Healthy Lunch for Work: Salad in a Jar

Career, Nutrition, Recipes , , , , ,

Are you one of those people who can eat the same thing every day and be happy? I’m unfortunately not. I go through phases of liking a staple food for a few weeks and then can’t stand it for another three months. It’s difficult. Thus, I am always going through recipe “staples” and this was one of them: salad in a jar. The concept is awesome and simple and really healthy. The best part is that you can use whatever grains, veggies, fruits, and nuts you have in stock and mix and match like you would a smoothie. And these keep for up to a week in the fridge if you layer appropriately! So all it takes is about 15 minutes cutting fruits and veggies and cooking some grains and putting ’em all together into 5 mason jars for a whole week of lunch at work (or home).

Basically, the issue with bringing a salad to work or making one ahead of time in general is that you need the stuff that is liquidy to be separated from the stuff that needs to stay dry until eating. The solution is layering the wet stuff and the dry stuff appropriately with the wet stuff on the bottom and dry stuff on the top and when it’s time to eat…bottoms up!

I get some weird excitement from turning a jar upside down into a bowl; don’t ask me why.

Here are some recipes to get you excited about bringing healthy and filling salads in a jar to lunch too!

Trying for all the colors of the rainbow in this one! :-)
Trying for all the colors of the rainbow in this one! 🙂

A general recipe:

Bottom layer: Dressing

Next layer up: Absorbent stuff (like beans, rice, or whole wheat orzo) that will absorb some of the dressing flavor

Layers above it: Any veggies or fruits or nuts to your heart’s desire. I recommend fruits and nuts on the top.

One of my salads in a jar. So simple and healthy!
One of my salads in a jar. So simple and healthy!

A more specific suggestion recipe:

Bottom layer: olive oil with pepper and salt

Next layer: cooked whole wheat orzo, canned black beans (I use Eden brand because they are BPA free), baked tofu cut into cubes

Layers above that: tomatoes, raw almonds, carrots, broccoli, spinach, avocados

Top layer: blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, grapes, sunflower seeds, pecans

Have fun with it! Experiment! Challenge yourself to eat all the colors of the rainbow or put all the superfoods you can into your salad. Feel free to leave pictures in the comments of your creation! 🙂

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