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7 Easy, Portable Salads to Pack for Lunch

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7 Easy, Portable Salads to Pack for Lunch

What’s better than having a quick, easy lunch that isn’t a
pain to prepare? One that’s also healthy and delicious. This is where salads
come in! Salads are simple to make and pack bunches of nutritional value while
allowing you to manipulate their ingredients to fit your taste.

And mason jars are currently the trendy way to carry salads,
not just because they’re stylish holders –but because they preserve the
lettuce. In the mason jars, the salad dressing is put at the bottom of the jar,
while the contents of the salad are stacked on top. That way, when the salad is
poured onto your plate, the lettuce is still crisp and less of a mess is made
in the process! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with carrying a salad in a
regular food container with a lid. Put the dressing of your choice in a
separate lidded cup.

1. Mediterranean Mason Jar Salad

Recipe from KansasCity.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup diced cucumber, unpeeled
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced, or a couple handfuls cherry
    tomatoes, halved
  • 4 canned artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, olive
    oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Divide dressing evenly among 4
    (16-ounce) wide-mouth canning jars.
  2. Layer cucumber, beans, red onion, lettuce, chicken,
    tomato, artichoke hearts and feta evenly in each jar in the order listed. Cover
    with the lids and refrigerate until serving time.
  3. To serve, turn the salad out onto a serving plate. Serves
    four.

2. Kale Chopped Salad with Maple-Almond Vinaigrette

Recipe from Iowa
Girl Eats

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 4 cups lacinto kale, ribs removed and finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or 1/2 chopped fresh apple
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons creamy almond butter (or tahini)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. For the maple-almond vinaigrette: Whisk together almond
    butter (or tahini,) balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and olive oil in a small
    bowl. Microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to help get almond butter smooth, if
    necessary. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high
    heat (6 out of 10.) Add half the shallots then fry until golden brown, about
    two minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then repeat with
    remaining shallots. Sprinkle with salt then set aside.
  3. Trim ends off Brussels sprouts then remove outer leaves.
    Shave sprouts very thinly on a mandolin or slice very thinly with a knife,
    starting at the green end and stopping just before reaching the white, hard
    end. The thinner the better. Toss to separate shreds, and then remove any big
    pieces of tough white core.
  4. Combine shaved sprouts in a large bowl with kale,
    almonds, parmesan cheese, dried cranberries (or apples), crumbled bacon and
    fried shallots then toss with the maple-almond vinaigrette. Yields two
    servings.

3. Roasted Yam and Kale Salad

Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 jewel
    yams, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons
    olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon
    olive oil
  • 1 onion,
    sliced
  • 3 cloves
    garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch
    kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons
    red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon
    chopped fresh thyme

Instructions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the yams with 2
    tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and
    arrange evenly onto a baking sheet.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven until the yams are tender, 20
    to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature in the refrigerator.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil
    in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion and garlic until
    the onion has caramelized to a golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in the
    kale, cooking until wilted and tender. Transfer the kale mixture to a bowl, and
    cool to room temperature in the refrigerator.
  4. Once all the ingredients have cooled, combine the yams,
    kale, red wine vinegar, and fresh thyme in a bowl with a lid. Season to taste
    with salt and pepper, and gently stir to combine.

4. Chopped Black Bean and Corn Mason Jar Salad

Recipe from OrganizeYourselfSkinny.com

Ingredients:

  • 5 wide mouth quart size mason jars
  • 1 ¼ cup salsa
  • 6-ounce container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12-ounce package frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 5-ounce block pepper jack cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 4 to 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup or more chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In each of the mason jars, pour ¼ cup of salsa. Then
    divide the Greek yogurt evenly among the jars, so there’s about 1 ½ tablespoons
    of Greek yogurt in each jar.
  2. Next divide and layer the rest of the ingredients
    evenly between the five jars starting with tomatoes then following with onions,
    black beans, corn, avocado, cheese, and ending with romaine and cilantro.
  3. When
    you’re ready to eat, pour it into a bowl, mix together and enjoy!

5. Chicken and Spinach Salad Jars

Recipe from Foxes Love Lemons

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly
    chopped
  • 1/3 cup shaved Asiago
    cheese
  • 4 cups baby spinach,
    roughly torn

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 5 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons country Dijon
    mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh
    thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly
    ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin
    olive oil

Instructions:

  1. To make the mustard-thyme vinagrette: In
    small bowl,whisk together vinegar,
    mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until
    all oil is incorporated.
  2. Divide mustard-thyme
    vinaigrette equally among 4 pint-sized mason
    jars
    . Divide chicken over dressing. Layer remaining ingredients, ending
    with the spinach (you may have to tightly pack spinach into the jars). Top with
    lids and refrigerate for up to four days. To serve, pour onto a plate or bowl,
    stir and enjoy.

6. Waldorf Salad

Recipe from WholeLiving.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups bibb lettuce
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced celery
  • 3 ounces grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted whole almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon creamy
    buttermilk dressing

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, then serve and enjoy! If you’re
    packing the salad, start by placing your lettuce at the bottom of your
    container, adding your apples and celery on top, then the rest of the
    ingredients except your dressing – pack that in a separate container. 

7. Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts and Citrus
Vinaigrette

Recipe from OnceUponaChef.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound grated carrots, or 1-1/3 pounds carrots, peeled and
    grated
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1
    lemon
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, from 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Set oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350
    degrees. Place walnuts on baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant,
    7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and
    toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors
    to blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper, honey or more citrus. Toss in
    walnuts and serve.
  3. When packing this salad for lunch, the ideal way would be
    to pack it in a mason jar. If you don’t have a mason jar, combine the dry
    ingredients of the salad together in one container, while giving the wet
    ingredients their own separate container. Combine the ingredients when you’re
    ready to eat.

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