A question I often get asked by people who are starting to eat healthier is "What are some simple healthy lunch recipes to bring to work?"
My answer? Salad in a jar.
I love a big hearty salad for lunch, but I don't love having to make a fresh one each day. Nor do I enjoy soggy pre-dressed salad or a messy lunch bag from a leaky dressing container. Both have happened more times than I can count.
The solution is 5 visually enticing salads that can be made on a Sunday afternoon and last the whole week. As long as you layer them correctly, choose fresh ingredients, and seal them in an airtight mason jar, they will stay fresh all the way to Friday.
Using a large mason jar with adequate space, layer your favourite salad recipe ingredients according to the template below, then when it's time for lunch, shake the jar and dump the salad into a bowl.
Layer the ingredients heavy to light to avoid having a soggy salad. Dressing goes on the bottom, followed by moisture-resistant ingredients like beans or bulky veggies that won't soak up all the dressing. Next add the lighter ingredients, then the salad greens always get placed on top.
To ensure your salad fills you up and keeps you satisfied, include a hearty protein like quinoa, beans, lentils, grilled chicken, or fish. While planning your jars, keep in mind that any cooked meat will only last about 3 days, but veggies and beans should hold up a full 5 days.
My Favourite Salad In A Jar Recipe
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dijon
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup whole cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup diced artichoke hearts
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup diced olives
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp sprouted sunflower seeds
2 cups organic baby spinach
Whisk the dressing together in a bowl
Pour the dressing in the bottom of a large 1 quart mason jar
Layer the salad ingredients in the order listed above
Screw the lid of the jar on tight and refrigerate
During the winter months when the weather is cooler, try mixing up your salads with some roasted veggies instead of all raw veggies. Be creative!
Now I'd love to hear from you. Have you tried bringing a salad in a jar to work? What is your favourite? Share and let me know!