One of my all time favorite type of salads is southwestern and this week, I cannot wait to share you this delish salad in a jar recipe, Southwestern Salad with (or without) Chicken. Last week, I shared how to make a salad in a jar and promised to return with recipes. If the “salad in a jar” concept is new to you, check out that post for more information and see how this technique can be adapted for any salad in a jar recipe you want to try. The key for any salad in a jar recipe or version is vacuum sealing the jar. You can simply add your veggies and screw on the lid, but don’t expect it to last any longer than a day or so before your lettus
Ingredients & Supplies: Wide-mouth quart size mason jars with lids and bands, FoodSaver Jar Sealer, Ziploc vacuum pump, lite southwestern salad dressing, cucumbers, carrots, black beans, corn, tomatoes and romaine lettuce. Optional: chicken, chipotle marinade, tortilla strips. To begin, prepare marinade and saturate chicken breasts. Place in refrigerator. Next, chop all your vegetables and keep separate in bowls.
Keep in mind that everything should be adjusted to suit your taste, but the order in which the items are added must stay relatively the same for best results. Begin by pouring three tablespoons of southwestern ranch salad dressing into each jar. Shake the jar gently to even it out. Next add your hard veggies: chopped cucumbers and shredded carrots. Next, add the black beans, followed by corn and tomatoes. The idea is to move from hard to soft; even each layer as needed by shaking to make it level. Lastly add your lettuce. Don’t be afraid to pack it in tightly and as close to the top as you can.
In order to keep your salad fresh and crisp for five days, you must vacuum seal the jar. This is what the funny looking contraption with the tiny hole in the top is for. Place lid on the jar followed by the wide mouth jar sealer. I already had a Ziploc hand vacuum pump on hand, so I placed that atop the sealer and pumped until all the air was removed – which only takes about 30 seconds. The jar is now sealed until released and will keep everything fresh much longer than regular storage methods.
Remember the chicken that was placed in the refrigerator? It should now be well marinated, so cook using your indoor grill – I can’t live with my George Foreman – and slice into pieces when finished. Since I prepared my salad in jar recipe for four days in advance, I keep the chicken and tortilla strips separate until I am ready to eat. I simply place the chicken into a regular ziploc bag and store in the refrigerator alongside the chicken. At meal time, I open the jar (you should hear a whoosh as the airtight seal is broken), pour into a bowl, add the chicken and toss until well mixed. Lastly I finish with a few tortilla strips.
For added inspiration and fitness motivation, link up with Britt of One & 20, KLP of Saving Our Strands and myself each week for Fitness Friday. Our only rules are that 1) your post is fitness/healthy living related 2) you comment on someone else’s post and 3) add our badge to your blog or post – I always gain great tips and ideas from the other ladies who participate so check them out as well!