Faced with the need to plan a week of packed lunches that ALWAYS include a salad, I was stymied. I had managed to nurse a few lettuce plants along in my cold frame, but the bulk of what was left was made into Flora's last meal (she loved lettuce - the good girl). I have made the decision to eat seasonally this winter. You know me - I "heart" a challenge. I figure I have a well-stocked pantry and am fairly creative, so I should be able to see myself through....100+ salads....hmmm.
The first one I made was with brown lentils, chopped tart apples, chopped, cooked potato, chopped red onion and parsley. I precooked the potatoes and cooled them, then I presoaked the lentils, heated olive oil in a pan and stirred in curry and sea salt, then added the lentils, coated them in the spices and added water to cover, simmering them until they were just done. I drained the lentils and cooled them to room temperature. While the lentils were cooking, I cored and chopped the apples and tossed them with lemon juice. When everything was about the same temperature, I threw it all together, added some chopped red onion and the surviving parsley from my window box and mixed it well. Surprisingly good! You have to admit - it sounds, well, odd. This made enough to keep me going through three lunches, plus a little for my parents. I didn't tell them everything that was in it, as sometimes, TMI can cause a more timid person from exploring new taste sensations, if you know what I mean. I believe that mothers call it "hiding the veggies".
I have a nice head of cabbage in the fridge, more apples, a few oranges, there are dilly beans, corn salsa, pickled beets, tins of sardines and tuna, all KINDS of things. I have nuts in the freezer, dried cranberries, there is leftover turkey coming up - I think I will make it!
My favorite way to pack a salad for lunch? I prepare the dressing and pour a small amount in the bottom of a wide-mouthed Mason jar. Then I layer the salad, starting with the heartiest ingredients that won't mind a nice dressing soak. Twist on the lid, and BobsYerUncle! They can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, depending on the ingredients, and all you have to do before eating is shake the jar well. I was feeling quite smug about this method until I ran across it on the Internet. I'm still calling it mine.
Do you have some creative salad ideas? Share!!!! With 100+ salads ahead of me, I need all the help I can get...