Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Road Trip Recipe 2: Salad in a Jar

Besides snacks, I needed a few quick meals on our Road Trip Menu, that we didn't need to stop to eat. This dish, a lunch staple in my kitchen, was an obvious choice to start my list.

Ready Meals:
Salad in a Jar
Ham, Turkey & Dijon Wraps
Pesto Pasta in a Jar

It seems Mason Jar Meals are everywhere nowadays, and while I've always found it a cute and different way to present a dish, I didn't really get the benefit besides presentation, and portion control. However, as soon as I tried one of these salads, I realized why everyone was singing their praise all over the internet. These are so convenient, and can be prepared in large batches days in advance, without the salad getting all soggy. Usually I prepare at least one batch per week when we're home, for quick, healthy lunches that are ready-to-eat, and all you have to do is grab a fork & shake to mix.  Singlehandedly, these jar salads have completely revolutionized the way I eat lunch.

The salad stays crisp and tasty all the way through day 4 if you assemble them correctly. They can be varied almost endlessly, and they make eating a healthy lunch every day so easy. They also make for great a great, healthy Road Trip meal.

The trick is in the layering.

Salad in a Jar


This dish can be varied indefinitely, just add your salad goodies of choice:

Salad dressing
Starch & Protein

Mason jar of desired size


1. First, the dressing must go at the bottom. If it touches the lettuce, the leaves will turn into wilted slime. Not tasty.
2. Secondly, add any starchy vegetables, and protein. Things like carrots, chickpeas, beans and chicken.
3. Above that goes all the more delicate veggies; tomatoes, cucumber, peas, fruit, seeds, sprouts, mushrooms, onions, corn, and nuts, cheese as well as egg and tuna.
4. Lastly, on top goes the lettuce, of any variety. After you wash it, let it sit on some paper towels, dabbing as well if necessary, so that it goes in the jar as dry as you can get it. This way it is exposed to as little moisture as possible, and thus will keep crisp and fresh for as long as possible.

Like so:

Chicken, Strawberry & Walnut salad with Champagne Vinaigrette (left), 
and Chicken, Mango, Red Onion & Cashew salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (right).

When you're ready to eat, grab a salad jar, shake it to mix, unscrew the top & lunch is served.

A word of advice: if you're taking a salad jar on the go, don't just toss it in your bag and run out the door. Treat it with care. Sure, the glass can shatter if you're not careful, but that's not the most important reason. The salad and dressing needs to stay separate for as long as possible. Preferably all the way up until you shake the jar before eating. Each extra minute they are mixed, the salad dies a little bit. 


  1. Replies
    1. That's what I thought when I first saw these. Then I realized how much they could simplify my life, and I honestly love these!

  2. I'm so glad you posted this! I've been living on yogurt and fruit since baby #2 arrived because I have no time to prepare anything for lunch. I could whip up a batch of these on the weekend and have something handy and healthy! Thanks for the idea.

    1. You're welcome. I'm so glad I could help :)