healhty

Salad in a Jar

Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

Salads in a jar are the perfect portable lunch to make at home. They're a great way to use up those little bits of food left over from dinner. They’re also an easy no fuss meal prep for the next day. With the right ingredients, you’ll have a complete meal. But, if you want your salad in a jar to look as elegant as when you first layered it the night before to last until lunchtime, you'll need a go-to layering technique. So grab your quart-sized mason jars from the cupboard and start laminating your hearty salads.

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Ingredients

  • 1 quart size wide mouth mason jar with lid

  • 1/4 cup of your favorite salad dressing

  • 1/3 cup of protein of choice

  • 1/4 cup of cooked grains of choice

  • 4-5 tablespoons of chopped vegetables or fruit of choice

  • Handful of leafy greens of choice

Preparation

  1. Layer 1: 1/4 cup of salad dressing. In a clean wide mouth quart size mason jar, fill the bottom with 1/4 of your favorite dressing. You can make your own dressing or vinaigrette and refrigerate it a few days in advance or buy your favorite brand. Dressings with a low viscosity tend to work better because it coats everything a lot better than a thick chunky dressing when you give your salad a good mix (careful not to get any dressing on the sides; this will prevent your leafy greens and vegetables from wilting).

  2. Layer 2: 1/3 cup of your protein. Adding your protein on top of your dressing will help marinate it. You can use any animal or plant-based protein you’d like. Pan fry up some tofu or use a can of drained chickpeas for great plant-based proteins. Leftover steak or rotisserie chicken is perfect for this. Mix and match if you’d like.

  3. Layer 3: 1/4 cup of cooked grains. This is the layer that will make your salad hearty and more filling. I love adding cooked quinoa to this or wild rice. Cooked pasta or farro are also good options. I’ve even seen cooked ramen noodles cut into bite-size pieces used for this layer.

  4. Layer 4: 4-5 tablespoons of chopped vegetables. At this stage, you can add vibrant colors to your salad. You can be as creative as you want with this layer! Add a mix of red onions, radishes, and cucumbers for a healthy crunch. Chopped celery, apples, and dried cranberries add a nice sweetness to the salad. Try adding sliced cherry tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro for a kick of flavor.

  5. Layer 5: Leafy greens. Fill your jar to the top with a handful of leafy greens. You can go the crisp lettuce route, the hearty greens route, or do both! Choose your favorite greens and mix and match whatever you’d like. Arugula will add a spicy peppery flavor to your salad. If you’re lacking in vitamins and minerals but want something tender and slightly sweet, add baby spinach. Careful not to pack down the greens, you don’t want to bruise them. You’ll also need a little room for everything to move around when you’re mixing your salad.

  6. Screw on the lid and refrigerate. Now your portable salad is ready to go with you. When you’re ready to eat, just simply give it a good shake, take off the lid, and dig in.

Salmon Niçoise Salad

Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4-6

This popular whole meal salad full of protein—featuring salmon instead of the traditional tuna—is hearty and always delicious.

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Ingredients

Salmon

  • 1 pound fresh salmon fillets skin on

  • Pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder for seasoning fish

  • 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salad

  • 3/4 pound small new potatoes (boiled in water with 1/2 tablespoon of salt)

  • 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed (blanched in water with a pinch of salt)

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered or sliced

  • 1/2 red onion, julienned into thin strips

  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained

  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

  • 1 pound of fresh greens of your choice (spinach, frisée, lettuce, or a mix of greens)

  • 4 anchovy fillets (optional)

Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on microplane

  • 1 tablespoon of seedy whole grain mustard

  • 4 anchovy fillets

  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

  2. Place the potatoes whole in a medium pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes for 13-15 minutes until just fork tender. Transfer the potatoes to a plate and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into quarters.

  3. While potatoes are cooking, Place salmon on a parchment lined baking sheet pan, skin side down. Sprinkle the fish with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rub the flesh with with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley. Bake 7-10 minutes until the salmon reaches desired doneness. Set aside to cool. Remove the skin and chop the fish into large chunks.

  4. In the same stockpot rinse it out. Bring 3 inches of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat, drain and shock the green beans in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

  5. Add a couple more inches of water in the same pot and return it to a boil. Cook the eggs for 8 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bath of ice water and chill until cold, about 10 minutes. Peel and halve; set aside.

  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the grated garlic, anchovy fillets, sugar, and Dijon mustard until it becomes a thick paste. Thin out the paste by adding the lemon zest and juice, and then drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify the dressing. Season with salt, and pepper (careful with the salt, the anchovies are already salty, make sure to taste before seasoning).

  7. On top of your greens, arrange the pieces of salmon, potatoes, green beans, eggs, red onion slices, Kalamata olives, anchovies fillets, and tomato wedges on a large platter. Pour the dressing over the arranged platter and serve family style.

Serving Suggestion

Use cold smoked salmon or a couple cans of tuna in place of the fresh salmon to speed the preparation time. Plan ahead and cook extra potatoes and green beans earlier in the week; then this salad comes together in a matter of minutes.