Everything tastes better in a mason jar – even your daily salads. Before we go through how to pack a perfect salad jar, I just wanted to point out that the jars in the picture above are merely an example of how colourful salad jars can be – not how salad jars should be packed. These jars did not contain salad dressing and I broke the layering rules (i.e. stacked the veggies and other toppings however I liked).
I find that the trick to packing a perfect salad in a jar is to ensure the dressing goes on the bottom. You then layer the jar in this order: hard vegetables (e.g. cucumbers, bell peppers), grains (e.g. pasta), beans (optional), cheese (optional), meat/fish (e.g. cooked chicken or hard boiled eggs), softer vegetables and fruit (e.g. avocados, strawberries), nuts/seeds, lighter grains (e.g. quinoa), and finally leafy greens. If you are preparing your jars for the week, wait to add the cheese, protein, softer veggies and fruit till the day you’re planning to eat them. Make sure you screw the lids on tight and refrigerate – they are usually good for about 5 days which makes this a perfect grab and go lunch. Once you’re ready to eat, give the jar a good shake and pour it into a bowl. If it doesn’t mix well, toss the salad with your utensils and enjoy! Let me know how your jars turn out – don’t forget your protein source!