I love mason jars – they’ve been my new storage for lunch salads for the working mom where I can make them Sunday evening and it’s easy, healthy and the kids can help me. My daughter is great at ripping up the lettuce for me!
Lately, my new favorite salad is an arugula salad with goat cheese and a homemade blueberry balsamic vinaigrette. It takes me easily 5-10 minutes to prep 3 jars which is good for 3 weekday lunches at the office! I also try to mix it up with my layered salad.
Here are the recipes for my arugula salad and my layered salad in a jar:
Arugula Salad w/ Goat Cheese & homemade blueberry balsamic vinaigrette (makes 5-6 jars): Ingredients:
- 6 cups organic arugula or 1-10 oz bag of organic arugula
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup dried apricots
- finely diced 2/3 cup fresh organic blueberries
- 3 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- goat cheese, for topping (sometimes, I put this in a separate container so it doesn’t go bad or wilt my lettuce too soon)
- 2 teaspoons low-sugar blueberry or strawberry jam
- 1/2 cup fresh organic blueberries
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, plus more if desired
- pinch of salt
- In the bottom of a clean, dry quart jar, spread 1 1/2 Tablespoons of salad dressing. Repeat with second jar.
- Scatter cherries, apricots, and blueberries into the jars, dividing equally between the two.
- Add the sunflower and almonds to the jars.
- Pack remainder of jar with arugula and cover with a lid.
- Place in the refrigerator and keep for up to 5 days.
Layered Salad in a jar: (makes 4 jars)
- spinach beets
- garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
- shredded carrots
- extra-virgin olive oil
- apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- Layer 1/4 cup spinach, 1/4 cup beets, 1/4 cup garbanzo beans, and 1/4 cup shredded carrots in each of 4 jars.
- Combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in the remaining jar; place lid on jar.
- Shake until dressing is evenly combined. Pour 1/4 the dressing over each salad.
Here’s another great recipe that I just made last night so I’ll have to let you know this week how it tastes:
Black Bean Salad with Jalapeño Lime Dressing
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small head romaine lettuce, ripped not cut (if you cut it, it usually will cause the lettuce to wilt more quickly)
- 1/2 cup almonds (about 40) 1/2 cup
- sliced cucumber
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- 1 lime, juiced (about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons liquid)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 small jalapeño, seeded, deveined and chopped (I actually didn’t have any of these on hand so this batch had to go without it)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Start by making the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender or food processor and purée. Add the olive oil and pulse until everything comes together. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or honey if necessary.
- Divide the dressing evenly between four 500ml mason jars.
- Divide the beans evenly between the jars, layering them over the dressing.
- Top each with 1/4 of the romaine, almonds, cucumber and crumbled feta, leaving an inch or two of space at the top of each jar. Seal tightly and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
A couple tips – sometimes, I’ll toss two paper towels on top to absorb any moisture but I put two in there so I actually have one to use. These mason jar salads are perfect for a variety of things from workday lunches to meals for new moms (For The Parent Circle, we provide 4 meals for a new moms – I usually make soup during the fall/winter months and salads for the spring/summer months so this way, the moms get some greens in them) or even best way to bring a salad for a picnic/beach trip with the kids.