This past summer, I found a jar salad recipe I liked and became a little obsessed with it. I would say that I made the recipe for lunch about 3 or 4 times a week, and then I continued to eat it through September during the school year.
Now that the weather has finally caught up to the calendar, that jar salad seemed too summery. However, I have been missing it lately, and I read this article called “This Is Probably the Least You’ll Weigh All Year. Sorry.” What I picked up from it is to preemptively try to lose weight to counter what you will undoubtedly gain. So here I am eating a salad that literally has red, orange, yellow and several shades of green food in the jar.
This salad is caloric, but I feel pretty good eating it because of all the nutrients and fiber. I pack it with a piece of fruit and a small snack. Roasting the butternut squash is a given, but roasting grape tomatoes makes them more complex. Even though this salad isn’t warm, something about the roasted vegetables makes it feel more wintry. The dressing is light and simple, perfect for salad components that stand on their own.
My favorite part isn’t the avocados, which I know might be a little summery. That is my second favorite part. My favorite part is the raw pumpkin seeds. I tried them a few years ago for a fancy recipe under the pseudonym “pepitas” and something about them without their shell really captures my taste buds.
Other recipes I made this weekend:
Breakfast Bars from Skinnytaste (I wanted to make these with dried cherries instead, but these are amazing and a newer standby of mine)
Mexican Inspired Vegetable Soup from Weight Watchers
Some Penne pasta with spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, onions and garlic, frozen in single servings
Health and Joy,
Roasted Rainbow Jar Salad
Makes 2 servings
Notes: Covering the avocados in the dressing keeps them for a few days. Example: make the two salads Sunday night and enjoy them for lunch Monday and Tuesday. If you don’t feel like making the dressing, Garlic Expressions is a similar substitute. To save time, I bought the pre-peeled/ cubed butternut squash from the grocery on sale. I did cube it further. After roasting it, I shared the extra with my dog. She loved it.
1 clove of garlic
1 T olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about one lemon)
1/4 t dried tarragon
1/2 T fresh parsley (this can be left out- it just adds a tiny bit more flavor)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup butternut squash, cut into small bite-size cubes
1/2 cup cannellini beans
2 cups arugula
1 T raw pumpkin seeds
Protein 10 g
Carbohydrate 31 g
Dietary Fiber 11 g
Total Sugars 5 g
Added Sugars 0 g
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
- Preheat oven to 400. Spread out butternut squash and tomatoes on a sheet. Lightly coat with a cooking spray (I used olive oil from Pam, or a mister) and then coat with salt and pepper. Roast until edges of squash are dark brown and tomatoes are wrinkled, about 20 minutes, rotating pieces about half-way through.
- Cool the roasted vegetables to nearly room temperature. While they are cooling, make the dressing in a small bowl. Mix ingredients well and pour into the bottom of two Mason jars, about 1.5 T per jar.
- Cut avocado into small pieces and place 1/4 of avocado into the bottom of each jar. If dressing does not cover all of the avocado, add apple cider vinegar by 1/2 T until just covered.
- Add 1/4 cup of beans to each jar. Shake gently to level out.
- After cool, layer about 1/2 cup each squash and tomatoes.
- Place about 1 cup arugula into each jar. If it seems like it won’t fit, gently pack in your fist first. Top each jar with 1/2 T of pumpkin seeds. Put lids on.
- When ready to eat, shake jar well and sit upside down for about 30 seconds. Dump onto plate and enjoy! You will need a fork.