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September 21, 2015

Meal Prep Mason Jar Salads – Lemon Chicken with Shallot Vinaigrette

Post by heartfoodie

One of the major changes we did to our diets were preparing these mason jar salads for our lunches. In my husband’s case, he started to eat lunch. Before he would skip that meal altogether. How he managed.. I don’t know… but when he started to eat lunch, he started to lose weight. There’s a common misconception that eating less will make you lose weight. Like Working out our muscles in the gym, we need to work out our metabolism. Eating frequently, in smaller portions, will train your metabolism to work, it will expect to have food to breakdown. In my husbands case, his metabolism knew it wasn’t eating during the day so it would shut down or store any bits of food as fat. Now my husband metabolism works like clockwork, noon hits and his stomach grumbles. Sundays, we meal prep mason jar salads, it helps us keep on track for the week. We started to do meal prep mason jar Sundays. From start to finish, it takes one hour to complete ten salads. I’ll post more shortly, but for now, make this tasty, heart healthy lemon chicken with shallot vinaigrette.


Why is this salad good for you?

  1. Soluble Fiber. My husband sticks to all vegetables and protein, and that works for him. I need a little complex carbs to feel more satisfied. I add beans to my salads, not only do they give more flavour and release energy to get me through the day, they are a great source of soluble fiber. Soluble fibre helps stabilize blood sugars but more importantly move out bad cholesterol from your body.
  2. Vegetables. The more, the better right? Low in calories, fat and sodium, high in heart healthy nutrients and fiber, increasing your intake of vegetables may help you lose weight and control your blood pressure.
  3. Poultry vs. red meat. If you are going to have a salad daily, adding meat for extra protein is a great idea. Don’t ruin a perfectly healthy salad by adding red meat. Stick to lean white meat as it has half the fat than red meat. For this salad, we use a baked chicken breast.

Skip ahead to the nutritional facts and printer-friendly version of this recipe.


Ingredients:

 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 cups spring mix (or greens of your choice)
halved cherry tomatoes
sliced cucumbers
2/3 cup white kidney beans (no salt added, rinsed, drained)
2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 minced garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

2 1 pint mason jars


6 Easy Steps (Instructions):

Step 1:  Preheat oven for 450.  Mix 1 tsp olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and season with salt, pepper.  Marinade chicken breast in the mix and add to a line baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping them half way through. Cut the chicken at the thickest part to be sure it’s cooked through (better to use a thermometer). Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting them. Let chicken cool before adding to the salad. Sometimes we make the chicken the night before the salads.

Step 2:  Make the dressing by mixing together 2 tbsp olive oil, red wine vinegar, dry mustard and season with salt and pepper.

Step 3:  Now assemble the salads.  Start by dividing the salad dressing between the two jars.

Step 4: Now add the white beans. You want to add something that will marinade and not get soggy from the dressing. Adding lettuce on top of the dressing would result in mushy salad. No good.

Step 5: Now layer on tomatoes, cucumbers, greens and top with cooled chicken.  You want to really jam in the greens, the less jar in the salad the better.

Step 6: Seal with lid and store in fridge for up to a week. Enjoy salad by dumping contents into a plate and mixing thoroughly.

Enjoy! (Enjoy more the next day!) Nutritional facts and printer-friendly version of this recipe here.