These might be an old thing, or they might be a new thing, but Mason Jar Salads are like the greatest thing ever! Is that too much excitement? Did I just sound like a valley girl? Well, these salads will do that to you. They will make you talk like an overdramatic valley girl. The best part is they are completely customizable, easy to assemble, inexpensive, and they last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. You can use whatever you have on hand or you can go crazy with ingredients! The possibilities are endless.
The key is piling the ingredients in the correct order. You want your dressing on the bottom, then your protein, then your veggies and any nuts/seeds, and then finally your lettuce until it is packed full. Screw the lid on tight, and there ya go! You just want to make sure the dressing does not come in contact with the lettuce.
So far, my favorites are an Asian version and a Southwest version I’ve been doing. For the Asian version, I use a modified, Whole30 compliant version of the dressing recipe from my Crunchy Asian Slaw recipe. I substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce and dates for the honey. I then grill some chicken with just a little salt and pepper for seasoning. I add about 3 tablespoons of the prepared dressing into a wide-mouth, quart sized mason jar. I then add the chicken, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, green onions, slivered almonds (which I toast first…dry pan, medium/low heat, 5 minutes), and then whatever else I might have on hand. I then pack in big handfuls of romaine lettuce until it is full and put the lid on the jar. I have been using the plastic Ball jar lids and I love them. Here is the link to them on Amazon.
The Southwest version I have been doing is super quick because I use already cooked and prepared Chili Lime Chicken from Trader Joe’s. It is so delicious and really comes in handy when you are crunched for time. I also use their pre-washed, bagged lettuce and their shredded carrots. I either mix up a southwest vinaigrette or I’ll add lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder to store bought ranch. Both options taste great. I then add the chicken, red bell pepper, shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, and then the lettuce. I have also thrown in some broccoli if I have it on hand.
When you are ready to eat, just dump the contents into a bowl or eat straight out of the jar. I like my salad really mixed together so I usually eat it from a bowl. With just a little preparation one night, you can have your next 5 lunches all ready to go! It is really unbelievable and I love them. A lot.