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Southwestern Salad in Mason Jar

The Hungryman and I take our lunches to school/work everyday. Me – 100% by choice. The H-man…who knows. But being the thoughtful and conflict-avoiding husband that he is, his lunchbox goes with him exactly as I pack it. The man certainly knows how to make me happy ;).

My lunch usually equates to a salad made from whatever ingredients I’ve prepped over the weekend (here’s a glimpse of my usual routine), and no, I never get tired of it. However, I try to keep the Hungryman’s lunches a bit more “exciting” so that he looks forward to his lunch rather than thinking of ways to secretly toss it {gasp!}. And if he’s ever done so, I’d take that lil’ secret to the grave if I were him.

Mason Jar Salads and More

Regardless of what it is that I pack, one thing is for certain – it must include fresh produce and take no more than 5 minutes of my precious time in the morning to assemble (okay..that was two things, but you get the picture). Sure, I have my usual tried-and-true routine, but I’m always open to shake things up a bit. Therefore, when I was asked if I’d be interested in receiving a copy of the “Mason Jar Salads and More” cookbook by Julia Mirabella, I happily accepted.

The cookbook starts out by showing you how to assemble the jar salads in a way that you can make them ahead of time (up to 4-5 days prior!) without them becoming a soggy mess. Imagine being able to prepare Mason jars for the whole week with fresh and flavorful ingredients and doing it all on one day. Make it and forget it. Brilliant!

Mason Jar Salads and More

The key to assembling, so that all the ingredients will retain their firmness and freshness, is layering, and the cookbook walks you through each step from bottom to top.

Mason Jar Salads and More

The cookbook includes 50 recipes for breakfast, non-salad lunches (e.g. pastas, soups), smoothies, snacks and dips, and dressings. However, what it offers is so much more! As you get the hang of assembling, you’ll begin to conjure up all kinds of combinations. The possibilities are endless.

The first Mason jar salad I made was this Southwestern Salad. I made slight adjustments to the recipe – added deli turkey for extra protein and placed the greens at the very top instead of the cheese.

Southwestern Salad in Mason Jar

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Southwestern Salad in Mason Jar

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  • 3 Tablespoons Lime Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 red vine-ripened tomato, diced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced avocado, optional
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 ounce Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 quart-size Mason jar

Lime Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • dash of hot sauce, optional
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil


  • For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the lime juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if using). Slowly add the olive oil, whisking, until the dressing thickens.
  • Start by pouring the vinaigrette dressing into the Mason jar. Then layer in the black beans, tomato, bell peppers, avocado, and corn. Finish with the salad greens and, finally, the Cheddar cheese. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.


Serving: 1g
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

And if you’re still not convinced that mason jars are a must-have, check out this post by Lindsay – “Ways to Use Mason Jars in the Kitchen.”

Now for the giveaway:

The Ulysses Press has agreed to send a copy of “Mason Jar Salads and More” to one lucky winner. Simply leave a comment telling me what your favorite packed lunch is. For additional entries, follow me on any social media platform and tell me you did so.

The giveaway ends September 7, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST. The winner will be chosen randomly and will be notified via email. Good luck! 😉

***** Congratulations, Alli! You’re the winner!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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  1. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you share this week! Its LIVE!

    Cindy from

  2. Today is the first day I have had the pleasure of experiencing your blog, and I am so happy ! My husband would also eat the exact same thing every day, but I just can’t do that. Thank you for these wonderfully varied recipes!

    1. Thank you so much, Karen, for your kind words! It’s comments like these that really encourages and inspires me to share more healthy and delicious recipes ;). Hope you have a lovely day!

  3. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on good bread is a great lunch at the office and not too messy. Love your giveaway. Thank you.