I should just be totally upfront with you. I have a new love.
It's the mason jar. Yes yes, I'm head over heels in love with the mason jar.
Uh, a mason jar you ask?
Yes, that Ball jar your great aunt (or dear friend in VT) uses for canning. Although lately I've explored mason jars made by Quattro Stagio and oh my. It's like going from a Ford to the BMW of mason jars.
The BMW of mason jars. Yes. I just said that.
But back to the glass jar.
I've always had glass jars - official mason jars or otherwise. Coconut oil jars or Newmans salsa jars make for great storage of hemp seeds, nuts, raisins and all the other hippie types of food I keep around.
And you saw last week's post about overnight oats in the mason jar right?
I'm coming around to mason jars as more than just storage. It's this odd situation where I know the benefit of something. I see the benefit of something. I hear others singing the benefits of something and I'm all on board with it.
But until I try it out myself, I don't really feel the benefits of it.
It can be said that I now FEEL the benefits of the mason jar. 'Cuz I made some mason jar salads and life has taken on all new dimensions of color.
Here's just a smattering of reasons why you should have mason jars in your life:
- Great for storing grains, seeds, nuts, oats etc because you can see what's in 'em (I'm an outta sight, outta mind kinda gal.)
- They aren't toxic
- They come in all sorts of shapes and styles
- You can use 'em to infuse booze (haven't done it yet but sounds fun to do right?)
- You will earn back hours of your work by prepping your food in a mason jar
Let's talk about that last point.
You can earn back hours of your life by prepping your food in a mason jar.
Who doesn't want in for more hours?!
We've all seen the pinterest boards displaying the handiwork of super snazzy, fit, attractive, well organized and very perky women making salads in a mason jar.
While my pictures aren't on pinterest (yet) I now count myself amongst the legions of these women. /sigh/
It could be worse I suppose. This mango black bean salad recipe came from some random site online - no idea how I found her. But the recipe is good. Really good. In fact, as I write this post and I'm eating dinner (I'm eating this mango black bean salad....shhh...)
Mango Black Bean Salad with Honey Lime Dressing Recipe - Vegan and Gluten Free
(This recipe makes 5 salads which, while I love this recipe, 5 is overkill. So ration down accordingly.)
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Put all ingredients into the blender and blend away.
- 2 avocados, diced
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 cups frozen diced mango, thawed
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 cans black beans, drained
- 1 can yellow corn, drained
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 5 cups shredded romaine lettuce
The magic of mason jars lays in the layering of the ingredients.
From bottom to top, here's how everything should go in:
- The dressing
- The hard veggies (beets, carrots, turnips, cukes, peppers etc)
- The grains, beans and/or pasta
- Proteins like tofu, egg etc. This can also be added day of if your salads will be sitting in the fridge for awhile
- Softer veggies or fruits like grapes, avocado (I usually add this in day of)
- Nuts and seeds. Quinoa can also go here if you want because it's a lighter grain
- Salad greens.