Jar Salad Meal Prep!

One thing to know about me is that I’m not much of a salad person.  For starters, I just can’t get past the idea (and texture) of eating leaves, so I tend to eat only iceberg lettuce…and sometimes, Romaine hearts.  But clearly, I’m picky enough about my lettuce that it makes eating salad less than convenient.  Furthermore, I can’t seem to get on board with a cold lunch.  I don’t know why, but something about it makes me feel sad and disappointed.

Another thing to know about me is that I eat a lot of nut butter.   Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter (I know, that’s a seed–but you get the idea).  I started cleaning and keeping my empty jars, but then I just had to start getting rid of them because one only has so much storage .

I’m not alone in this…right?? 

So what I love about this jar salad lunch that I’ve created is that I actually look forward to eating it, and I get to make use of my nut butter jars.  Oh, and I had chicken leftover to use for other meals this week.  Win, win, and win.

What’s in the Jar:

  • Julienne carrots
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Chicken

How I Cooked Them:

  • Carrots, I bought already cut up; celery I chopped up into small pieces, and I did the same with the red bell peppers.  I then sauteed them all together in a skillet with a couple teaspoons of coconut oil and the juice of two limes.
  • Chicken was cooked in the slow cooker.  I used a rice cooker and set it twice, so the chicken (which was about 6 large breasts) cooked for a total of 4 hours on the slow cook setting.  I was easily able to pull it apart with a fork when the cooking was complete.  To the pot of chicken, I added water (to just about the level of the chicken), largely chopped sweet onion pieces, salt and pepper, and a good dousing of chipotle hot sauce.
  • Tomatoes–chopped in half, uncooked.

How I’ll Eat It:

  • Since this is my lunch prep for the week, I washed and portioned out my lettuce during my Sunday meal prep. I stuffed Ziploc freezer bags with lettuce, and then took one baggie and one jar to work with me each day.
  • As I mentioned earlier, I don’t like eating a cold lunch.  And that’s the reason I package this meal as I do.  When it’s time for lunch, I heat up the jar of chicken and veggies, pour my baggie of lettuce into a bowl, and then add the warmed jar of food.
  • Finally, I use salsa and avocado as my “dressing.”  The chicken, when cooked as I cooked mine, retains some of that water (even after draining) which also creates a kind-of dressing for the lettuce, so you won’t wind up eating dry lettuce leaves.


There are so many variations of this meal one could make.  Add some beans, corn, onions, or cheese…these are just some of the different additions that come to mind.  For me this week, I wanted to keep my lunches low carb which is why I didn’t add beans, corn, or rice–and actually, I never eat corn unless it’s on the cob…but I digress .  I also try to keep my dairy intake on the lower end which is why I didn’t include cheese…

But, it is more the concept of this meal than the specifics of what is in it that made me excited to share it.  And also the pretty colors of the food in the jars .  How do you use your empty jars?  Let me know!

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