Busy boss ladies, rejoice! I’ve got a (healthy) solution to your lunchtime woes. What am I talking about? Mason jar salads. You may have seen them on Instagram and felt some serious foodie envy, but I promise, they are super simple to assemble and customize to whatever ingredients you like best!
I don’t know about you, but when lunchtime rolls around, I often feel stuck. If I haven’t planned and prepped my meals for the week and there aren’t any leftovers from dinner the night before, I usually end up snacking instead of having a proper meal. This is especially true on days when I work from home and don’t want to take the time to go grab something.
Cue the mason jar salad. Below are six steps to creating your own mason jar salad, plus recipe ideas to help get you started!
Step 1: The dressing.
I like to use 32oz wide-mouth mason jars for my salads, but you can use whatever size you have on hand. You can use a healthier store-bought dressing or make your own by combining equal parts oil and vinegar, a squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt.
Step 2: The hard veggies.
You want to make sure that whatever you add next can withstand marinating in the dressing for a few days. Examples would be carrots, beans, sugar snap peas, edamame, radishes, or roasted veggies.
Recipe: Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salad
Step 3: Soft vegetables, fruits, cheeses and grains.
Next, layer the softer ingredients such as tomatoes, strawberries, dried fruits, cheeses and even grains, such as quinoa or brown rice.
Recipe: Sprouted Spring Mason Jar Salad
Step 4: Nuts and seeds.
To add some crunch and healthy fats to your salad, opt for 2 Tablespoons of nuts/seeds, such as: sunflower seeds, shelled pistachios, sliced almonds or sesame seeds.
Step 5: The greens!
It wouldn’t be a salad without the greens, would it? Fill the rest of the jar with your favorite greens (it’s okay to pack it in there!).
Recipe: Greek-Inspired Mason Jar Salad
Step 6 (optional): Protein.
If you didn’t add beans, cheese or quinoa, you might want to add some additional protein to keep you feeling satisfied and energized. You could add grilled chicken, a hard-boiled egg or shrimp on top the day you plan on eating the salad.
The good news? These salads can be made up to four days in advance and stored in the refrigerator for busy week days (or even nights!). Don’t forget, when you’re ready to eat the salad, unscrew the lid and shake onto a plate or in a bowl to get a taste of everything in each bite.