Don’t feel like cooking during the summer? Neither do we! Join the delicious and convenient “Salad in a Jar” craze that lets you pack a fully-balanced nutritious meal into one lovely-looking jar. Keep reading for four great, filling, non-soggy, salad-in-a-jar recipes.
When it’s too hot to cook, a salad is the perfect solution–it cools you down and gives you great nutrition without having to slave over a hot stove.
A big salad can easily replace a whole meal. It’s tasty, nutritious, satiating and easy to make and digest. Another advantage to a salad: it’s never boring. We’re talking about a dish that is always open to imagination and diversity. You can add anything to a salad: pulses, whole grains, fruits, nuts, cheeses – just about anything. And layering all the ingredients in a Mason jar means that each ingredient stays fresh until you’re ready to eat.
Here are the steps to putting together a balanced, perfect salad in a jar:
1. Add the Dressing First
There’s nothing like quality natural fat to add taste to your home made salad. Replace the thick heavy dressing with a light olive oil and lemon or lime juice, or a vinaigrette that will protect the health of your heart and brain with its great composition of צonounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which contribute to the many different body systems.
2. Add Your Protein
The next layer of your jar should be things that will taste great marinated in your dressing. For the most part, this will be the protein part of your salad: hardboiled egg, fish strips, lean cheese cubes, slices of chicken breast or grass-fed beef, etc. Aside for feeling full for a longer time, each of these is an excellent provider for important nutritional ingredients. The cheese is a great source for calcium, the chicken and beef provide a source for iron and B12 vitamin, the fish for Mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and the egg contains a lot of vitamins and many minerals.
You should also add pulses to your salad, such as lentils in diverse colors, chickpeas etc. The pulses will add more vitamins, minerals and nutritional fibers to your dish. For the vegetarians – and especially vegans – among you, it is especially recommended to combine a whole grain and a pulse, since combining the two creates a whole protein which supplies amino acids to build and strengthen the different body systems.
3. Don’t Forget Your Fruits and Vegetables
The next layer is all of your great vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, nutritional fibers and antioxidants. Eating vegetables and fruits contribute body protection. The more colors you put in your salad, the healthier it will be. Every color originates in a different pigment, holds an antioxidant that contributes immensely to your health, and all of them together contribute to strengthening the body’s immune system.
The red contributes to strengthening the heart and blood vessels systems and protects the skin. The white strengthens the immune system and fights germs, the green strengthens the bones and helps the visual system, purple takes part in slowing down aging processes and orange fights cancer and those are just a number of advantages.
In addition, the fruits and vegetables will increase the amount of nutritional fibers in your salad. The fibers contribute to balancing the blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol, relieving the digestive process and increases feeling full. They’re also important for weight loss processes.
So don’t skimp on the produce – such as cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, grated beets, celery, red onion, avocado, roasted eggplant cubes, zucchini, cranberries, pineapple, pomegranate, green apple, passion fruit, etc. – all of these will add taste, color, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and a wonderful aroma.
4. Greens, Grains, and Seeds
The top layer of your jar is made up of the ingredients that you don’t want to mix with the dressing until you are ready to eat.
Pack in your salad greens: lettuce, arugula, bok choy, Swiss Chard, or use a baby greens mix. Add fragrant herbs such as coriander, mint, parsley and dill, green onions, and chives. Add sprouts if you wish.
Next come the whole grains: pasta, wheat groats, couscous, quinoa, or wheat. These give you good complex carbs and make the salad complete.
Finally, add some crunch. Use nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, to give your salad a crunch and some healthy fats.
4 Great Salad in a Jar Variations:
♦ Pasta Salad:
- Olive oil
- Black olives
- Pastured feta cheese
- Cherry tomatoes (heirloom if you can find them!)
- Mixed greens
- Whole grain pasta
♦ Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Homemade tahini: tahini paste mixed with water, garlic, and lemon juice
- Grilled chicken breast strips
- Green onion
- Sweet potato cubes
♦ Groat and Lentil Salad
- Dressing: olive oil and lemon juice
- Grated beets
- Grated carrots
- Mixed greens
- Wheat, buckwheat, or oat groats
- Sunflower seeds
♦ Simple Surf ‘n’ Turf Salad
- Olive oil/lemon juice dressing
- Hardboiled egg
- Avocado cubes
- Organic Corn
- Red Onion
- Red Pepper
- Mixed greens
- Ground Almonds
Here’s Our Handy Formula for Putting Together a Great Salad:
Hi, Peggy. You’re right – they should be cooked. If you can sprout them before cooking, even better! You can do this by soaking in warm water, draining, rinsing, and resoaking for a couple of days until you see little sprouts – this makes them even more nutritious, easily digested, and supportive of health and weight management.
I don’t mean to be dumb, but are the grains cooked or do you just throw them in?
Hi, mbhannes. Absolutely – just puree whatever you want for layered salad. That sort of thing is actually considered a delicacy, served by fancy French caterers.
Will be anxious to try this. Right now am on a soft diet. Just had my upper teeth pulled and new teeth, so my gums are really sore. Am eating Yogurt, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, going to try scrambled eggs. Can’t bite into anything right now. Any other suggestions?
Hi, Ilse2. Certain corn products, such as high-fructose corn syrup, are a no-no. Fresh non-GMO corn is definitely encouraged.
I have seen a few recipes now with corn I thought corn was a no no food.
Wonderful idea for picnics or work.