The beginning of a new year prompts us to make resolutions and implement positive changes to our health and fitness.
To help you with your goals, these mason jar salads are the perfect make ahead and healthy meals for your week. Assemble your salads on Sunday for ready to go lunches all week!
You can find mason jars in grocery stores, craft stores, Target, Walmart, etc. I use the wide mouth quart size jars as it’s easier to add the ingredients but you can use any size jars you can find or prefer.
Using a mason jar keeps your salad fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and you can add the dressing in the jar without getting your lettuce soggy.
The basic idea when assembling is to start with the dressing first, then add the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients and work your way up with lighter ingredients so that even if the jar tips over, the lettuce does not get soggy.
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- First layer: salad dressing
- Next layer: hearty vegetables such as cucumber, cherry tomatoes, peppers, fennel, etc.
- Next layer: protein, beans, pasta or grains
- Next layer: cheese, shredded, soft or diced vegetables or fruit. ( if using avocado, toss with lime or lemon juice first before assembling to keep from turning brown)
- Next layer: nuts or seeds
- Last layer: greens such as lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, kale, etc
- Seal the tops tightly and place in the refrigerator
- When ready to eat: just shake the salad onto a plate or bowl. mix ingredients together with fork to coat dressing and enjoy!
Below are 3 salad and dressing recipes. Have fun and change up any of the fruits and vegetables to your liking or add your favorite salad dressing!
Southwestern Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing
- Romaine Lettuce
- Red Onions/Green Onions
- Black Beans
- Cherry Tomatoes
Cilantro Avocado Dressing
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1-2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 Tablespoon honey or sugar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Water to thin, if needed
Blend all ingredients (except oil and water) into a food processor or blender. Slowly drizzle in the oil and mix until smooth. If needed, add some water to thin to the consistency desired. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
Asian Chicken Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
- Romaine Lettuce
- Toasted Almonds
- Green Onions
- Bell Peppers
Sesame Ginger Dressing
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 inch ginger root
- sesame seeds (optional)
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
Spinach, Quinoa & Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
- Red Onions
- Quinoa, cooked
- Bean Sprouts
Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard ( optional)
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
I hope you enjoy these healthy lunch options! Please let me know if you’d like to see other salad options and I’d be happy to post some more recipes!