As Instagram-y and Women Laughing Alone with Salad as it sounds, I actually enjoy Mason jar salads.  They’re really convenient to take for lunch, since I can just layer in the stuff and shove it in my lunchbox without thinking about it too much.  And when I spend all day thinking, the last thing I want to do when making my lunch is think.  Gotta rest my brain.

I found this recipe on 24 Easy Healthy Lunches To Bring To Work In 2015.  Don’t judge me – I’m always eating dinners soaked in fat and carbs, so lunch has to balance it out.  The recipe itself is a Honey Walnut Power Salad, and the name made me roll my eyes, but I can’t take a Mason jar caprese salad every day.  (Well, at the very least, I shouldn’t.)  Plus, I work out MWF around 2:00, so I don’t like to eat anything too heavy for lunch or I’ll be slow in the gym.

Anyway, recipe time.  It’s pretty straightforward if you actually read the recipe in its entirety before you start (which I did not), so I recommend doing that.  I used part of a sweet onion instead of a yellow onion, and that turned out pretty tasty.  I also salted the daylights out of it – maybe a teaspoon of salt?  It doesn’t sound like much, but it was a pretty good amount.  I left the onion on low for 15 minutes, then turned it up to 3 because it wasn’t browning fast enough for my taste.  I’d never cooked bulgur before, but it was the same as cooking quinoa and I didn’t burn it so yay?

While those things were going on, I sliced up some grapes and cooked the edamame in the microwave.  After mixing them together, I stuck them in a bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes to help the edamame cool down.  I also put together the water-honey dressing, which looked really suspicious.

Not sure how I feel about water-honey dressing on my salad…

When the bulgur and the onions were done, I realized that I should’ve started them AT THE SAME TIME instead of 15 minutes apart because the bulgur has to cool for 15 minutes.  Sigh.  I ended up letting it cool for about 7 minutes and just stirred/fluffed it constantly.  Mix in the onions and the butter, done.  The butter helped the bulgur not stick together so much as well.

Assembly time!  You’re supposed to mix the bulgur, onions, grapes, edamame, and walnuts (I used pecans instead) together, but I decided to keep them separate and layered them in that order.  Toss some spinach and Gorgonzola on top, drizzle with the dressing, done.

Moment of truth…

Are you a mug of yum or a mug of lies?

It was pretty tasty!  YAAYYYY!  The combined saltiness and sweetness of the onions went together really well, as did the sweetness of the honey and the more savory Gorgonzola.  There were a lot of different textures, which was great, because I don’t enjoy food that has the same texture throughout.  I thought the dressing would be the worst part, but it was actually fine.  It provided a hint of sugar that would’ve been too strong if it was just plain honey.  I don’t have anything more to say, I guess – it was a lot better than I thought it would be!

Final Thoughts

The nice thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to do a lot of prep work before you can get started.  The onions and the bulgur just need to be stirred every once in a while, so the rest of the prep can all be done while those cook.  I used frozen edamame that could be warmed up in the microwave (the recipe suggests the steam-in-bag variety, but the stuff I got was fine).  After washing and slicing the grapes, cooking the edamame, and making the dressing, I still had time left over.  All in all, though, it probably took me an hour to put together, so it’s more of a make-the-day-before kind of recipe.  If you keep the ingredients separated (bulgur/onions, grapes/edamame, and the rest of the things by themselves) this would make a great Mason jar salad.  Just remember to put the dressing at the bottom or everything will get soggy.  Ease of making: 3/10

This recipe tasted great.  I honestly can’t think of anything I would do differently.  The flavors and the textures were excellent.  I would definitely make it again.  Yum factor: 10/10



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