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Paleo Salads In A Jar



I absolutely love salads and I would say that unless I am having some leftovers for lunch, a good old bowl of crunchy vegetables with some tasty meat or fish and a yummy paleo salad dressing is my usual go to option. In today’s post I want to share some of my favourite healthy salad recipes that you can pack layered in a mason jar to take to the office or on a trip.

First of all, I find that salads in a jar are a pretty cool way to avoid using plastic and to recycle all those left over glass jars you have lying around the kitchen. I soak my jars in really hot water and peel off the labels before storing them in the cupboard. I then use them to store leftovers, sauces, coconut milk, salad dressings and packed lunches.

When it comes to salad combinations, the sky is the limit. My preferred ratio is one third protein and two thirds vegetables with a jar or a container of a zesty salad dressing.  Some days I might only use vegetables with some nuts and a fatty salad dressing. I often make a big batch of salad dressing so I can keep it in the fridge at work for lunches or at home for quick dinners.

Layering suggestions – I’ve experimented with salad leaves on top and bottom of the jar and I find that they are best when kept on top as well as any other ingredients you don’t want to squash too much or that might give out too much juice (unless that’s what you’re after). The size of the jar is up to you but mine holds about 500-600 grams of food.

I hope you like these and please share your own favourite combinations in the comments! Here we go.

Sardines & celeriac salad with avocado & sun-dried tomato dressing



100g sardines in olive oil or spring water (avoid those un canola or sunflower oil)
2-3 tbsp chopped green onion
1/2 medium yellow capsicum, diced
1/3 celeriac root, peeled and grated (you can use grated carrot, kohlrabi or shredded cabbage instead)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup rocket salad
For the dressing
1/4 avocado
3-4 semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Generous pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp hot English mustard (Dijon can be used as well but won’t have the kick)

Drizzle grated celeriac with lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Pack salad ingredients in a mason jar. To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a food processor and puree into course mixture. You can mash it by hand as well. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge if making the night before.

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Grilled Moroccan chicken & avocado salad with lime & chilli dressing



1 small brown onion, sliced
1/2 tsp coconut oil or ghee
Pinch of sea salt
1 chicken breast, sliced into 4-5 thinner strips
2/3 tsp mild paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2/3 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2/3 tsp sea salt + black pepper
1 tsp coconut oil
2 cups baby spinach or other leafy greens
5 cherry tomatoes, sliced or whole
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 avocado, diced
Drizzle of lime juice
For the dressing
1/2 tsp honey (raw if available) or maple syrup
Zest of 1/2 medium lime
Juice of 1/2 medium lime
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4-5 thin slices of long red chilli
Pinch of sea salt

Pan fry onion in a little ghee or coconut and a pinch of sea salt for 5-6 minutes, until soft and golden. Remove and set aside to cool. Rub chicken strips with spices, salt and pepper and pan fry in coconut oil for 3-4 minutes on each side. Rest to cool before packing. Premix the dressing and pack the jar with the salad ingredients.

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Mexican prawn & tomato salsa salad 



1 tsp coconut oil
5-6 raw king prawns (peeled and deveined, pre-cooked or frozen prawns can also be used)
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes or powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
For the tomato salsa
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (about 2 small tomatoes)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1/4 red onion, finely diced
Juice of 1/2 lime juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt + pinch of coriander seed powder (optional)
1 tightly packed up of chopped cos lettuce or iceberg lettuce
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 lime & extra coriander to garnish
Optional additions: jalapenos, extra coriander, bacon, grated cheese if including dairy

Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan. Toss peeled prawns with garlic, spices and sea salt. Pan fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring a couple of times to ensure even cooking. Set aside to cool before packing the salad. If cooking pre-cooked prawns, just warm them up with garlic and spices for 2 minutes. Combine salsa ingredients and place on the bottom of the jar, followed by prawns, lettuce and avocado (the order in my pic is different but I found it would have been better to keep the juicy salsa on the bottom). Place lime and extra coriander on top.

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Roast or grilled vegetable salad with toasted almonds and balsamic dressing



2 tsp coconut oil or ghee
1 brown onion, sliced thick
1/4 cauliflower head, broken into florets
1 cup diced sweet potato or pumpkin
2 garlic cloves, diced
2/3 tsp sea salt
2/3 tsp dried herbs of choice (thyme, rosemary, oregano or sage is nice)
1 cup baby spinach or other green leafy salad
1 roasted red pepper, sliced (I used a pre-bought roasted peppers in a jar)
2 tbsp almond flakes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

You can either roast or grill the vegetables for this salad. To roast, place cauliflower, sweet potato (or pumpkin) and onion with whole garlic cloves in a roasting try with some melted coconut oil or dollops of ghee. Sprinkle with sea salt and dried herbs and roast for 25 minutes at 200 °C/390 °F.

To grill (which is what I did), heat coconut oil or ghee in a large frying pan to medium-high. Add onion, cauliflower and sweet potato and pan fry for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. I cover the pan with a lid for half of the time to speed up the cooking. Towards the end, add diced garlic, dried herbs and sea salt and cook for about 2 minutes. 

In a separate pan or saucepan, cook almond flakes on medium heat until golden brown. Make sure to stir very frequently to prevent burning. Add almonds to the grilled vegetables. Slice red peppers and pack in a jar together with some green leafy salad. Pack balsamic and olive oil in a separate container.

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Wild salmon salad  with creamy dressing 



150g canned wild salmon (you can use fresh cooked salmon or leftovers)
1-2 cup green leafy salad
1/2 carrot, diced
1/2 small red pepper (capsicum), diced
1/2 small cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup diced celery
2 tbsp chopped green onion
1/2 avocado, sliced
Thick slice of lemon
For the dressing
1 tbsp whole egg mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

This one is pretty straight forward. Mix the dressing and pack all ingredients in a mason jar. Done!

  1. Are your recipes for one Mason jar serving, two, three? If would be helpful to know whether I need to double or triple the recipe.D

    1. Without the dressing, I would say 2 days, but that’s simply because I like mine super crunchy. You can also prep some ingredients ahead of the time and keep them in separate tupperware containers in the fridge. Then assemble the jars in the morning or the night before. I think when al ingredients are in the jar, they can get squashed a little.

  2. I work I’m a book shop where we sell “Eat, Drink Paleo” and wanted to see what everyone is so excited about. I’m really impressed how easy you’ve made it to get into Paleo eating, even for newbies like me! Tomorrow = salad in a jar and a new book to buy!

  3. I use glass jars/ containers all the time for salad. My recent discovery is that if you put the salad dressing at the bottom of the jar, lettuce at top, and other things separating it like veggies and meats, then you don’t have to figure out another loose container for dressing. All in one! Then I just shake the container when I am ready to eat it, and it is all dressed and mixed up, ready to eat. Works really well.

  4. These are genius. I think of the most missed things about lunch is sitting and watching all the goodies you’re eating cos they’re just all layered in a sandwich or lunchbox so you either don’t look or you just eat from the top – and while you eat from the top of your salads in a jar, you can lucky dip or choose! brilliant :)

  5. I am hesitant to jar proteins with a strong flavor and smell with the more subtle favors. I would jar them separately, I am referring to the sardines, tuna, and shrimp.z

    1. Depending on ingredients used, I would say overnight is fine. Otherwise they would get soggy. If it’s something like a coleslaw with grilled chicken on top then that could last for 2 days.

    2. They last longer if you stack them with the toughest ingredients on the bottom (meats, firm veg) and the lettuce all on the top.

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