I’m always looking for creative, healthy lunches for the work week. I can’t quite get with the traditional sandwiches and wraps, and I could never find a way to make salads that lasted throughout the week, were easy to pack in the mornings, and that I looked forward to enjoying at lunch time!
However, all of this changed when I stumbled across this post on Pinterest. Inspired by the Vintage Mixer, I decided to emulate the popular to-go lunch trend of mason jar salads, but instead of cucumbers, chicken, and lettuce, use cooked, nutritional powerhouse veggies and quinoa! Then I’d have vegetarian lunches with high vitamin content that contained some of my favorite sides combined into a salad. I was so excited to begin. A half day of prep and cooking later (and quite a bit of nibbling along the way), I had six “salads” for a nourishing week of ready-to-go lunches!
Of course, any of these ingredients can be substituted for ones you prefer. But I love each any every one of these veggies on their own, and mixed together tossed in the homemade dressing, they made a week of filling and delicious lunches.
Just in time begin the new workweek, this “recipe” is what I’m bringing this weekend to Fiesta Friday. Someone’s gotta bring the veggies! And to really make it look like I’m all up on my healthy game, I’ll be the one doing yoga in the corner 😉
Super Mason Jar 'Salads'
Kale: 2 heads kale
2 c. water
1 tbl. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
Beets: 6 beets (I used golden beets)
2 tbl. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Sweet potatoes: 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
1/2 c. water
Brussels sprouts: 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Quinoa: 1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
Dressing: 1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lime juice
2 tbl. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
Kale: Wash all the leaves of kale, and remove the stems.
Add washed leaves, water, olive oil, and salt to a large pot. Cook over medium heat until leaves have changed color and are cooked through, stirring occasionally. Drain any excess water that may remain, and set the kale aside to cool.
Cut each of the beets into small chunks, about 1/2 square inch each. Toss the beet pieces in olive oil and salt, and spread in an even layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 35 minutes.
Sweet potatoes: Wash the sweet potatoes and dry them with a paper towel. Cut each one into chunks the same size as the beets. Add to a small pot with the water and set on a burner over medium-low heat. Cook until the pieces can be easily pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Brussels sprouts: Cut each of the Brussels sprouts into quarters. In a large bowl, toss the quartered sprouts with the olive oil and salt until they are thoroughly coated. Spread in a single, even layer on a foil covered baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Quinoa: Add the quinoa, water, and salt to a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the burner down to medium heat and continue cooking until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water and is soft and fluffy, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Dressing: While waiting for all of your veggies to cool, add the olive oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, oregano, and thyme to a mason jar. Screw on the lid tightly and shake well until all ingredients are mixed. Divide the dressing evenly among six jars, just under 2 tablespoons in each one.
When you’re ready to eat, these delicious “salads” can be served either hot or cold. They can be either eaten from the jar or emptied into a bowl. Just top with Parmesan cheese when serving and enjoy!