The combination of parenting and jobs recently prompted us to get our heads into the extreme food prep game. Mornings run so much more smoothly when we’ve just got to grab lunch and go, especially with all of the time necessary to feed and clothe three often grumpy kids. We’ve gotten pretty good at having healthy vegan lunches and dinners for the week mostly prepped over the weekend.
One of our mainstays is the mason jar salad. It’s healthy and vegan and delicious and, when layered correctly, super easy and fresh. This particular one is inspired by Middle Eastern flavors, but you can easily improvise and put your own spin on one of these bad boys.
1/2 cup tahini
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 Tsp cumin
1/2 Tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tsp salt
3-4 Tbsp water, more if needed
1 can chickpeas
1 Tsp Ras-al-Hanout*
1 large cucumber, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 bunch of greens
*If you don’t have Ras-al-Hanout, substitute 1/4 Tsp each of paprika, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon
First, the dressing. If you’ve never made lemon tahini dressing before, get ready, because it’s magical. Put the tahini into a medium bowl, add the lemon juice, and start stirring. It’s going to get weird and clumpy, but don’t worry. Keep stirring. At some point soon, all of a sudden, it will get smooth and thick and several shades lighter than it started. Magic! At that point, mix in the cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Add a little bit of water at a time and keep mixing until you reach your desired consistency. We like it thin, but not too thin.
In another bowl, toss the chickpeas with the Ras-al-Hanout until they’re well mixed and set aside.
Take 4 clean empty pint jars and first divide the lemon tahini dressing among them. Next, divide the diced cucumbers and tomatoes, followed by the chickpeas, and finally the greens. The order is very important, so that the dressing doesn’t cause the greens to get soggy.
When you want to eat, just upend the whole thing into a bowl, maybe using a spoon to get all the remnants of dressing out on top of your salad, and eat. These generally keep in the fridge for a week or so.