Monday, October 6

Brie and Pear Salad with Cranberries and Cashews

Let me start off by saying, I love to be busy. One thing I worried about most when I found out we were moving to a new city was being bored or lonely. Since starting my new job, neither of those things have happened. Not even close! Each day I go to work excited to be with the people who are there and leave busy with ideas and plans for the next day.

Like with any new job I am adjusting to a new breakfast and lunch routine. Although I get to work hours earlier than I used to I try to force myself to eat something healthy for breakfast - usually toast (duh), Greek yogurt, or oatmeal. For lunch I used to take leftovers, but with Sam working nights I'll admit my dinner menu has gone by the way-side. Knowing I would just eat junk all-day if I didn't plan ahead, I started making jar salads again. 

Each Sunday night, I make up three or so jars of salads to get my week started off right. This little habit has become such a blessing. Not only is each jar a ready-to-go meal, it's much healthier than the snacks I have in my desk :)

I typically don't love pears, but they give this dish a great kick. Plus, the Dijon vinaigrette will be a recipe you keep around house. We just about always have some in the fridge!

If you have never made a salad in a jar, you will want to give the assembly some thought:
  1. Start with your dressing on the bottom of the jar
  2. Add hearty ingredients like raw veggies, nuts, or dried fruits
  3. Pile on softer ingredients like fresh fruit and cheeses
  4. Then pack in your greens
This method should help keep your greens fresh and tasty for several days. I have kept my jars for up to five days, but have found this particular salad is best within three.

For the dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp mild agave nectar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

For the salad:
4 cups 50/50 mix
1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
2-3 oz ripe brie cheese, sliced
Roasted, unsalted cashews
Dried cranberries

To make the dressing, add all ingredients in a small jar. Shake vigorously until emulsified. 

To assemble your salad, pour 2-3 tbs of dressing into the bottom of your jars. Add the cashews, cranberries, pears, and brie followed by your greens packed in tightly.