Southwest Ranch Mason Jar Salad
Looking for an amazing quick & easy lunch for the week? This is BEYOND it :) Over these last few months honestly lunch is the last thing I want to throw together for myself, I mean can I get an amen on that one? hahaha
Between running around after A, balancing teaching online, HGHF & my other freelance writing... eeek I look at the clock & I need to get A's lunch & move to the next thing. What about me though? Then I end up grabbing something so quick & or don't eat it. Which is also not good at all! So I throw these together & am so thankful I did! Easiest, adaptable, healthy & homemade dressing is the absolute best way to go! Below I will link a few other posts to take you to some of my other favorite homemade dressings too! In this recipe we are going to take my traditional homemade ranch dressing & make it Southwest. Again, this recipe is easy to adapt to dietary needs & whatever you would love to add! Be as creative as you want :)
Why Homemade Dressing?
Store bought dressing can be one of the biggest down fall for eating well. They are filled with additives to make them 'low fat' and have high contents of sugar & or sodium. So a lot of times people say I am eating salad, but not loosing any weight... the answer could be in either the kind of lettuce you are using, dressing you are putting on it & what is in your salad.
So when in doubt make your own! Here are a few simple dressings below:
HGHF 3 Simple & Healthy Dressings ( ranch, red wine vinaigrette, balsamic)
1/2 tbsp dried dill
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 cups greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo
+In a medium size bowl whisk together yogurt, mayo & buttermilk. Add in seasonings & chives, then whisk together until full combined. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving
** makes a great batch to have on hand for the week
For the Southwest Kick
+Take out 1/2 cup of the ranch from above
+1 1/2 tbsp hot sauce ( Love The New Primal buffalo)
+1/2 tsp cumin
+1/4 tsp chili powder
Fills too large mason jars (about 3-4 servings, depending how hungry you are!)
1 large head of romaine lettuce
1 cup Rotisserie Chicken chopped ( or poach your own! Rotisserie, just makes it that much easier!)
1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice (DF if needed)
1/2 cup rinsed & drained spicy black beans
1/2 cup cooked brown rice or grain of choice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
12 cherry tomatoes
12 whole black olives
1 cup unsweetened corn
1 large lime
How to Layer your Mason Jar
Since being home, I layered mine with lettuce on the bottom, then my veggies & protein how you see above. However, if I was taking them to go at work for meal prep & wanted to put my dressing in AHEAD of time I would layer them slightly differently! There is a science to layering mason jars believe it or not, when it comes to dressing being in them. So do as you please, but you can follow the steps below when adding the dressing in ahead of time!
You will split the above ingredients into the two Mason Jars.
1. First put in Dressing – The first layer is the dressing so that the lettuce & the more absorbent veggies do not get soggy
For recipe: Ranch Dressing
2. Hard Veggies ( Not as absorbent), Legume and/or Grains - These veggies will be touching the dressing, so you want the harder veggies like green/red/orange peppers, whole tomatoes, carrots, beans etc.
For recipe: Black beans, black olives & Brown Rice
3. Softer Veggies ( more absorbent) – corns, peas, fruits, sliced tomatoes etc.
For recipe: Corn & Tomatoes
4. Protein of choice – Chicken, beef, salmon, shrimp etc.
For recipe: Chicken
5. Your Greens – Fill the jar to the top with your choice-- kale, bib lettuce, baby lettuce, mix greens, romaine etc.
For recipe: Romaine
6. THE GOODS – Last layer are all those goodies you love to put on top of your salad like cheese, croutons, nuts etc.
SHAKE & enjoy!!
Thank you for looking at this scrumptious recipe!! Remember to follow me @honestfoodie_blog and #honestgrubhonestfoodie to let me know what you are making!