Thursday, November 7, 2013

Salad in a Jar

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I may have mentioned our office “snackqueenRDJoanna Li before. Joanna runs the Foodtrainers store. She’s also our resident product taste, recipe taste and gets more excited about trying new things (a totally underrated great quality) than almost anyone I know. For todays post Joanna tackles a lunch concept that’s been taking Pinterest and the blogosphere by storm.

I love how versatile mason jars are and use them for many things from holding smoothies and juices to storing oatmeal and applesauce (I could go on forever). For some time, I’ve been eyeing “Salad in a Jar” photos on Pinterest and Instagram but those Pinterest people have skills that I often do not possess. Finally, I got up the cooking courage and decided to do a little bit of experimenting in the Foodtrainers test kitchen. After all, leafy greens and mason jars, how could I miss out?
I enjoy salad but not the soggy salad that often greets me at lunchtime. With Salad in a Jar your salad contents do not mingle and mush until you say it’s time. Here's what I did:
For my salad in a jar, I used a wide mouth quart sized mason jars (you can use a smaller size for side salads).
Our Mise en place (fancy French way of planning-it thin)
  1.  For the first layer, I drizzled the dressing into the bottom of the jar (1/2 tablespoon walnut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar) By adding this in first and leafy greens last, you keep your greens nice and crisp.
  2. Next come your harder, heartier ingredients such as carrots, cucumbers or beets. I used carrots and beets for layers three and four.
  3. After hard veggies comes protein. This could be a chopped hardboiled egg, turkey or poached salmon. I used 4 ounces of poached chicken poached in water with a little bit of salt, pepper, and a clove of garlic.
  4. The fifth layer is for nuts or seeds, ideas include: sunflower seeds, quinoa, walnuts or almonds.  I sprinkled one of Foodtrainers’ favorite salad toppings, hemp hearts.
  5. The sixth layer is for any other soft ingredients. I used roasted some butternut squash (made with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper), I have also used avocado.
  6. By the time you reach the last layer, you should have at least 1 1/2 inches from the rim of jar for your leafy greens. This could be spinach, kale, arugula, or dandelion greens or microgreens. I chose kale. Be sure to leave a little bit of space in between your greens and the lid for pre-lunch salad shaking.

Here is our recipe, layer by layer from top to bottom,  for
Foodtrainers’ Kale Salad in A Jar
Room for shaking
Layer 7: fill with kale
Layer 6: 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash
Layer 5: 1/2 pack hemp hearts
Layer 4: 4 ounces poached organic chicken
Layer 3: 1/2 cup beets
Layer 2: 1/2 cup chopped carrots
Layer 1: Dressing: 1/2 tablespoon walnut oil, 1 Tablespoon maple syrup, 1 T apple cider vinegar
When ready to eat, shake the jar to toss all the ingredients together or pour onto a plate and dig in!
Salad in a jar is easy to assemble, can be made ahead of time, last for 4-5 days in the fridge and are easy to transport. As Lauren says in LBT “skinny starts Sunday” so prepare your jars on Sunday, and you won’t have to worry about getting off track once the week starts.
Some other salad in a jar inspiration:

Thanksgiving in a jar, perfect for leftovers
Have you ever tried making salad in a jar? What are some of your favorite combos?


  1. I still havent done this. YET. I fear the soggy :-)

  2. be fearless with salad, follow guideliness and soggy is history, let us know.

  3. This is a great idea if it really doesn't get soggy - definitely worth a try. I usually bring my salad in a tupperware container, which works fine, and the dressing in a separate little plastic container - which usually leaks a little. I deal with it and it's not a disaster, but I'd rather something that didn't leak and this sounds like it would fit the bill. Do you typically eat it right out of the jar, or do you pour it into a bowl? Seems like it would be hard to eat out of the jar.

  4. Andrea@WellnessNotesNovember 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    I love this! I guess I haven't been on Pinterest for a while because I don't remember seeing this before... :)

  5. Hi Jen, you can eat it out of the jar or pour it into a bowl but eating out of the jar is not hard if you use the wide mouth jars :) Give it a try, I promise you no soggy salads!

  6. Oh good that means we're not too behind, it's fun Andrea, try it.

  7. Jess @ Keeping It Real FoodNovember 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Love these! So pretty. I make elaborate salads to take to work to add a little color to my ridiculous window-free days. I like the idea of using a jar-will have to try that soon!

  8. I know how you feel, I look at Instagram and pinterest sometimes and, how do they possess such talent for making everything look so amazing?! I've definitely seen these "salads in a jar" and other foods in a jar, and have wanted to attempt them, but haven't yet. I really think I want to head out and get some mason jars now! They are so pretty too, full of vibrant colors.