The Art of the Salad Jar Plus My Two Go-To Recipes

Posted by Amina AlTai on

Let’s face it; lunches can be boring and predictable. Plus, it can be a real challenge to get the right balance of macronutrients in every brown bag. That’s why I’m a fan of salad jars—they’re simple and easy to assemble and are great way to ensure you’re getting enough greens, protein, fats and healthy carbohydrates.

When I work with my clients, the first place we start is with balanced meals. Oftentimes, lethargy, headaches, mood swings and inability to focus are a result of poor choices on the plate.  With each meal, it’s important to make sure you’re eating in the right proportions and eating to support a healthy blood sugar, because a healthy blood sugar is paramount when it comes to a properly functioning body and brain.

When designing lunches and dinners, I always recommend starting with 50% veggies—it’s a great way to crowd out the bad with the good and make sure you’re getting powerful antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals.  Protein also plays a big role in a properly functioning body, so including animal or plant protein that is roughly the size of your palm is a great place to start.  Adding in healthy whole grains and good fats are a great way to round out the dish. 

Salad jars are my go-to because they’re very visual and it’s easy to see when I’m getting enough goodness and when I’m not.  They’re also great for meal prep.  You can use the same veggies and proteins and just change up the sauces to feel like you have a completely different dish.  If you’ve never made one before, grab a few 16-24-ounce mason jar and try out my two favorite recipes below. 

The Paleo Taco Salad Jar

 

GARNISH

Cilantro, guacamole, jalapeno

LAYER 5

Turkey

LAYER 4

Lettuce

LAYER 3

Black beans & quinoa

LAYER 2

Tomatoes

LAYER 1

Salsa

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (I use simply organic)
  • 1¼ cups green salsa
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small to medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs of guacamole (optional)
  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce

In a medium pan sauté onions until translucent.  Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add seasoning packet, and the amount of water stated in seasoning packet directions. Let taco mixture cool.

 In a separate pan, bring quinoa to a boil and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is ready.  Stir in the black beans and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Divide ingredients among mason jars starting with salsa, tomatoes, quinoa, taco meat, then lettuce and garnish. Place lid on and close tight. No need to vacuum seal or anything like that.

When ready to eat, shake well, then pour into a bowl and enjoy. Can serve with tortilla chips.

The Vegan Curried Chickpea Salad Jar

 

GARNISH

Cashews & Raisins

LAYER 5

Chickpeas

LAYER 4

Lettuce

LAYER 3

Quinoa

LAYER 2

Carrots

LAYER 1

Lemon Vinaigrette

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pound carrots, shredded
  • 1 can (15-ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 package arugula or baby spinach
  • Cashews and raisins for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt, oil, and honey. Pour desired amount into the bottom of each quart-size Mason jar (about 2 tablespoons).

Bring quinoa to a boil and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is ready. 

Prepare each Mason jar salad by adding even amounts of the chickpeas, carrots, quinoa and greens.

Add the nuts and raisins to the salad jar, cover with a lid, and then shake it up or pour it in a bowl and enjoy!

 

clean lunches healthy lunches lunches mason jars paleo lunches salad jars workplace wellness

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