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Have Jar? Got Meal!

Have you ever been stuck as to what to take for lunch? Or even for supper especially when it's warm outside? We want something cool, satiating, tasty AND portable. Have a meal salad in a jar!

Grab a jar -- a small one works -- and let's start layering your meal that's easy to take to work, and or even grab from the fridge ready to consume for supper.

While it doesn't really matter the order in which you place the ingredients I can tell you that paying attention to layering makes it easier to combine when ready to eat. It sure looks pretty too. :)

Here are suggested layers:

  1. Bottom – dressing
  2. Middle - heaviest items (vegetables and protein like chicken)
  3. Top - lettuce and/or sprouts last

To give you an idea of what you could choose as a meal salad, enjoy the following recipe that can be easily doubled for two. If you don't have chicken, you can use another protein (like cooked beef, or black beans). Again this is just an idea of how to layer. Use your favorite salad recipe, and pay attention to how it's layered.

In this picture I used most of the ingredients called for in the Sprout Cobb. I didn't have sprouts on hand nor did I use cheese so I could keep it dairy-free. The addition of farmer's market yellow tomatoes provided color interest; the black beans provided lots of fiber and more protein. For the dressing, I used the Berry Vinaigrette from the recipes below. I placed it both on the bottom and on the top so you could see it in the jar for the picture.

jar meal

Sprout Cobb

(one serving)

  • dressing of your choice (see ideas below)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped avocado (tossed in lemon juice to prevent browning)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup greens
  • 1 tablespoon green scallions or chives, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sprouts (optional)


  1. Place all ingredients listed in layering order, in a medium glass Mason jar (or two small if you don't have a medium one). Screw the jar lid tight!
  2. Refrigerate.
  3. When ready to eat, shake to coat salad items with dressing OR don't shake but pour onto plate and the dressing will automatically be on top. You can then toss it gently in your plate.
  4. Enjoy!



Here are some of my favorite dressings. Try all of them to add variety to your meal salad. They are all single servings unless otherwise indicated.

Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
  • 2 tbsp dark balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Tomato Vinaigrette

2 to 3 servings

  • 1 large Roma tomato
  • 1 to 2 sundried tomatoes (soaked for 30 min in warm water, prior to blending)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Lime Dressing

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, black pepper

Berry Vinaigrette

1 to 2 servings

  • ½ cup berries (blue, or I used freshly foraged saskatoons from our river valley!)
  • 1 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar (I use Evoolution) or Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I use Evoolution) - depending how thick you want it
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

No matter what you decide to use for layers, with a little bit of prep (cook chicken if you're using, open up a can of black beans (!) or cut vegetables), you have a wonderfully looking salad that's so good to eat too.


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