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Posted on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

Vegan Salad-In-A-Jar makes a healthy and portable lunch

By Vicki Brett-Gach

With as many large green salads as I eat, sometimes it can be a struggle to keep them interesting. When I want to add a little excitement I always return to the same basic principles.


Vegan Salad-In-A-Jar keeps your salad fresh and crisp until ready to enjoy.

Adding more color and a few nontraditional ingredients for extra flavor always does the trick.

I often add plant protein in the form of tofu, beans, or nuts; sour ingredients like olives or mild pickled peppers; and finally something sweet like fresh strawberries, dried cherries or raisins.

To keep your washed, chopped lettuce extra fresh for an extended number of days in the refrigerator, a popular website ( demonstrates how to pack it very tightly into wide-mouth glass jars. Although this site also recommends using a vacuum packing machine, I use no special equipment, and just manually stuff washed lettuce into the jar, filling with as much lettuce as will fit. I swear by this method and use it religiously.

In the January/February 2013 issue of VegNews Magazine, salads-in-a-jar are taken one step further, with a fun way to create a "hearty lunch that's resolution approved and a joy to eat."

To build your own beautiful salad in a jar, start by pouring your favorite salad dressing into the bottom of the jar. Then add your most sturdy ingredients like baby kale, beans, or chopped carrots. Continue to layer with colorful lettuces, other chopped vegetables, and fruits or nuts. Top your salad with the lightest or most delicate ingredients.


Photo by Sam Gach

Then pop the finished salad into the refrigerator or an insulated bag, and your portable and very healthy lunch is ready to go.

Use any ingredients you wish in the quantities of your choosing. Just be sure to allow enough room at the top of the jar to shake your salad upside down at lunchtime.

With infinite combinations, you can easily have a different, very colorful, crisp, and healthy salad every single day.


(Recipe concept inspired by "Put A Lid on It" in the January/February 2013 issue of VegNews Magazine.)

Although these salad ingredients are suggestions, substitute freely with your colorful sliced, chopped, or diced favorites, layering in amounts that fill a quart-size jar.

Splash of salad dressing of your choice

Chickpeas or kidney beans

Red cabbage or baby kale

Green romaine or red leaf lettuce

Red or green pepper


Baby cucumbers or celery


Roasted or pickled beets or chopped tomatoes

Mild pickled peppers

Baby spinach

Olives or tofu

Chopped walnuts or almonds

Raisins or dried cranberries


Start with a clean 1-quart-size wide-mouth glass jar with a lid.

Pour salad dressing into the bottom of the jar. Layer the most sturdy salad ingredients into your jar. Next, add layers of lettuces and other colorful vegetables of your choice. Top your salad with the lightest and most delicate ingredients. Close jar tightly with lid.

Keep jar refrigerated, or inside of an insulated bag until lunchtime.

To serve, pour the entire salad into a large bowl. Or, if preferred, simply turn jar upside down, shake vigorously until dressing is evenly distributed, and enjoy salad directly from the jar.

Vicki Brett-Gach is an artist, writer, wife, mom, and enthusiastic vegan, and loves to help family and friends discover that you do not have to be vegan to enjoy delicious vegan food. Vicki understands the challenges a new vegan can face, and welcomes your questions and comments at



Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

I love it! Nice idea :) Come visit the blog for more vegan recipe ideas:


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

I store washed lettuce in glass jars but put a paper towel in the bottom to absorb the water that is still on it. It keeps lettuce better than any other way I've tried. Even when I buy a bag of ready to use lettuce I put a paper towel in the bottom after opening it.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 8:08 p.m.

The salad looks beautiful and delicious. Vegan eating as a permanent orientation, UGH!


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

Can I add some: - Cow - Pig - Chicken to make it tasty? Thanks.

Vicki Brett-Gach

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

This concept is very flexible! Feel free to add your favorites.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

In a jar, you say? A jar? Great idea. And very colorful. Though this does remind me of Cup O'Pizza, from the movie The Jerk. I tried making pizza in a cup a few months back. I was kinda fun and pretty good. Just Let It Cool first!

Jessica Webster

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

Great idea. I should start doing this with my work lunches.

Vicki Brett-Gach

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

Thanks Jessica! Endless possibilities. Always stays fresh and looks pretty.