Salad often gets a bad rap for being a boring choice with tasteless, too-good-for-you ingredients. But these days, there’s no better option for a healthy, delicious lunch or dinner, thanks to all the local and seasonal ingredients at our disposal, paired with fantastic recipes of every kind.
Take Ontario strawberries, for example. Now in peak season, there’s no better time to use them every chance you get. And why wait for dessert when you can have Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Couscous Salad as the main course. To get your daily dose of vitamin-rich greens, serve Strawberry Spinach Salad for lunch or on the side at dinnertime.
The other way to get excited about salad is to get rid of those boring plastic containers and fill a mason jar full of nutritious ingredients to take on the go with you. Not only does it look beautiful, it gives you the chance to use a mix of leftovers (mmm, that last bit of steak or pork loin that you didn’t finish last night will be perfect chopped up and added in) grains and legumes from the pantry , and fresh fruits and vegetables of the season.
Here are a few quick tips to make your mason jar salad a success:
1. Make sure to add dressing to the jar first, so that it sits on the bottom, reducing any sogginess. Add crunchy bits next so that they act as a kind of shield, protecting the rest of the jar from your dressing.
2. Next add in grains, proteins, legumes.
3. Add greens last so that they don’t get mushy or smushed.
4. When you’re ready to eat your salad, just shake it up and dig in!
Try the Meli-Melo Salad in a Jar, a protein-rich blend of chickpeas, tuna, edamame and arugula.
There are so many varieties of salads to try – green, vegetable, fruit, rice, meat, cheese, seafood, noodle, bread, Caesar, Nicoise… you’ll soon find they’re your favourite part of the meal.