Nutrition · Parenting · Pregnancy

Quick & easy salad in a jar recipe

5 homemade healthy salad in glass jar

I am always looking for great ideas to help me eat healthy on the go.  This ‘salad in a jar’ is nutritious, portable, fresh, easy to make, uses simple colourful ingredients, inexpensive compared to eating out in a restaurant, AND is fun to assemble!

Layer your favourite foods in a jar, take it to work for lunch, create a themed jar for a party, or garnish a table for your family or friends.  Feel free to change up the flavours. Get your children involved – they will want to eat something they just crafted! Feel free to eat it right from the jar, or dump the jar out into a large bowl so that you can stir the dressing at the bottom with all the ingredients.

There are many different sizes of jars you can use – small jars for 1-2 servings (500 mL), medium jars for 2-3 servings (750 mL).  This large jar can serve up to 4 people (1000 mL).

Here’s one of my fave recipes:

Sesame Lime Chicken & Black Bean Salad in a Jar

Chicken

Step 1: Sauté the chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 5 mL olive oil
  • 2 mL sesame oil
  • 1 mL ground cumin powder
  • Black pepper to taste

Pour olive oil and sesame oil in a pan.  Sauté chicken breast on med-high heat, until the chicken is not pink in the middle (cut a piece to check).  Add cumin and black pepper to taste.

CouscousStep 2:  Make the couscous

Ingredients:

  • 125 mL couscous, whole grain
  • 205 mL water (follow the label for water amount needed on the couscous box)

Boil water.  Add dry couscous to a bowl.  Pour hot water over dry couscous in bowl.  Do not stir yet.  Let it sit.  The hot water will be absorbed in the couscous.

Step 3:  Make the dressingDressing

Ingredients:

  • 15 mL lime juice
  • 37.5 mL apple cider vinegar
  • 22.5 mL olive oil
  • 15 mL sesame oil
  • 12 mL Dijon mustard
  • 4 mL ground cumin powder
  • 4 mL ground coriander powder
  • Black pepper to taste

Roll 1-2 limes, cut them, and squeeze out juice.  Add all ingredients to a bowl.  Stir.

Step 4:  Chop the vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 30 mL red onion, chopped
  • 60 mL cucumber, chopped
  • 30 mL red pepper, chopped
  • 30 mL green pepper, chopped
  • 60 mL carrots, shredded
  • 60 mL tomatoes, chopped
  • 30 mL mushrooms, chopped
  • 60 mL cabbage, purple, chopped
  • 125 mL baby spinach, stems removed, ripped up

Step 5:  Assemble other ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 60 mL corn, canned (rinsed) or fresh (sliced off the cob)
  • 125 mL couscous (use a fork to gently break apart the couscous
  • 125 mL black beans, canned (rinsed), or dry (soaked overnight and rinsed)
  • 125 mL chicken, sautéed
  • 15 mL walnuts, chopped
  • 15 mL dried cranberries, chopped

VegetablesLook at all these gorgeous colours of ingredients in this recipe! Colourful foods are loaded with nutrients!

The red pepper, tomato and dried cranberry, the orange carrot, the green pepper and spinach, and the purple cabbage have antioxidants (vitamins A and C) to help prevent disease. The red onion, green and white cucumber, white mushrooms, beige couscous, and black beans (and, in fact, all the vegetables in this recipe) all have some fibre for a healthy digestive system. The yellow corn, black beans, brown walnuts, green pepper and spinach, and red pepper have folate which helps to build cells. This “salad in a jar” is a powerhouse of nutrients, and is also low salt, low sugar, low trans fat and low cholesterol.

Step 6:  Layer the jar

Ingredients:

Final jar

  • 60 mL sesame lime dressing (at the bottom of the jar)
  • 30 mL red onion, chopped
  • 60 mL cucumber, chopped
  • 30 mL red pepper, chopped
  • 30 mL green pepper, chopped
  • 60 mL carrot, shredded
  • 60 mL corn, canned (rinsed) or fresh (sliced off cob)
  • 60 mL tomatoes, chopped
  • 30 mL mushrooms, chopped
  • 125 mL couscous, cooked, separated with fork
  • 125 mL black beans, rinsed
  • 125 mL chicken, sautéed (cooked)
  • 60 mL cabbage, purple, chopped
  • 125 mL spinach, stems removed, ripped up
  • 15 mL walnuts, chopped
  • 15 mL dried cranberries, chopped

Makes about 4 servings.

Comment below and let us know your favourite on-the-go salad.

Have more questions about recipe ideas for healthy eating? Contact Toronto Public Health at (416) 338-7600 and speak directly with a Registered Dietitian.

 

Nutrition Information/serving size (%DV = %Daily Value of the nutrient):

Protein: 10.23 g; CHO: 28.61 g; Energy: 237.44 cal; Fibre: 2.92 g; Sugars: 2.82 g; Saturated fat:  1.90 g; Mono-unsaturated fat: 6.80 g; Polyunsaturated fat: 3.47 g; Omega 3 fat: 0.3 g; Omega 6 fat: 12.03 g; Cholesterol: 16 mg; Sodium: 42.74 mg; Vitamin K: 27.39 micrograms (34%DV); Selenium: 11.18 microgram (32%DV); Vitamin C: 17.71 mg (30%DV); Niacin: 3.27 micrograms (18%DV); Alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E): 1.55 mg (15%DV); Folacin: 59.34 micrograms (14%DV); Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE) (Vitamin A) = 97.53 micrograms (14%DV); Beta-carotene: 1005 micrograms; Magnesium: 44.5 mg (13%DV); Vitamin B6 = 0.22 mg (11%DV); Phosphorus: 105.5 mg (10%DV); Iron: 1.33 mg (10% DV); Thiamin: 0.131 mg (9%DV); Potassium: 294.78 mg (8%DV).

 

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