5 Mason Jar Salads to Bring on the Go
By Staci Amend
With so many fruits and veggies coming into season, it’s easy to make your Jenny Craig menus more delicious and more diverse with a fresh salad! And, whether your greens will be a healthy side or a light meal…whether you’re taking them to work or on a weekend picnic…packing them in a mason jar is one of the best ideas.
How to pack your Mason jar salad
The bright, layered ingredients DO look gorgeous through a glass jar. But did you know: those pretty layers can actually help your salad stay crisp and tasty even after it’s been dressed? When you pack your Mason jar salad, put the dressing in first, so it stays at the bottom and won’t leave your ingredients limp and soggy. After that, pack the heaviest, least-porous ingredients (like carrots or proteins). Smaller items, like diced non-starchy vegetables, can go on top of these, and should be packed close together if possible. Make your greens the top veggie—and put any dry ingredients, like seeds (1 Tbsp = 1 healthy fat) or raisins (2 Tbsp = 1 fruit), on the very top. Packed as described, your salads can stay fresh for nearly a week in the fridge.
Here are five yummy salads you can take anywhere, along with our top packing tips. Now for our five faves…
1. Taco Salad with Southwest Style Chicken Salad Topper
We’re starting with the easiest because let’s face it—we’re all busy. Start by mixing a packet of Jenny Craig’s Ranch Dressing with a tablespoon of your favorite salsa, or even a squirt of hot sauce. Next, layer the pre-cooked ingredients of our Southwest Style Chicken Salad Topper in your jar, just on top of the dressing. Follow with chopped hearts of romaine, and then top with diced jicama.
2. Orange and Radish Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette
This light, crispy salad from the Jenny Craig Online Recipe Library may just become one of your summer go-tos—and at under 150 calories per serving, it’s a great addition to any meal. Blend the dressing first; a little goes a long way with this one! Pack the sliced radishes first, then the orange slices, then the spinach, with the almonds on top.
3. Apple-Endive Chopped Salad with Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Dressing
Starting with Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Dressing, layer your favorite diced veggies—we like cucumber and tomato best here—with a quarter of a diced Granny Smith apple to add some tart sweetness. Next, layer a handful of chopped spinach and a head of chopped endive. This one’s great with a tablespoon of Parmesan (counts as 1 Limited Free food) or a pinch of walnuts, too (four walnut halves count as one healthy fat).
4. Quinoa, Chickpea and Kale Salad
This salad is great with any low-fat or fat-free vinaigrette. Start with a half-cup each of diced cucumber, diced red peppers and a handful of diced grape tomatoes. Next, layer a quarter cup of chickpeas (which counts as ½ protein and ½ starch), followed by 1/3 cup of cooked, chilled quinoa (1 starch). Top one cup of chopped kale with a handful of thinly sliced shallots and a pinch each of fresh oregano and pepper, and you’re ready to go!
5. Grilled Asparagus and Grape Salad
For this wonderful make-ahead salad, start by grilling a half-bunch of asparagus until tender; add a squeeze of lemon juice, and allow to cool before chopping into one-inch segments. Dress the bottom of your jar with Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Dressing. Butter lettuce works very well with this recipe; add a quarter cup each of diced celery, seedless black grapes and cherry tomatoes before layering your asparagus and greens.