Whenever I talk to people who are looking for nutrition advice, it seems as if lunch is the biggest struggle for eating healthy. Many also struggle with getting a square breakfast into their schedule, as well, but that problem is easily tackled with a quick smoothie running out the door. However, it is very hard to make a smoothie and save it for lunch. First, it almost certainly will not stay cold for the four to five hours between when you leave the house, and when you are eating lunch. Second, for many, a smoothie (or other small meal) works for breakfast as they are not hungry in the morning; but, lunch is seen as more of a meal and therefore substantial food is often desired. It would seem, then, that for lunch we need something is equally transportable as a smoothie, but eats like a meal. Enter, salad in a jar. This idea actually came from seeing a vending machine in Chicago which served salads. Not only was this a healthy change from the normal candy and chip vending machine, but it also was an innovative idea which I wanted to copy. Feel free to change up the greens, beans, dressing, etc. but try to stay with the layering described, as it affects the texture when you mix the salad later.
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ¼ tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 Pinch Red Chili Flake (Aleppo Pepper if you have it)
- ⅓ Cup Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 oz. Pickled Red Onions (optional)
- 5 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- ½ Cup Shredded Carrots
- 4 oz. Grilled Chicken, sliced
- 1 Cup Spinach, stems removed
- 1 Cup Kale, torn
- In the bottom of a large mason jar (I liked 32 oz.) mix the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, paprika, chili flake, and salt and pepper. Mix until a vinaigrette has formed.
- Layer the chickpeas, then red onions (if using) then carrots, chicken, cherry tomatoes, and both types of greens.
- Store upright so the dressing does not mix with the greens. When ready to eat, you can either turn upside down onto a plate, or simply shake the whole jar to combine and eat straight out of the container.
Nutrition: One Jar
- Calories: 435
- Carbohydrates: 28 grams
- Protein: 39 grams
- Fat: 16 grams