Sunday, June 30, 2013

Salad in a Jar - Southwest!

After posting this picture on my Instagram and the feedback I got I knew that this post was going to be in the plans for me this weekend! I was already planning on doing it, so it just made sense. Anyways I made a pin out of it HERE so you can put it on your board and go back to it as often as you would like!

Remember that time you were so excited to write that blog post that you forgot to take tons of pictures to go along....-_-  Story of my life!!!

I am sure you have heard of Salad in a Jar. Running rampant all over Pinterest I sure have. And as a 23 year old who lives by herself and doesn't want to cook for an hour every day for one person it seemed really appealing. I probably pinned a couple of the ones on Pinterest and got to reading and it looked too good to be true. Do all of the prep work one day and the salads last a week or two. I was very skeptical because we all know what happens to bagged lettuce once it touches the open air.....yeah you have 24 hours to eat that stuff. Most of the things I read stated that you need to have a vacuum seal for the mason jars but I didn't want to spend the money, so I decided to try it and see how it works.

About 2 months ago at work I did these to keep in the fridge and chopped up all my veggies and everything did my layers according to plan and made some fantastic jars. I put them in the fridge and no lie, they lasted 2 weeks, with the lettuce still fresh. How?!?! I think I found the secret! I make sure that when I put the lettuce in the top that I stuff it full, not like just barely but like cramming it in there till nor more lettuce is able to fit! Taking up a lot of the air space and not allowing it to wilt.

So anyways come time yesterday, I was in Kroger after a work out which is always when I want to eat my best, and I was in the produce section. Kroger has these little salads that are about hmm, 3.59/3.99 and they come with lettuce and all the fixings and dressing, oh and a fork. So you can just take it out and mix it up and have a great salad! Well sitting there staring at it I decided I needed to do another Salad in a jar, and got inspiration from the Southwest salad.

My how I love a  good Southwest salad, the flavors, the corn, it's all sooo good.

Here are the Ingredients

6 Mason Jars - Medium Size (I get these at JoAnns or Michaels when they are on sale or use my coupon so then you can get them super cheap! And once you get them you can re-use and re-use!)

16 oz Boneless Skinless Chicken - I use organic! ( 3.00)
1 Tbl  Extra Virgin Olive Oil - (I had this in the cabinet so I don't have a price...)
1 Fajita Seasoning Mix - (.77)
1Sweet Canned Corn - (.69)
1/2 bottle Hidden Valley Dressing - (1.43)
1 Green Pepper - (.89)
2-3 Roma Tomatoes - (.93)
1/2 Bag Tyler Farm South West Kit - (1.99)
1 Bag Fresh Select Romaine Blend - (2.69)
Kroger Tortilla Strips - (.38)

(All of the prices are for what you actually use, some might be more but this is the cost to make 6 of these jars specifically)

$12.77 Total which means each jar costs $2.12 (yes please!)

This is how we do it.....

First take the chicken and weigh it to make sure it is exactly 16oz, just for caloric value and then I chop it up into cubes. Place it in a bowl and pour the entire Fajita seasoning packet on it and mix it so that all the chicken gets covered.

Then heat up your pan and place 1 TBS oil, (This came after I dumped the chicken in there and realized it was going to stick to everything, duh Jenny!!). Get that chicken going and heat all the way through until it is done!

After the chicken is done, I use the same pan, not washing it and pour the entire can of corn (that has already been drained!) onto the skillet to let it roast.

While that is cooking I am getting my pepper and tomato cut. The pepper I dice into pretty good size pieces and the tomato I just slice into rings. (You can use cherry tomatoes, but I do not like the flavoring of them so that's why I choose Roma and it's way cheaper!) This is where I had a lapse in judgment and didn't take as many pictures.

Once everything is diced and sliced and the corn is still roasting I line my jars up and get ready for assembly.

The first thing that goes in the jar is the dressing, I use this stuff. It is really good and yeah maybe it's 100 calories for 2TBS but sometimes you just have to live! ( I am sure you can find a less calorie version but I wanted the real deal!)

I place 2TBS of dressing on the bottom of the jars, they look like this.

Then in order, I evenly place all of these ingredients. The order is very important to ensure a really good salad!!
Corn (these two will sink into the dressing and that is A-OK!)
Tomatoes (I used just two slices per jar)
Then I open up the Southwest Blend Bag from Taylor Farms, it has cabbage, iceberg, cilantro, and carrots in it. I put 1/4 cup in each jar which only uses up like 1/2 the bag.
The final thing to go in is the Romaine Blend. I use the entire bag and spread it evenly among the jars and stuffed as much in each jar as I could. Don't be afraid to get a little crazy in that aspect, it's better for your salad.
After that I place the lid on tightly and securely and you end up with jars that look like this!!!

Place them in the fridge and they should last a week and possibly two! Nothing like taking a salad out with all of the prep work already done.
When you are ready to eat just pull out of the fridge, and pour on a plate the dressing with chicken and corn might need some help but once you get it all out it looks great! If you are like me you need a bit of crunchy in there so for this salad I used these Kroger Santa Fe Tortilla Strips.

Place those on top and you have a great Salad!

I put everything in My Fitness Pal for you guys to go ahead and get the nutrition all ready for you!
Calories - 333
Fat - 16
Carbs - 25
Fiber - 3
Sugar - 7
Protein - 25
For a hearty salad that is very filling, I think it's a good deal!
Hope you like it!


  1. Love this! I am def doing this! Thanks for posting!!!

  2. Yummy! Thanks for sharing I will be making these with a friend for our week in meals for work! :)