Mason Jar Salads

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What is a healthier or more convenient work lunch than a fresh and delicious salad in a jar? Hipster’s have taken to salads in mason jars like 10-year-olds to Tonka Trucks, and once you’ve tried some of these winning recipes, you’ll understand why.

Earthbound Farm / http://www.ebfarm.com/

Earthbound Farm / http://www.ebfarm.com/

Before we unleash our winning combinations, you first need to understand that there is an art to the mason jar salad. The secret is in the order of ingredients. The dressing goes in the bottom to avoid making the crunchy, dry stuff soggy. Protein goes in next to protect the leafy greens from moisture, then comes nuts, dried fruits and any grains, and then the leaves sit on top. With this in mind and a great combinations, you will have a newfound appreciation for the humble green salad.


 

Our first suggestion is this fusion of the Mexican burrito and a fresh salad:

Burrito Bowl Salad

Ingredients

For the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa (I used a combination of red and white)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of one lime, or 2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

For the chicken:
2 large chicken breasts
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil

For the sweet potatoes:
1 large sweet potato, washed, with ends removed
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Other ingredients:

3 cups chopped lettuce
5 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3/4 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

For the quinoa:

Add the quinoa, water, and salt to a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When it has reached a boil, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft and fluffy. Set aside to cool.

When it has cooled, add lime juice and zest, 1/4 cup chopped coriander to the quinoa and stir. Taste, and add more lime or coriander as needed.

For the chicken:

Dry off both chicken breasts thoroughly with paper towels, and season both sides of each breast using the 2 teaspoons of salt.

In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium-high heat until the oil is very hot.

Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 4 minutes each side. Both sides should be pretty brown. When they are cooked all the way through, cool and cut into chunks.

For the sweet potatoes:

Cut sweet potato into tiny chunks.

Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your pan over medium heat.

When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato cubes. Sear the potatoes on all sides, stirring every 3-5 minutes.When the potatoes are browned, turn the heat down to medium-low, put a lid on the pan, and cook until sweet potato can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.

To assemble:

When all of your ingredients have cooled, it’s time to assemble your burrito bowl salad. Add 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt to the bottom of each jar.

Top with about 2 tablespoons of sweet potato cubes.On top of the sweet potatoes, add 3-4 tablespoons of the coriander, lime and quinoa mix.

Layer 1-2 tablespoons of cheese over the quinoa, and a layer of chicken. (To make this vegetarian, substitute 1 can of rinsed beans for the chicken and add another layer of beans here.)Fill the remaining space in the mason jar with lettuce, and sprinkle some additional chopped coriander on top before screwing on the lid.


 

Lexi’s Clean Kitchen: Cajun Shrimp Jar

Our next find was this amazing Cajun Prawn Jar. If you’d like another option with some serious zing, you have to give this amazing cajun jar with a stack of layered peppers, sautéed onions, cajun prawns, guacamole and spinach. Add an extra kick by squeezing in some fresh lemon in the bottom of the jar before adding your ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Want to try something a little more sophisticated? Try this amazing Pear and Pomegranate Salad from Fake Food Free:

Pear and Pomegranate Salad

1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
3 cups spinach leaves
1⁄2 cup pomegranate seeds
1⁄4 cup roughly chopped pecans
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
3 tablespoons Sherry Vinaigrette
1 Mason jar

Place the pear slices in the bottom of the Mason jar. Layer 2 cups of the spinach on top of the pear, then add the pomegranate seeds, another 1⁄2 cup spinach, and the chopped pecans. Finish with the remaining 1⁄2 cup spinach and the blue cheese.

Make a small cup out of parchment paper at the top of the jar and pour in the vinaigrette dressing. Seal the jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sherry Vinaigrette

2 1⁄2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk together the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking, until the dressing thickens.

 

The beauty is that now that you have a couple of recipes under your belt, you can turn any salad recipe you already use into a cool mason jar salad!