This nutritious and portable Mason Jar Kale Salad recipe makes a fun packed lunch! Add some carbs (bread, or a cooked whole grain on the salad) to make it a meal.
As part of the Let’s Move! Event at the White House (<—recap) that I attended last week, White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford gave us a fun cooking demonstration: these adorable mason jar kale salads, which make for a really fun portable lunch.
They provided us with the recipe to share and it sounded so amazing I knew I wanted to post it here on the blog. I mean – kale, chickpeas, crunchy cabbage, fennel, seeds – so many of my favorite ingredients all in one recipe!
I especially loved the creativity that was using chickpeas (baked so they are crunchy) as the “croutons” – genius! The chickpeas take about an hour to bake, so if you’re tight on time, store bought baked crunchy chickpeas (Whole Foods sells them) would work well here, too. But if you do make them yourself – make a double batch so you can enjoy the leftovers as snacks! :)
Other than baking the chickpeas and chopping some veggies, though, this recipe comes together really quickly. And speaking of Let’s Move!, I think this recipe would be a good one to have a kid help you with – would be fun to let them fill the mason jars!
Anyway – here’s what you’re working with. The serrano pepper and the cheese are optional, but don’t skimp on the other ingredients. :)
Step one of this recipe is to make your dressing – it goes in the bottom of the mason jars as the first layer so that it doesn’t get everything soggy by the time you eat.
Next, you layer in the kale, followed by the shredded cabbage.
Then toss in the carrots and fennel. I love the bright colors and all the great CRUNCH in this salad!
Lastly, toss on the pepitas, cranberries, reggiano cheese, and serrano peppers. The salads are now ready to be sealed up and refrigerated until use! Put the roasted chickpeas in a little ziplock bag on the side (unrefrigerated) so they stay crisp.
The only thing I would consider adding to this salad to make it more of a meal is some carbs! A chewy whole grain like barley would be really good here, as would quinoa or brown rice. Or just a piece of toast on the side! :) I would layer the grain above the veggies before the seeds and dried fruit so it doesn’t soak up all the dressing on the bottom.
The full recipe is below. Enjoy!
Mason Jar Tuscan Kale Salad
Recipe courtesy of White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford
Keywords: salad lunch gluten-free vegetarian6077724
Ingredients (4 salads)
For the Salad:
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale, washed and spun dry
- 1/4 small purple cabbage, shredded, washed and spun dry
- 1 small carrot, peeled and shaved
- 1 small fennel, shaved thin
- 1 cup pepitas
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup shaved reggiano cheese
- 1 serrano pepper, shaved thinly
For the Dressing:
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained, peeled, and prepared for croutons
- 1 tbsp curry spice mix
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, garlic, shallots, honey, and vinegar. Incorporate the olive oil slowly and season with salt and pepper. Pour into the bottom of the mason jars (1 quart size works best) equally.
- For the salad, cut the clean and spun dried kale into thin strips, set on the first layer of the salad jar. Next divide the shredded cabbage equally as well for the next layer then follow with the carrots and fennel.
- Top the salad jar with the pepitas, cranberries, reggiano cheese, and serrano peppers. Close the lid tightly and refrigerate until use. The garbanzo bean croutons can be packed separately to maintain their texture.
- To prepare the garbanzo bean croutons, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the garbanzo beans on a cookie sheet. Roast until dry and crispy for about an hour. Toss in the spice and store in a covered container.
- When ready to eat the salad, shake the jar and place in a salad bowl. Top with crunchy garbanzo croutons. Enjoy!Powered by Recipage
Have you ever tried making a mason jar salad? What did you put in it? And why is it that mason jars make food way more fun than regular containers? ;)
Love salads? Here are some more recipes to try: