Celebrate National Picnic Day with Four On-the-go Salads!
This Friday, April 23, is National Picnic Day. The weather is beautiful, and it’s time to get outside and enjoy it. Maybe that means taking time out of a busy day this Friday, or maybe it means recognizing the start of your picnicking season! However you want to celebrate is perfect.
We love eating outdoors. From barbecues to brown-bag lunches, enjoying a meal outside is a great way to breathe out, relax and have a pleasant day. You can couple your meal with great conversation or a game if you’re with company or just watching the world go by or reading a book if you’re on your own. No matter what you’re doing, it’s a refreshing change.
Sometimes you don’t have any interest in grilling or making a complicated picnic meal. If you just want to enjoy something delicious outside, these salads in jars are perfect. While often viewed as a hip, trendy plating idea, making a salad in a jar is also a great way to keep the ingredients fresh and portable. The trick to them is to put the dressing at the bottom and the greens at the top to keep everything crisp until you are ready to eat. Many people claim you can just shake the jar until things are mixed and eat it like that. No one on our team has ever had that work. We think you need a plate or bowl to eat from. You cannot mix your salad well enough by shaking, you’ll end up eating it in layers, and the dressing won’t be distributed sufficiently. Here are four great salads that work perfectly in a jar!
Low-Carb Cobb Salad in a Jar
This salad is delicious and high in protein with chicken, egg and a little bacon! While most cobb salads have avocado, this version omits it as they expect you to be making it ahead as a meal-prep option, and avocado doesn’t keep well. If you are making it for a picnic on the same day, feel free to add avocado! A serving has 531 calories, 45.7 grams of protein, 3.7 grams of carbs and 0.9 grams of fiber. Get the recipe.
Southwest Zucchini Noodle Mason Jar Salad with Avocado Dressing
This salad has a lot of excellent components with black beans, cauliflower, chicken and zucchini. There are so many things going on there’s no room for lettuce! But the real star is the delicious homemade dressing. We’re huge fans of the blended dressing. Because it’s at the bottom, with things on top, with acid in the dressing and the jar is sealed, the avocado shouldn’t brown even if you make this in advance. Even if it does brown slightly, that doesn’t mean it’s gone bad, just less pretty! A serving has 111 calories, seven grams of carbs and three grams of fiber. Get the recipe.
Ranch Chicken Jar Salad
We are huge fans of ranch dressing. The problem is that the stuff out of the bottle is unhealthy. This salad has a delicious homemade version that isn’t high in sugar and won’t upset your blood sugar or throw your health goals off track. This salad is filled with chicken, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and mozzarella, so you get a ton of great flavors and textures! A serving has 417 calories, 32 grams of protein, eight grams of carbs and two grams of fiber. Get the recipe.
Greek Mason Jar Salad with Chicken
Finally, for people who aren’t fans of creamy dressings, this will hit the spot! You might already have everything you need for this salad other than the feta cheese — you might even have that if you’re a big fan! We love the sharp, fresh flavor of this salad. It’s refreshing and light on a hot day when you want something without any dairy. You should shake this before pouring it out onto a plate to ensure the vinaigrette is emulsified. A serving has 627 calories, 25 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbs and three grams of fiber. Get the recipe.
We hope these salads help you enjoy an easy picnic meal and get outside to eat this Friday and throughout the nice weather!
Banner image: Lynda Hinton via Unsplash