Salad Jars

If you want to move away from processed food and gain control over what you put in your mouth, packing lunch to work is the way to go. But who wants to wash and chop veggies in the morning when you are half awake and barely have time to even eat breakfast?

Here is the solution - PLANNING, if you want to win in the kitchen. Make 3 or 5 of these on Sunday night and you'll have lunch the rest of the week. How about too tired to make dinner at night when you come back from work? Pop open one of these and you get something way better than a mediocre take-out.

Will the salad get gross after a few days? Honestly.... I've tried up to 3 days, even the avocados stay fresh in these air-tight jars!

But there is a technique in layering. I am giving you more of a formula than a  recipe. Be creative with your combinations!

Use a quart size mason jar, layer in this order from bottom to top - dressing, hard veggies, protein, grains, soft veggies or fruit, nuts, seeds and greens.  When you are ready to eat the salad, shake and toss and empty content in a bowl. 

Jar Recipe 1:

  • Creamy basil dressing*
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Red Bell peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • White beans / chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Arugula mix / spinach mix
  • Pumpkin seeds / walnuts

*Blend 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of tahini, 3 cups of fresh basil leaves, 2 tsp of ground ginger, 2 tsp of garlic powder, juice form 2-3 lemons, 1 1/2 tsp of salt.


Jar Recipe 2:

  • Thai peanut dressing*
  • Cucumbers
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Cooked cabbage
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Spinach leaves
  • Sesame seeds

*Combine 6 Tbsp of almond or peanut butter, juice of 1 lime, 2 Tbsp of tamari, 3 Tbsp of sesame oil, 3 Tbsp of water.

Jar Recipe 3:

  • Ranch dressing* (Dairy Free)
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Radish
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Cooked lentils
  • Baby kale leaves
  • Walnuts

*Blend 1 cup of raw cashews, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 Tbsp of dried parsley, 1 1/2 Tbsp of dried dill, 2 tsp of onion powder, 1 1/2 tsp of salt.

Noodle-less Pad Thai

If you love noodles but fear carb , here is a perfectly satisfying "noodle-less" noodle-like dish for you.



  • 1 lb ground pork (or other ground meat) marinated with salt, tamari, white pepper and sesame oil.
  • 1 small head of cabbage, sliced into flat noodle like thickness.

Cooking method:

  • In a large pan, add pork, break it up with a spatula and let it brown a little.
  • Add cabbage. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how "al dente" you like your cabbage to be. Add salt to taste. If there is excess water, cook uncovered for a few extra minutes.

Pad Thai sauce:

  • Combine 6 Tbsp of almond or peanut butter, juice of 1 lime, 2 Tbsp of tamari, 3 Tbsp of sesame oil, 3 Tbsp of water.
  • Pour sauce over cabbage mix, serve with sesame seeds, ground peanuts, scallions, cilantro, lime wedges and favorite hot sauce.


Quinoa fiesta with mango curry dressing

This recipe reminds me of the "sweet curry" U.K. style I used to love when I was a university student in London. It is slightly fruity and not at all spicy. I had something like that at a Whole Foods salad bar and had been trying to replicate it ever since.


  • cooked quinoa
  • quartered grapes
  • chopped mangoes
  • chopped red bell peppers
  • chopped cashews
  • cilantro
  • scallion (or coriander as they call it in the UK)


  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • 1/3 inch cube of fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp of curry powder
  • pinch of cumin
  • pinch of paprika
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • salt to taste

Mix everything together. Go easy with the dressing, you might not need all of it. If grapes and mangoes are not ripe or sweet enough, add dried cranberries for extra sweetness.