Monday, March 17, 2014

Winter Salad (maybe in a jar)

Recipe Experience
New Recipe of the Week, Week of 2/24
From: Simple Bites

For me, one of the hardest things about salads is eating them throughout the year.  As it gets cold and gray outside, I stop wanting fresh and light things and start craving heart warming comfort foods.  Especially as fresh produce gets bleaker looking at the supermarket, it just isn't as appetizing!  I don't think I'm alone in this, am I?  But that's no excuse to stop eating these wonderful veggie-packed meals all seasons of the year!  So I was on a mission to find a winter-based salad to try to really get me going back and this one just sounded right up my alley!  "Sweet Potato & Kale Salad with Black Beans" mmm doesn't that just sound heart-warming and wonderful?  Anyway, the first step was to roast the sweet potatoes, so I took a little liberty here and decided to season with some Greek seasoning instead of a more basic roast.  

healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
All you need!

healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
Sweet potato cubes!
healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
All seasoned up!

When roasting veggies, you really just need to cook them until they are to your liking of softness, so that's what we did! I then turned them out onto a plate to cool, because packing a bunch of hot sweet potatoes with other delicate veggies seemed like a bad idea...

healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
These were great all on their own!

So once those cooled a bit I stuck them in the fridge to make sure they really cooled down and actually ended up assembling my salads the next day.   Here's where a few other things strayed from the original for me, I found this greaat Yogurt & Dill dressing at Central Market, so I went with that because I didn't want to be bothered making my own.  Then we were making other things with black beans this week so I didn't want to overload, easily swapped for some Garbanzos!

healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
Simple few ingredients!

The only other prep needed was to rinse the beans and chop up the kale into bite sized pieces.  I don't know why, but I always manage to cut kale too big and it always frustrates me!  Then once you have all the ingredients ready to go you just layer them up in the jar dressing-to-greens.  I was doing my assembly line around lunch time, so my first portion of all the ingredients actually went straight into a bowl, isn't that a beautiful salad?

healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
all done and ready to nom!

So for the mason-jar salad portion of it I just layered the rest of the ingredients into 4 quart sized jars and topped with a plastic lid so I could write my name on them for the office.  They look nice not only in my fridge, but don't take up too much space in my work fridge either so it's always easy to find a spot for them!  If you aren't referring back to the original recipe, the order to layer this one is dressing, feta, chick peas, sweet potato, kale.

healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
perfect lunch for work!
healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
I also keep a real bowl at my desk

So it comes time for lunch at work and I just open the top, and dump the entire contents of my jar into the bowl.  I think keeping the real bowl makes all the difference, because it really makes it feel more like a meal at the office.  If you don't need to bring lunch to work, it's still great to save yourself time preparing your lunch at home each day too!

healthy girly life: winter salad (maybe in a jar)
still just as lovely post-jar
This salad was absolutely wonderful.  The Greek seasoning paired with the dill dressing in lovely harmony.  The feta also played nicely with the dressing, almost turning it into a feta dill dressing over the greens.  Sweet potato and kale are both great and fresh in the colder months as well, so I didn't feel like I was forcing some summer salad on myself just for the sake of  "eating a salad"  I can't wait to make this one again!

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