Make Ahead Camping Meal Idea - Salad In A Jar

Tex Mex Salad in a Jar

Meals on the go that pack and transport easily are my idea of camping meal perfection.  I like to eat healthy both at home and at the campsite.  Planning ahead can keep everyone on track.  These meals are much more interesting than just a sandwich.  I have nothing against peanut butter and jelly or a just a lunch meat special, but there are so many more options.  And, the right fuel will give you the best energy for a memorable trip!

Recently, I was introduced to a Quinoa Tex Mex Salad in a Jar, that I love!  One recipe will make four or five pint sized salad jars.  They will keep several days refrigerated.  Click on the link for a printable copy of this recipe.

To make this portable treat, you will start with a clean and simple salad dressing.  These few ingredients pack a creamy punch in the flavor palette.
  • Greek yogurt
  • juice of one lime
  • cumin
  • olive oil
  • vinegar
  • garlic
You can also play with this dressing and add cilantro or chili powder if you like.  Make it the first time as is and see what ingredients you want to tweak.

The salad is constructed of:
  • cooked quinoa
  • leafy green of choice - power greens, baby kale, spinach or arugula
  • corn
  • black beans
  • avocado
  • tomato
Dump your salad into a large bowl and toss to enjoy!

If you want to try a different variation, why not try a tahini dressing.  You could choose between a Lemon Tahini or Asian Tahini Dressing.  These vegan options could be helpful for someone with lactose intolerance too!

Lemon Tahini Variation

  • Lemon Tahini Dressing, quinoa or cooked whole wheat farro, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, chick peas and leafy green

Asian Tahini Variation

  • Asian Tahini Dressing, quinoa, shredded carrots, cucumbers, red bell pepper, chopped green onion, edamame and leafy greens
The key to any salad in a jar is to layer everything to keep your ingredients fresh.  Start with the dressing on the bottom topped by your grain.  Next, add hard or firmer veggies followed by softer veggies.  Finish with the leafy greens on the top.  You may need to pack your greens into the jar.  Don't pack too tightly but you will need to push them down to get in a nice bunch.

The mixture of grains and beans add a nice amount of fiber to your salad in addition to the veggies.  Beans are a good source of protein.  

There are so many ways that you can enjoy these salads!  Pack in your cooler or fridge and enjoy for several days.  And even if you are the only one in your crowd that enjoys a salad, you can still enjoy a healthy and delicious meal while everyone else has what they want.  And, you won't miss a thing with these salads.  There are so much flavor and so many textures that these salads are sure to satisfy!

How else can you enjoy these salads in a jar?  Pack these to take for lunch at work or even pack for your kids to take to school.  They are picnic perfect or even for an easy weeknight meal.  

So many things we do at the campground can serve dual duty in our everyday life!