Back to the Grind

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I shared this blog post on The Dote Blog I wish I could say I came up with this BRILLIANT idea of salads in a jar….but I can share with you some awesome recipes! I woke up this morning (Monday) thinking to myself WHY didn’t I make my salads in a jar yesterday so I wouldn’t have to make lunches all week?! They are seriously a dream!  These make my life so much more convenient- not to mention ensures I have a healthy balanced lunch! Let’s all start the school year off in a healthy way!

Salad in a Jar 101

Rule #1: Dressing at the bottom, greens at the top. Make sure they are as FAR away from each other as possible so they stay crisp and fresh!

First things first (I’m the realest)


Add the dressing, vinaigrette or olive oil to your 1 pint mason jar. I use 1-3 tablespoons, depending on the dressing { If it’s oil-based, 1 tablespoon is enough } You’ll be keeping your jar upright and this will keep the dressing from touching the veggies and making them soggy.

 Chop chop!

Add your harder veggies and beans; like carrots, radishes, onions and chickpeas, jicama. Then layer your other veggies; like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and cucumber.

On to the Next one…

Greens! This should take up about 1/2 of your jar. Make sure your greens are dry & pack them down tight so you can fit more in. Mix up your green choices for some variety {romaine, kale, arugula and spinach.}

Pack it up pack it in

Pack in the protein, now. Top the greens with your choice of protein. Some of my go to’s are: grilled or ground chicken or turkey, sauteed tofu, canned tuna, diced boiled egg, quinoa. You will also add your fats with the protein- these healthy fats will keep you satisfied throughout the day! Add some nuts, seeds, hummus & avocado. I like to take my avocado separate so it stays fresher and doesn’t brown. If you decide to add the avocado to your jar, top with a lime slice or some lemon juice.

Shake it ‘up’ Shake it ‘up’

When you’re ready to eat, shake it up! Eat your salad straight out of the jar or pour it into a big bowl. I pack things pretty tight with tons of veggies in my jar, but when I shake it up, the dressing is still able to coat all of the veggies. I prefer eating it out of a bowl so I can mix everything up rather than eating it in layers.

TIPS

  • Add your nuts & cheese last so they don’t get soggy
  • If I’m adding onions, I like to add them first. Soaking them in the dressing helps dilute the strong onion taste ( prevents onion breath at work…)
  • Another option is to add items that will soak up the dressing as your second layer- Cooked grains, tofu, meats, mushrooms—anything that is spongy and will soak up the dressing as the jar sits in the fridge.
  • The salads can last up to 10 days in the fridge!
  • Really jam-pack the jars to help keep things from shifting and moving around. It should almost pop out in your face when you open that jar!  BONUS: the less air in the jar- the longer it will stay fresh!
  • If the salad isn’t enough- bring another pint size jar of soup
  • Try to keep the ratio of each jar about half-and-half—half toppings, dressing, grains, proteins and half greens.
  • If I am worried my salad will have too much dressing- I bring a little bag of extra greens with me to soak it up.
  • If you are adding fruit, add it just before the greens

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Asian Chicken Salad

Use 2 tbsp. Carrot Ginger Dressing {from Costco}

Carrots, chopped or shredded (if shredded add in with the greens)

Cucumbers

Bean Sprouts

Red & green cabbage

Chicken with Chinese 5 Spice

Mandarin oranges

Slivered almonds

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Cobb Salad with Peach Infused Vinaigrette

Use 1 tbsp. Dressing {Peach infused white wine vinegar, avocado oil, sea salt}

Red, orange & yellow peppers

Zucchini

Red onions

Spinach

Boiled egg

Sunflower seeds

Avocado

Blueberries (optional)

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Fall Salad

Use 1.5 tbsp. Maple Dijon Vinaigrette {maple syrup, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, sea salt, }

Yellow & orange peppers

Cherry tomatoes

Kale

Baked Cubed Sweet potatoes

Quinoa

Roasted red peppers

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Pesto Besto

Use 1.5 tbsp. Pesto dressing { pesto, olive oil, }

Cherry tomatoes

Cucumbers

Spinach

Quinoa

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Cabbage Salad

Use 3 tbsp. Vinaigrette { 1/2 c olive oil, 1/4 c white vinegar, 1 tsp honey, 1 tbsp chicken stock, pepper to taste}

Green & red cabbage

Toasted sunflower seeds & almond slices

*if you aren’t gluten free you can add toasted ichiban noodles

xo erin

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Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Spinach & Garlic

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Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

2 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 c cherry tomatoes

1 bag of spinach

sea salt

Directions:

1. Pre heat your oven to 375F.

2. Place your spaghetti squash on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour. It is easier to cut of you cook your spaghetti squash whole rather than cut it and bake the two halves. Once it is cooked remove from the oven and discard the seeds.

3. Heat your olive oil in a pan on med heat. Add garlic and cook till fragrant- make sure it doesn’t burn. Add tomatoes and turn down heat to low. Cook for another 10 minutes then add spaghetti squash and spinach. Cook for another couple of minutes and then serve!

xo erin

Garbanzo Bean Salad with Mexican Mango Dressing by My New Roots

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I made this salad for my family….but after trying it I packed it up, put it in the fridge and ate the whole thing myself till it was gone! Thanks My New Roots!

Ingredients:
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas) (about 2 cans)
1 red & yellow bell pepper
3 carrots
½ large jicima root
1 cup chopped spinach
½ cup cilantro
(You can use what ever veggies you would like! Try to use veggies that will soak up some of the dressing. Get your greens in there- any greens would be good! )

Dressing:
1 large, ripe mango
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 large green onions, with tops
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. sea salt
½ chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (substitute ¼ tsp. ground chipotle or use your favorite chili spice)

Directions:
1. Peel mango and place in a blender with all other dressing ingredients. Blend on high until uniform and creamy. It will look like a smoothie. Season to taste.
2. In a large bowl, pour dressing over garbanzo beans and let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad filling. ( I didn’t use all of the dressing. You could also add more veggies to soak up the dressing)
3. As you chop up the vegetables for the salad, add them as you go and stir to get an idea on how much more you need. Stop when the salad is well-dressed but not super gloppy.
4. Serve with sliced avocado and lime wedges on the side. Garnish with more cilantro, sprouts, pumpkin seeds, or whatever you have on hand.

To make it a complete meal: Serve this salad on top of coconut rice or quinoa.

xo erin

Planet Box Giveaway!

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I am in LOVE with my new Planet Box lunch box! I feel like a kid… but it is so handy and helps me have a balanced diet!

Today I had pepper & hickory salt crusted salmon on a bed of spinach, peaches, cucumbers & kimchi! I teamed up with my friends over at Planet box for one lucky person to be able to have their own lunch box- perfect timing for back to school! The contest will run till Sunday night!

Head over to my Instagram account for contest details!

Have a great weekend! 🙂

xo erin