Mason Jar Lunch Salads

I had been eating lunch out pretty consistently during the work week and while there are many paleo friendly options around the Chicago loop, the usual rotation can get a bit monotonous.  There are even some options for organic and grass fed/humanely raised meat, but that too gets old after a while and also gets expensive.

To better control the quality (and cost) of a healthy paleo lunch, this week I am making up mason jar salads.  I LOVE mason jars and use them to store just about everything (nuts, paleo mayo, iced tea, leftovers) and lunch salads seem another perfect use.

I started out with two of my favorite salads, but you can find many more ideas online.  Here are the basic rules:

  1. Put the dressing in first
  2. Add veggies that do well marinating in the dressing
  3. Add protein
  4. Pack with greens
  5. Store in refrigerator (can be  made up to 5-6 days ahead)
  6. Shake and pour into a bowl to serve

So simple and the jars are as beautiful to look at as the salads are delicious!  The lettuce stays crisp and the veggies get a nice marinade.  Unlike square containers, the mason jars fit perfectly into my backpack rightside up.

mason jar greek saladMy Greek Salad recipe (adding baked diced chicken) resulted in enough for three jars of salad.  I ate one right away for lunch on Sunday rather than waiting for a work day…

  1. Dressing – whisk well and divide into 3 jars (about 2 tablespoons each)
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • salt and pepper to taste
  2. Add halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, diced sweet pepper, sliced kalmata olives, feta cheese
  3. Add diced salami and chicken
  4. Pack romaine lettuce to fill the jar

 

 

Next up is my slightly modified version of Waldorf Tuna Salad.  I never get tired of this and often whip it up for a quick dinner when I’ve run out of other options or want an easy weekend lunch. And it’s perfect for a mason jar lunch.

Waldorf tuna salad

  1. Whip up some Paleo Mayo
  2. Flake a can of tuna (no need to drain) into a mixing bowl (I like skipjack or yellowfin tuna in olive oil)
  3. Add 1 diced apple
  4. Add 2-3 tablespoons of mayo
  5. Add a couple handfuls of chopped pecans
  6. Add pepper and salt to taste
  7. Spoon into a quart mason jar and top with greens or into a pint mason jar to eat on its own.

 

 

 

And this one is perfect for mason jars as its all marinated together.  Mediterranean Tuna Salad.  I modified it to make enough for 3 lunches.Mediterranean tuna salad

  • 3 cans tuna (I like skipjack in olive oil)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, diced
  • 1 jar kalmata olives (pitted), sliced in half
  • 1 jar sun dried tomatoes in olive oil (I prefer Trader Joes julienne sliced)
  • 2 medium roasted red peppers, chopped (from a jar, make sure no non-Paleo ingredients)
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Flake the tuna in a large bowl, mixing in the olive oil from the cans.  Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Add extra olive oil if needed, but the oil from the tuna and tomatoes are usually enough.  Fill mason jars, will keep for a few days in the fridge.

 

 

I am grateful each day for wellness, happiness and the opportunity to share with you.