Salads always seem to taste better at a restaurant, don’t they? No longer! All you need are the right combinations of ingredients, in the correct order, and your daily salad lunches will FAR surpass the quality and flavor of even your favorite foodie spots.
Here are 10 portable Mason Jar salads that are both EASY and delicious:
• Vary the dressing (or replace with a herb-infused vinegar if you already have some cheese or avocado for fat and texture)
• Select from a form of lean protein (such as tofu, beans, shrimp, tuna, turkey or chicken) each day to keep things interesting
In general, it’s best to put your sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy mix-ins at the bottom and cover with lots of fresh dark leafy greens. The mason jar salad craze is in full effect these days, so the internet is “packed” full of great recipes. Here are my favorite low-carb, super simple salad lunches: ten easy portable salads in a jar!
Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese
The combo of these fiber-packed, ready-made beets and goat cheese is a family fave – it’s so easy to make at home, yet feels fancy. Add extra spinach to absorb all that sweet and savory flavor. This one doesn’t need dressing—just sprinkle on some fresh ground black pepper or use arugula for a little kick.
Strawberries & Blue Cheese:
This is another sweet and savory combo of thinly sliced berries and crumbled blue cheese. It’s also good with stronger dark leafy greens like arugula or mustard greens.
Combine hardboiled egg, tomato, cucumber, red onion and a pinch of blue cheese and bacon with power greens when you’re feeling brunchy.
Dice up whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have around like apples, peaches, mangos and berries, along with some seeds or your favorite lean protein, a quarter of an avocado and lemon juice for satisfying sweetness and crunch.
If you want to be whisked away on a lunch hour tropical vacation, try this recipe! Saute a dozen small shrimp with spicy cajun or jerk seasoning, tomatoes, any type of roasted veggies, and a quarter of an avocado with green or red cabbage slaw and leafy greens.
You’ll feel like you’re at a picnic or beach party when you eat a salad of diced watermelon, cubed feta, cucumbers, red onion, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh mint on kale or arugula.
Layer chickpeas, marinated peppers, olives, red onion, feta cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes packed under spring mix. Whisk together herb-infused vinegar with garlic powder, pepper, salt and lots of dried dill to dress.
Combine black beans, roasted peppers, cheddar cheese, green onion, half of an avocado, fresh cilantro, cumin and lemon juice on top of romaine and spinach. Go for fresh salsa or hot sauce instead of dressing. It’s like a low-carb, healthy burrito without the mess!
Combine cannellini beans, mixed marinated veggies, fresh basil, tomatoes, and handful of whole wheat penne with your favorite greens. Dress with a sprinkling of olive oil, parmesan and romano cheese.
Layering tofu or edamame, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers with a miso or carrot-ginger dressing on cabbage slaw and green leaf lettuce will remind you of sushi takeout, but with less bloating.
If you don’t have any mason jars on hand, need something lighter weight for a day out and about, or prefer a bowl in which to eat your green creation, try Glad To Go Lunch containers. They allow you to keep your dressing safely sealed inside your salad bowl until you’re ready to toss it in!
Written by Rise Coach Sonya Feinberg Addo. Sonya is a foodie, health nut, gym rat, and busy mom of two. She loves nutrition coaching and helping others make lifelong healthy behavior change. She has partnered with hundreds of people to lose weight and feel great over the past two years with Rise. Sonya’s nutrition philosophy is to be realistic with your goals, and to think about what you are going to enjoy MORE of each day, rather than what you have to avoid. Learn more about Sonya and how to work with her here.