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Tuesday, 10 June 2014 13:42

Mason Jar Salads

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Sometimes packing for lunch can be such a challenge. I hate getting into a rut when it comes to planning meals, especially when planning my work lunch.

Bringing lunch to work can feel like a chore -- it requires planning, getting up early to pack your lunch or remembering to prepare it before you go to bed. It needs to be portable and it needs to be exciting, but it also can't be smelly (sorry tuna fish or egg salad sandwich lovers). We're fans, but we can't handle the odor in the office. Not only is it difficult to motivate to bring your lunch and find the right thing, it's also difficult to sustain the practice. After so many days of making the same thing, you inevitably tire of it.

Fear not. The mason jar salad is here to solve your next round of your lunchtime problems. It's portable, healthy, easy to make and offers room for plenty of variety. It's the perfect solution and it's about to be your new best friend this summer. You can layer so many vegetables in the jar, and mix and match so many different ingredients that you'll never get bored.

Packing your salad in a jar is also an amazing way to solve the classic soggy salad problem. If you pack a pre-dressed salad for lunch, the greens will be limp and soggy by the time you're ready to eat it. And who has a separate salad container to bring in addition to the salad itself? The mason jar salad keeps your greens from getting dressed until you're ready to mix it up. All you have to do is put the salad dressing in first and layer in ingredients one by one, leaving the salad greens on top. You should start with the heaviest, most non-absorbent ingredients first.

Here are a few mason jar salads to try for your next lunch break. Let us know what your favorite combinations are!

Greek Salad
Romaine, tomato, cucumber, olive and lemon. Add some grilled lamb or beef for more protein.
Garden Salad
The options are endless for this. Try some baby lettuce mix with sugar snap peas, tomato, zucchini, sprouts, avocado, green beans chopped asparagus.
Taco Salad
Add a layer of turkey 'chorizo' (see CMWM website for recipe), zucchini, sweet and spicy peppers, tomato, Jicama, avocado and cilantro with chopped iceberg lettuce.
Chinese Chicken Salad
Grill marinated chicken breast (rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger and peppers) with cilantro, basil, cucumber, daikon radish, and Napa Cabbage, mung bean sprouts and water chestnuts. Add some slivers of red bell pepper for crunch and color.
California Spinach Salad
Layer grilled chicken with spinach, strawberry slices, alfalfa sprouts, apple and a couple of chopped walnuts.
Argentine Beef Salad
Chopped romaine with grilled flank steak, tomato, avocado, Jicama, diced Nopalitos and Chimichuri (see CMWM website for recipe).
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