I’m not very good with making or eating lunch during the work week. It’s something I’ve been working on, but let’s just say I’m still a work in progress. Tyler always has a good lunch, whether it’s packed leftovers or something I made for him. But when it comes to myself, I find it all too easy to work right through lunch.
I’ve found I’m much more likely to feed myself something healthy rather than just snacking if it’s already made. Part of my problem is recipe testing of course. Several days I week I find myself taste testing, and not really feeding myself properly.
And I know I’m not the only one who has trouble slowing down and taking a lunch break. So I hope this recipe will be helpful to you too!
How to make these Taco Salad Jars:
- First up you’ll want to cook the taco meat so it has plenty of time to cool completely if you’re making salad jars. When I make this as a taco salad to serve right away, I like to add the taco meat to the salad still warm.
- Next up make the dressing. The recipe calls for a raw egg because you’re essentially making a loose mayonnaise base. But you can also just sub in a good quality mayo as well.
- Then you’ll want to prep the lettuce, salsa or chopped tomatoes, and anything else you’d like in your salad jars
- Finally it’s time to layer it all into the jars. I start with dressing, then add the taco meat, salsa/chopped tomatoes, and finally fill the jars with lettuce. This recipe is actually Whole30 if you omit the plantain chips. But if you do want to include them, you’ll want to keep them separate. I crush mine up right in the bag, then portion them out into small containers to take alongside the salad jars.
- To serve these salad jars, both Tyler and I prefer to turn them over, shake them up a bit, and then dump them out into a bowl to eat. From there you can add cubed ripe avocado and the crushed plantain chips, (refer to the last photo in this post).
Tip #1: When you’re pressed for time, use a jarred salsa or simply chopped up tomatoes in place of the fresh salsa. The fresh salsa tastes amazing in these salad jars, but chopped tomatoes are my second choice when I don’t have much time. Also during the winter months I like to use my Easy Blender Fire Roasted Salsa.
Tip #2: I like to use ground turkey when I’m making this recipe into salad jars because it’s much lower in fat than ground beef, which can have an unappealing texture when slightly cold. However if you plan on serving this right away, beef works perfectly here!
- The number one question I get about salad jars is ‘how long can I keep them in the fridge’? And while I’d like to give a definite answer, fresh produce varies. I’ve found that salad jars keep well for 4-5 days in the fridge, as long as the produce was fresh.
- Substitutions: feel free to sub ground beef for the turkey, or whatever ground meat you enjoy as taco meat, (refer to tips above about beef). Also anything crunchy you like in taco salad can be used in place of plantain chips. And finally you can use any jarred salsa you like in place of the salsa called for in the recipe, but I would use less since it’s a different and more intense flavor, (refer to recipe).
Finally I’d love to hear from you, what meal do you struggle with the most. And also what kinds of recipes would you like to see this summer?Print
Perfect for healthy lunches and easy dinners alike!
1 pound ground turkey
3 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning, or seasoning of your choice
3 romaine hearts, cut into 1/2″ pieces and washed, 12 1/2 cups total
1 package – 5 oz plantain chips, crushed, (we like the Terra brand) omit for Whole30
1-2 ripe avocados, cubed
Pico de Gallo:
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup minced red onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
2 Teaspoons minced jalapeno
Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing:
1 raw egg, see notes for substitutions
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Teaspoon dried granulated garlic
2 Teaspoons dried granulated onion
1 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Start by cooking the ground turkey in a 9″ cast iron skillet, over medium high heat, breaking it up into small bits as you cook. Add the taco seasoning and cook just until the turkey is done. Remove from the heat and let the taco meat cool completely before adding it to your salad jars, (described in the notes). Or if you’re serving this as a dinner salad, add it to your salad still warm when you toss it together.
Prep the rest of the ingredients. Then stir together everything in the pico de gallo recipe, and set it aside.
Make the dressing by adding the egg, lime juice, garlic, onion, sea salt, and black pepper to a blender. Blend starting on low, then begin to add the avocado oil in a thin steady stream, increasing the speed as you add the oil. When all the oil has been incorporated and the dressing is emulsified, add the cilantro and blend until the cilantro is combined, but small bits still remain.
To serve you can toss everything together and serve immediately. Or you can serve everything separately, and let each person build their own salad. And finally you can assemble these into meal prep salad jars, described below in the notes.
For the raw egg in the dressing recipe, you can omit the egg and the avocado oil and sub in 1 cup good quality mayo instead.
To assemble this recipe into mason salad jars, keep out the avocado, plantain chips, and lime wedges to add right before you eat. Start by portioning the dressing into 5 jars, (a heavy 1/4 cup each) then taco meat, (1/2 cup each jar) top with pico de gallo, (heaping 1/3 cup each) and finally romaine, (2 1/2 cups each). Seal the salad jars and store them in the refrigerator. To sub in jarred salsa for the fresh, use about 1/2 of what’s called for. The fresh salsa makes about 4 cups, so you’ll need between 2-3 cups of jarred salsa.
Keywords: Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Whole30, Grain Free