town, I made a shopping list, I needed to keep things on the frugal side, I had things like plain pasta noodles, rice, and salad. I did a quick search on Instagram for summer salads, I needed inspiration, and I found it, lots of it, then I remembered salad in a jar, I searched for that and found a few good ideas. I don't need a "recipe", just some ideas.

I knew I had several cases of Mason jars in the non-functioning storage fridge outside, at least I thought I did, I hadn't looked in there in a long time, but I was fairly confident that the jars were still in there.

I made short work of fresh veggies there, buying what looked best and was a good deal, romaine lettuce, a head of green cabbage, a red onion, I found 2 packages of fresh pico de gallo, no need to buy and chop tomatoes, white onions and peppers, and they were marked down to 99 cents, I bought the 2 they had marked down. I already had 2 cucumbers at home, and everything I needed to make my own salad dressing. 

Once I got home, I found those canning jars, fortunately my memory hadn't failed me... I cleaned the jars and lids, then began to prepare the veg. I chopped the lettuce into one bowl, the cabbage into another bowl, I thinly sliced the red onion, I did a quick blanch with boiling water poured over the onions, it helps take the peppery bite out of the raw onion. I opened one container of the fresh pico de gallo and got that ready, I diced the cucumber... Next I began to pack everything into my jars, pushing everything down firmly as I went. Starting with the cabbage, layering everything else as I went and ended with the lettuce. I decided not to put any meat or salad dressing in the jars, I'll add those when I'm ready to eat the salad. I screwed the lids and rings on the jars.

Right now, my fridge is full of very pretty jars of salad. I'm very interested to see how long these stay fresh, it's supposed to last much longer than just having it in a bowl. I really hate throwing away fresh foods that have gone south. That's one of the reasons why I so rarely buy stuff like this, I'm hoping this will be the start of a beautiful (and healthier) relationship.

This was my final salad that I ate last night. I wanted to make my own salad dressing, I also wanted to make hummus, so hummus won out, it's so easy to make, let me know if you want my recipe. 

Let me know what you think, have you tried this? If so, do you like it? 

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