Lunch in a Jar: Spicy Taco Salad

April 25, 2013

By: Rachel Girardi

We all know the health value of a good quality salad. If it’s made right it can be nutritious, low in calories, high in protein and good fats and above all: delicious!  But there are three main issues that I hear from people when I ask them why they don’t bring salads for their lunches at work.

1) They take too long to prepare.

2) They are boring!

3) By the time the salad makes it to lunchtime, either the lettuce is all soggy with the dressing, or the container with the dressing has leaked all over their lunch bag.

Good news! There is a fantastic trend rising: Mason Jar salads. They are a great way to make salads for lunch in a quick and easy way so you only have to prep once and your greens will never get drippy (and neither will your lunch bag!). Get five jars out and prep them for your whole week on Sunday night. Seal them up and every morning you can grab one on your way out the door to work.

The only real ‘rules’ you need to know for your Mason Jar Salads are the following:

  • Start with the dressing at the bottom of the jar
  • Next add in the more dense veggies or solids (like beans, quinoa, carrots, etc) because not only will they not react to the acidity of the dressing but they will soak up the flavours of the dressing and get better as the week goes on
  • Layer items from most to least dense ending with the greens – this will ensure everything stays layered
  • Leave a little room at the top so when you are ready to eat it, you can shake it all up and the toppings will all have room to move around and get mixed and coated with dressing

Here is one of my favourite Mason Jar recipes:

Spicy Taco Salad (makes 1)

Here are your layers from the bottom up for one jar!

  • ½ cup salsa mixed (optional w/ 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt)
  • ½ cup mixed beans
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ¼ avocado diced
  • ½ cup extra lean ground turkey cooked in chili powder
  • ½ oz grated cheddar cheese
  • Mixed greens almost to the top!

Nutritional Information (per jar):

  • Calories – 410
  • Fat – 16g
  • Carbs – 35g
  • Fibre – 12g
  • Protein – 34g

Rachel Girardi, is a psychology-educated-turned-healthy lifestyle coach. Since graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a Masters Degree in psychology, she has worked with many different types of people to incorporate healthy behaviours into their lives. Rachel has worked as a personal trainer for the past two years and over that time has helped clients to reach weight loss, performance and other health goals. Can-Fit Pro and Precision Nutrition Certified, she has a special interest in nutrition and teaching others how to incorporate proper nutrition into their busy lives. Rachel loves to cook and share her recipes with a growing online community at

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