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3 Easy Bring-to-Work Lunches

Holistic Nutritionist and Entrepreneur in Residence Maria Marlowe gives us three stress-free options to jazz up your brown bag.


From Maria: Salad in a jar is one of my favorite bring-to-work lunches, because it’s so easy to prepare ahead of time and the mason jar keeps everything crisp and fresh. You can make a batch of 3-5 salads on Sunday and just grab one on your way out the door each morning.

With salad in a jar, anything goes. Use a large, 1-quart mason jar so you have enough space, and then mix and match whatever ingredients you like. As the temperature gets colder, don’t be afraid to swap raw veggies for roasted ones.

Maria Marlowe's Jar Salads
There are only three rules:

1. Layer your ingredients heavy to light

The secret to avoiding a soggy salad is layering your ingredients correctly. Dressing goes on the bottom, followed by heavy ingredients like beans or bulky veggies that won’t suck up all your dressing, then the lighter ingredients. Salad greens always go last.

2. Be sure to include a hearty protein

To ensure your salad fills you up and keeps you satisfied, be sure to include a protein like quinoa, chickpeas, beans, peas, lentils, grilled chicken or fish.

3. Meat toppings will only last three days in the refrigerator

While veggies and beans should hold up a full five days, any cooked meat or fish will only last about three, so keep that in mind when planning your jars.

That’s it. When you’re ready to eat, just shake up your jar, pour it out into a bowl—and you’ve got a deliciously healthy lunch, ready in no time!

Here are three recipe ideas to get you started:


Mediterranean Salad with Quinoa


Mediterranean Salad with Quinoa

Lemon Dijon Dressing
1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard (optional)
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tbs. olive oil

Salad
½ cup chickpeas
½ cup diced tomatoes
½ cup diced cucumber
½ cup quinoa
¼ cup diced kalamata olives
¼ cup diced red onion
2 tbs. raw or sprouted sunflower seeds
2 cups organic baby spinach

First, make the dressing: In a large bowl, add lemon juice, Dijon, salt and pepper.

Whisk together vigorously, and then continue whisking as you slowly pour in the oil a few drops at a time until completely combined.

Pour into the bottom of a large 1-quart mason jar.

Next, layer salad ingredients in order listed. Screw lid on tight and refrigerate up to five days.


South of the Border Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing


South of the Border Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
(Makes 2 servings)
2 organic fire-roasted peppers
3 tbs. raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tbs. minced fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. cumin
cayenne (optional)
salt to taste (note that roasted peppers may already have salt)

Salad
1/2 cup black beans
½ cup grilled tempeh, shrimp or chicken
1/2 cup organic corn kernels (blanched)
6 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup grated jicama or carrot
2 tbs. red onion, minced
2 tbs. raw or sprouted pumpkin seeds
2 cups organic mesclun greens

First, make the dressing. Add all of the ingredients to a bullet blender and blend until creamy. Pour half into the bottom of a 1-quart mason jar and reserve the rest for another salad.

Next, layer salad ingredients in order listed. Screw lid on tight and refrigerate for up to three days.


Detox Salad


Detox Salad

Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
(Makes 2 servings)
2 organic fire-roasted peppers
3 tbs. raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tbs. minced fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. cumin
cayenne (optional)
salt to taste (note that roasted peppers may already have salt)

Salad
¾ cup black beans
½ cup broccoli florets, chopped small
½ cup grated carrot
½ cup cauliflower florets, chopped small
¼ cup shallot or red onion, diced
2 tbs. raw or sprouted sunflower seeds
2 tbs. raw or sprouted pumpkin seeds
2 cups organic mesclun greens

Pour dressing into bottom of a 1-quart mason jar, then layer salad ingredients in the order listed. Screw lid on tight and refrigerate up to five days.

The veggies for this salad can either be roasted or raw. If raw, the key is to chop them very small, into about-¼ inch pieces. If roasting, chop the broccoli, carrot and cauliflower into 1-inch pieces, coat with a little olive oil, and roast in a 425-degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Photographer: Irina Smirnova

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