Are you bored with your lunchtime routine? I go through little spurts where I only want to eat one or two things—usually last night's leftovers and/or a strange mix of whatever needs to be eaten up in the fridge. But then there are times when I'm just craving something different and fun.
I really love making salad jars for this reason. This one is kind of quirky and pairs flavors that you might not think to put together, but then it just...works. (Beets and olives? You bet!) My favorite part of these salad jars is the layer of avocado hummus in the middle.
So let's talk about salad in a jar for a second, and discuss why they are pretty much the best.
First reason: They are so easy to take on the go—to work, the park, on car trips, etc. Second, they are fun to make (that's totally a good reason!). Third, they're pretty and we eat with our eyes. And last but not least, they can be made ahead of time. Bonus!
I usually put something hearty on the bottom of the jar. It could be beans, cooked whole grains (rice, quinoa, etc.), mushrooms, and the like. This is also where I add my vinaigrette. For this salad, I just used a little extra virgin olive oil and a good squirt of fresh lemon juice. Some of it soaks into the quinoa, and the rest pools in the bottom of the jar.
The next layer is my fresh (or roasted) veggies. Here I've included candy-stripe beets, carrots and fennel. All of them are tossed with a little lemon juice to keep them from browning (see third reason above). Next comes a big old dollop of avocado hummus. If you haven't tried avocado hummus yet, what are you waiting for?! Put it on everything. It will boost the protein factor as well as adding in good fats and a lot of flavor.
Next come the sliced kalamata olives, followed by leafy greens (your choice), and a good sprinkle of nuts and seeds to finish it off. Layering in this way and finishing with the leafy greens helps keep them from wilting or getting soggy. Soggy salads are no bueno. From there, all that's needed is a lid and it can hang out in the fridge until lunchtime.
Yes, it's that easy to make a healthy, filling lunch ahead of time! When lunchtime rolls around I turn the jar over a few times to let the dressing coat all of the ingredients and then dig in. Or if you prefer, you could pour it out onto a large plate.
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or more to taste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 medium or large ripe avocado sliced
- Pinch of ground cumin or cayenne pepper optional
- Sea salt or other coarse salt to taste
- 1 cup shredded veggies I used beets, carrots, and fennel
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 1-2 tablespoons avocado hummus
- 1-2 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
- 2 cups leafy greens your choice
- ¼ cup nuts and seeds
Make the hummus:
- Place the chickpeas into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Pulse several times to begin pureeing. Add the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Pulse again until almost smooth. Next add the avocado. Pulse until completely smooth. Add cumin or cayenne pepper, if desired, and blend. Taste, season with salt, and add additional lemon juice if desired. Puree again until blended.
- Transfer to an airtight container and drizzle with olive oil to help prevent browning. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the salad:
- Add the shredded veggies to a medium bowl and drizzle with 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Toss to mix. Set aside.
- Add olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and quinoa to the jar. Top with veggies, then add avocado hummus, olives, greens, and nuts/seeds in layers.
- Top with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to eat. The salad can be made the night before, and it will keep for several days in the fridge.
Sam @ PancakeWarriors says
Let me just pick my jaw off the floor. Avocado hummus!!! My two favorite salad toppers in one. Why haven't I tried this yet?? This salad in a jar is beautiful. Love the colors and how convenient it is! I can't wait to try the hummus and will certainly make a salad in a jar the next time I have a road trip or picnic! Thanks for sharing!
Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen says
I absolutely love avocado hummus. Made it one night and it's all I ate for ages! We just stocked up on avocados and I planned to make it. Brilliant lunch idea.
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health says
thank you sharing the details on salad. this is one hearty jar.
Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes says
I have wondered how these salad in a jars worked. Now I understand that you turn the jar over to dress them. Makes perfect sense. I haven't tried them nor avocado hummus. Guess I better get back in the kitchen.
This is what my ideal lunch looks like 🙂
Samantha @FerraroKitchen says
Beautiful salad!!! And I love avo hummus too..we came it often..yum!
I always wondered how you keep the salad from getting soggy with these salads in a jar and now I know. Thank-you! This looks like such a happy and pretty meal ^_^. I need to buy some mason jars.
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner says
Yum all of my favorite ingredients! I have to get on this jar craze
Natalie | Paper & Birch says
What a great idea! I'm always looking for new ideas for packing lunches.
Millie | Add A Little says
This looks great Lindsey! SO cute too!
Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker) says
Oh, I'm JUST the same way. I go back and forth between boring easy lunches (protein bars and the like) and good-for-me homemade goodies. Love the avocado in this salad recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats says
How cute are these! Loving it... and all the veggies with the hearty avocado hummus on the bottom. YUP.. this is so happening for lunch next week!
Tori Leigh says
I love using hummus as salad dressing...this combo sounds absolutely divine!
Avocado hummus? I am intrigued. I see it nestled in a bowl alongside some black bean hummus for a pretty party dip. But first, I see it on the menu next week.
Joanne Bruno says
When I have a pretty salad like this to look forward to at lunch, it definitely gets me more excited than if I had something not quite as colorful! Plus the fact that you get to shake it before eating is just so much fun.
Sounds delicious but how many calories in this delectable lunch. Seems like a lot - any ideas?
Dana Raidt says
Hi Stacey, we don't calculate calories for our recipes since there are so many variations you could make, and different packaged products will also change the calorie count. You can plug the ingredients in here and get a rough idea—you could also use less oil, avocado hummus and chickpeas if you want to lower the calories.
Avocado, Garlic and Hummus! My favorite ingredients in a jar! YUM!