Mason jar meals have become popular because they allow for portion control, they’re easy to carry around if you’re often on the go, and they just look great. Check out this recipe for a mason jar salad.
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to clean up our diets and increase our physical activity levels to give us a boost in confidence at the beach or poolside. To some people, a salad equates to diet food – but it doesn’t have to! Salads can be a great way to pack in a lot of nutrients for little calorie expense and there are so many different combinations and varieties to keep it interesting.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to the mason jar salad! These salads are easy to assemble, convenient to have on hand for a busy week, and make for a light and healthy lunch or dinner.
The layers that make up a mason jar salad aren’t just pretty to look at; they serve a purpose, too. The idea is to strategically layer your favorite salad ingredients so that they will last for days at a time in the refrigerator. By following the steps below, you will get a perfectly fresh and crisp salad every time!
Step 1: Add the dressing. Start with 2 Tablespoons of dressing for pint-sized jars, or 4 Tablespoons for quart-sized jars.
Step 2: Hard vegetables. Because these veggies will be sitting in dressing, you want to make sure they won’t soak up any liquid. This would include: carrots, chickpeas, beans, corn, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, radishes, etc.
Step 3: Protein (optional) If you’ll be eating the salad within a day, add a layer of grated or crumbled cheese and protein, such as tuna, grilled chicken, or a hardboiled egg. If you’re making salads to eat throughout the week, wait until the day-of and add these ingredients to the top of the jar.
Step 4: Soft vegetables and fruits. Next layer softer fruits and veggies, such as tomatoes, avocado, strawberries or dried fruits.
Step 5: Nuts and seeds. Add nuts for added crunch and healthy fats, such as: sliced almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds.
Step 6: Finally, the salad greens! Add your favorite lettuce (I like spring mix, spinach and arugula), tearing with your hands for bite-sized pieces. It’s okay to pack them in there!
Here is a quick and easy recipe for one of my favorite mason jar salad combinations for a little midweek southwest fiesta!
Southwest Chicken Mason Jar Salad
Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
1 c. chopped cilantro
1 clove of garlic
½ c. (or one individual container) of Greek yogurt
½ c. grapeseed or olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
zest of 1 lime
2 limes, juiced
½ teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processer. Blend until creamy and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*dressing will last up to 2 weeks in a tightly sealed container
In the jar (in order from bottom to top): cilantro lime dressing, black beans, corn, tomatoes, shredded chicken, grated montery jack cheese, romaine lettuce
When ready to eat, unscrew the lid and shake the salad onto a plate or bowl. These salads are a great addition to your weekly meal plan, as they can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days before consuming!
Carly Ferguson is a health and wellness advocate and founder of FitLiving, a lifestyle blog that educates and motivates others towards a healthy lifestyle. She believes that living well encompasses four key areas: nutrition, physical fitness, mental health, and healthy relationships and that everyone’s journey is as unique as the individual himself.