Yummy Salad Jars

yummy-salad-jars

Okay, I’ll commence this post with a confession – I didn’t invent this idea. Whilst leafing through a recent edition of Eatwell magazine, a special collection of healthy recipe ideas from BBC Goodfood, I came across a recipe for prawn, rice and mango jar salad and was so excited by the idea I rushed off to Ikea to buy some mason jars. Having made the aforementioned recipe and loved it, I decided to try a few alternative food combinations based on my favourite types of food – Chinese and Thai.

These salad jars are healthy, full of flavour and protein (to keep you fuller for longer), fab to keep in the fridge for lunch, an excellent alternative to a packed lunch, and would also be fantastic for picnics. Yes, I know it is January and we’re all freezing, but let’s just take a minute to fantasise about picnicking on a sunny beach, with a warm breeze on our skin, sand on our toes, the sound of the waves and happy children…..ahhhhhhh! Come on, summer, hurry up!!!

These salad jars are simple to make, can be prepared the night before, if needs be, and be quickly assembled in the morning. The great thing is is that you can tailor them to your tastes, so buy yourself a jar (a mere £1.25 from Ikea!!) and start experimenting!

Here I have my three favourite recipes, including the original recipe from Eatwell magazine. All of these recipes are enough for one person. You don’t have to share your jar. It is all yours.

yummy-salad-jars
Prawn, rice and mango salad jar (273 kcals)

50g uncooked brown rice
Handful of baby spinach
100g cooked prawns
¼ ripe mango, cut into small pieces
½ red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
Small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Dressing:
½ tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp brown sugar
1. Cook the rice to al dente, then cool quickly by running under cold water. Put cold rice into the bottom of the jar.
2. Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients. Pour over the rice.
3. Layer spinach, prawns, mango, chili and coriander on top of the rice. Make sure there is space at the top of the jar to shake it all together just before you eat.

Thai Prawn Salad Jar (291 kcals)

100g uncooked prawns
50g uncooked brown rice
Handful of baby spinach
Small handful of fresh basil and coriander, roughly chopped
1 spring onion, shredded
Marinade:
1 tsp Thai fish sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tbsp dark soy sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
1 stick of lemon grass, bruised (give it a whack!)
Juice ½ a lime
Dressing:
Juice of ½ lime
½ tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 Mix the marinade ingredients together, put the prawns in the marinade, give it a good mix and leave in the fridge for 30 mins or longer to let the flavours infuse.
2 Cook the rice until al dente then cool quickly by running it under cold water. Once cool put the rice into the bottom of the jar.
3 Mix together the dressing ingredients and pour over the rice.
4 Remove the prawns and the kaffir lime leaves from the marinade, spray a frying pan with frylight and gently cook the prawns until cooked right through. You can cook the prawns in the marinade if you like and then add it all to the jar (although make sure you remove the lemon grass stalks!), but we found the extra soy and fish sauce made it very salty.
5 Once the prawns have cooled, start loading up your jar. Add a layer of spinach, then the prawns, red chilli, the spring onion, the coriander and the basil.
6 As before, leave room at the top of the jar so you can shake the contents of the jar together just before eating.

Chinese Chicken and Noodle Salad Jar (377 kcals)

70g chicken breast
50g nest of rice vermicelli noodles
Handful of baby spinach
1 spring onion, shredded
¼ red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
Small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Marinade:
Zest of 1 lime
½ tsp five spice
½ tsp chopped ginger
Dressing:
1 tsp sesame oil
Juice of ½ lime
½ tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 Chop chicken breast to small bite sized pieces, mix together the marinade ingredients and add the chicken to the marinade.
2 Cook the noodles in boiling water until soft, then drain and leave to cool.
3 Spray a small frying pan with fry light and cook chicken until cooked right through. Leave to cool.
4 Mix together the dressing ingredients.
5 Put cooled noodles into the jar, add the dressing and stir into the noodles.
6 Pile the chicken on top of the noodles, then top with spinach, chilli, spring onion and coriander.
7 When ready to eat, give it a good shake to mix the contents of the jar.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. I think they’re delicious, and as they are low calorie they can be enjoyed without guilt! An entire meal in a jar, and it won’t ruin your New Year’s resolutions. What’s not to love?

Happy New Year to all our Sweet Colourful Chaotics.

Peace, love and mason jars,

xxxx