Thursday, September 26, 2013

Salad in a Jar, Happiness in your Hands

Top to bottom: cucumbers, grapes, kale, pomegranate seeds, quinoa

Riddle me this: what do you do at work when your fast food routine gets old, your stomach grumbles loudly, and you discover an unnatural craving for fresh, delicious food without the all too familiar mess?

Let me introduce you to your new best friend & lifesaver, a mason jar! I've recently seen similar pictures on Pinterest, but then again, we all know the disappointing difference between Pinterest and real life. Who has time to make seven different salads, a variety of toppings, and healthy (yet delicious) dressings for each day of the week? If you raised your hand, I envy you. But for the rest of us, the reality is we don't realize lunch is a necessity until the morning before work. We're running around trying not to forget a phone here or a wallet there and finally come to the conclusion that fast food is the best food. Of course, that is until it tips the scale and breaks the zipper on your favorite new dress. 

Before we consider the possible options, let me introduce myself. My name is Lyssia & I'm the new intern at Arcadia Boutique. I'm a Drexel student currently on my first co-op, majoring in business and minoring in culinary arts. Culinary arts you say? Indeed, so naturally I am fascinated by new recipes and various ways to combine flavors. Confession: I'm a born and raised chocoholic so I try to balance my indulgences with healthy meals and lots of fruit. 

Last night I decided I would try something new for work today. I opened the fridge of my college apartment and found two large bags of kale I had bought on a whim last week. One of my roommates is also pretty health conscious so our pantry is overflowing with the superfood (and may I add, complete protein,) quinoa. It's gaining a lot of popularity and many restaurants toss it in their salads for added nutritional value. Quinoa is so simple and cooks just like rice, ready in 20 minutes or less. I cracked open a pomegranate, which are in season and among my favorite fruits, sliced some grapes and cucumbers, tossed them all in a wonderful mason jar (by layer) and there's my lunch! I also saw some adorable mini mason jars at Target and couldn't resist buying them, only to realize later that they're perfect for dressings. Some fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, a dash of salt and I was out of there with a filling lunch packed with protein, antioxidants, and vitamin C right in my hands!

Lesson learned: don't settle for greasy fast food when healthy options are extremely simple and mess free. This salad has endless possibilities (think sweet potatoes or corn, even chicken!) and gives you a reason to stock up on mason jars, which by the way have a million uses. So go chop, slice, create, and most importantly love what you eat.

Comment and let us know what varieties you've tried.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well" -Virginia Woolf

Until next time,


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