Are you looking for some ideas to make meal prep during the week quicker, easier and more nourishing?

I’ve been teaching my Meal Planning Made Easy workshop to a bunch of different companies lately. One of the recipe demos I like to show is how to make mason jar salads. They’ve easy, versatile, and convenient. You can prep a few of them at a time, so you can literally just grab, go, and shake your lunch during the week.

Below is a visual of a mason jar salad how-to.

If you want to add crunch from nuts or seeds or add some creaminess with avocado, it’s best to add them just before serving so the nuts and seeds don’t get soft and the avocado doesn’t turn brown. I also wait to add things like the veggie burger that goes on top of this particular salad, so it doesn’t get soggy.

salad in a jar

This particular recipe for a Carrot Slaw and Chickpea Salad is from Relay Foods, an online grocery store service we’ve been using for the past few months to make meal planning less expensive, more convenient…and a little more exciting! (If you live in the Baltimore/DC/NoVa area and want $20 off your first order of $60 or more click here!).

My husband, Bill, and I LOVED this salad! 

It’s packed with flavor, textures and colors. The only ingredient that might not be familiar is watercress, which is a leafy green vegetable with a peppery taste. It’s packed with antioxidants and anti-cancer compounds. It’s often in a clear bag or box in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, and you may have to go to a health food store to find it. An easy substitute would be arugula, a leafy green with a similar peppery taste. To learn more about the health benefits of watercress, click here.

This recipe also happens to include our FAVORITE veggie burger  – the Hemp & Greens burger by Hilary’s Eat Well. They’re allergen-friendly veggie burgers made from real food…no fake stuff here! Crunchy, flavorful, and delicious when baked, you can crumble them into a salad. We’ve tried every flavor and always have a package of them in our freezer. We buy them at MOMs Organic Market, but you can find where they sell them near you using this store locator.carrot-slaw-ingredients

I decided to take a stab at making one of those Buzzfeed Tasty-type videos, showing the how to of this recipe, so you can see me make it step-by-step.

My husband, Bill, is WAY more talented with technology than I am, so he did all the editing. I now know some tweaks I’ll make the next time I shoot a video (which will be for the easiest kale salad ever!), but I think this one is a good start!

I made a few modifications to the recipe in the video to simplify it, so you can either use the original recipe from Relay Foods for this Carrot Slaw Salad with Watercress and Chickpeas Mason Jar Salad OR try the simpler version below that’s made with a quick lemon vinaigrette.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients (organic when possible)

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (NOT “Real Lemon” juice. Use Lakewood Organic or Santa Cruz bottled lemon juice instead)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1 pound carrots, shredded
  • 1 can (15-ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 package arugula OR baby spinach
  • 2 hemp and green burger patties, toasted
  • Slivered almonds

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt, oil, and honey. Pour desired amount into the bottom of each quart-size mason jar (about 2 tablespoons).
  2. Prepare each mason jar salad by adding even amounts of the chickpeas, carrots, and greens.
  3. Cook the burger patties according to package directions in a toaster oven. Toast the patties just before serving to enjoy them crispy and warm (rather than soggy) if you’re eating them throughout the week for lunches. Add the patties and nuts to the salad jar, cover with a lid and then shake it up or pour it in a bowl and enjoy!