Monday, 17 February 2014

White Bean, Grain and Dill Salad in a Jar

I'm super late to the salad in a jar party, of this I am sure.  As someone who keeps a small kitchen in my cupboard at work, the need to pack every little bit of a meal into a jar was never necessary.  The genius of it that I missed was how it could be made for days in a advance and never lose its freshness.  In fact, those little bits in the bottom so close to the dressing?  They're marinating in goodness making the salad even better on day two or three.  How could I have been so wrong.

Don loves when I fill the fridge with these for the week.  It's the perfect meal for him to grab as he runs out the door in the early morning hours.  Even I, with my work cupboard full of knives, cutting board, vinegars and oils has to admit this is a quick way to eat lunch.  The secret is in the packing.  There are lots of posts out there on what order this should go in, but my favourite is to put a bean right after the dressing, followed by a grain, crunchy veggies and then greens.
I tried out a new grain in this salad: Cavena Nuda.  Marketed as the "rice of the prairies", its a chewy nutrient dense grain that adds texture to this salad.  You could easily use spelt, farro, barley or even quinoa in it's place.  The dressing is a little thick, meaning it won't slide up onto your greens if your jar accidentally gets tilted or tipped.  This also means, you have to scrape the bottom a little but trust me, of the two choices this is the better one.  No one wants to open a salad jar at noon, only to see it's become a soggy depleted mess from the backpack trip into work.

White Bean, Grain and Dill Salad in a Jar

1 cup cooked white beans (I cooked mine in the slow cooker with some fresh sage, garlic and thyme)
1 cup cooked Cavena Nuda (or barley, farro, quinoa)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup grated red cabbage
1 head romaine lettuce, spinach or kale
4 Tbsp dill dressing (recipe below)
4 wide mouth jars

Dill Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp fresh dill
3 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper

Put all ingredients in blender and pulse until mixed.  Store in fridge up to one week.

Assembly:  In this order, put in each jar: 4 Tbsp dill dressing, 1/2 cup beans, 1/2 cup grains, 1/2 cup red cabbage, 1/2 cup carrots.  Top with a good handful of lettuce.  Don't be afraid to push down into the jar.  When ready to eat, dump into a bowl or plate and toss to eat.  Enjoy!

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