To-go Thai Peanut Chicken Salad and Tips on Layering Jar Salads

Oh, how I love a jar salad, it is truly pure genius! There are so many reasons to bring this tasty salad trend to your table or take-away lunch bag; let me rattle off a few favorites. First, and most importantly, jar salads promote healthy eating by marrying together a rainbow of produce, whole grains, and quality protein that can be enjoyed on the go.

jennifer fisher - thai chicken jar salad - ingredients   This keeps me from caving into fast food while I’m out and about. Second, these make-ahead salads satisfy my planning gene, allowing me to prep just one or several days of salad lunches in one session. Third, I can be creative with ingredients and flavor profiles as long as I remember to follow a few rules for layering (see below). jennifer fisher - thai peanut chicken salad - on plate And, fourth, reusing glass canning jars speaks to my eco-friendly, tree-hugging side that can’t stand to see wasteful take-out containers and toss-away bags squandering so many our world’s resources. Plus, after my salad is gone, the jar can be washed and reused for an eternity without any worry of harmful chemicals, such as those found in Styrofoam and some plastic products, leeching into my lunch.

jennifer fisher - thai peanut chicken salad - main option 3 no text I’m hope you enjoy my quick, healthy recipe for To-go Thai Peanut Chicken Jar Salad. After you get the hang of whipping up this jar salad, use the “How to Layer a Jar Salad” tips below to inspire your own creations.

Take-go Thai Peanut Chicken Jar Salad Recipe

Serves 3 | Finish in 20 min
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Resist the temptation to grab greasy fast food with this “To-go’ Thai Peanut Chicken Salad, a tasty, make-ahead meal. Perfect for toting in a cooler to the office or gym, this full entrée salad fits inside a 2-cup glass canning jar that can be recycled time and time again. Eco-friendly, flavorful and healthy fuel for your day!

Ingredients

6 Tbsp. Litehouse Foods Thai Peanut pourable dressing*,
1 ½ cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti,
3/4 cup shelled edamame beans, thawed from frozen,
1 cup julienned carrots,
6 Tbsp. chopped red onions,
1 ½ tsp. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Cilantro,
1 ½ tsp. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Jalapeno,
1 ½ tsp. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Basil,
1 cup chopped chicken breast, pre-cooked,
3 cups chopped fresh spinach,
3 Tbsp. peanuts,

Directions

To prepare, divide ingredients among three 2-cup capacity glass canning jars in this order: 1/ 2 cup spaghetti, ¼ cup edamame beans, 1/3 cup carrots, 2 tablespoons onion, 1/2 teaspoon cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon basil, 1/3 cup chicken, 1 cup spinach and 1 tablespoon peanuts.

Please note that all these ingredients actually add up to a little more than 2 cups, so you’ll need to push salad makings down into the jar, as needed, to make room.

To serve, remove lid, invert jar and dump onto plate or eat straight from the jar. May be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

How to Layer a Jar Salad:
Dressing Layer: Salad dressing should always be the first ingredient poured into the bottom of a jar salad. Let your taste buds be your guide. Choose from basic homemade oil and vinegar or one of the many delicious salad dressing options from Litehouse Foods such as Lite Honey Dijon Vinaigrette or Sesame Ginger. Simply changing the dressing along with a few key ingredients can give your jar salad a whole new flavor personality.

Grains and Protein Layer: The key to choosing the best ingredients for this layer (you might have several) is to understand that those nearest the bottom will be marinating in the dressing until you are ready to unscrew the lid and dig in. Toss in some quinoa, brown rice or whole grain noodles to sop up the sauce and then top with some muscle-making meat, poultry, tofu chunks or even hard-boiled eggs.

Hearty Produce Layer: Choose any combination of veggies that won’t get soggy or limp if the dressing sloshes up prematurely. Cherry tomatoes, artichokes hearts, cucumber slices, radishes, mushrooms, broccoli florets and other non-leafy veggies are tasteful additions. Get creative and experiment with non-oxidizing fruits such as grapes, mandarin orange segments and berries. This is also a great time to add Litehouse Foods Instantly Fresh Herbs; the proximity to the dressing combined with the moisture from the produce seems to bring these freeze-dried herbs back to life.

Leafy Delicate Layer: Add your favorite lettuces, greens and delicate items near the top. Spinach, arugula, romaine, kale, cabbage are all winners and along with unexpected ingredients, such as alfalfa sprouts, give your jar salad lots of crispy crunch.

Amazing Extras Layer: Give your jar salad an extra pop of yum with a thin layer of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, crumbled bacon (gasp) or scrumptious cheeses. Litehouse Foods has a delicious selection of handcrafted cheeses perfect for sprinkling atop any salad including rich and creamy Blue Cheese Crumbles and tarty and salty Feta Cheese Crumbles.


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