Paleo Salad in a Jar
by Kelly Puryear
Looking for a healthy, yet hearty salad that will actually fill you up and keep you energized throughout your busy workday and active lifestyle? This Paleo Fall Salad in a Jar is the perfect recipe for you then! You can quickly prepare this salad ahead of time and take it on-the-go for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner! This Paleo Salad also makes for the perfect pre- or post-workout meal with its wholesome ingredients loaded with protein, healthy fats, clean carbohydrates, and antioxidants. Whether you have a big day at work or a big workout planned for the day, take this salad with you to give you that long-lasting energy you’ll need to succeed!
As I mentioned, this hearty Fall salad is completely Paleo and loaded with wholesome ingredients that will give you long-lasting energy without weighing you down! Just look at the simple, nutrient-dense ingredients! I combined these specific ingredients not only because it’s Fall and I was feeling festive, but because each one is loaded with important nutrients to provide your body with the energy you need to thrive – at work and in the gym!
The Health Benefits of each Ingredient:
Butternut Squash – Butternut squash is loaded with vitamins and minerals (Vitamin A, B Vitamins, iron, zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorous, and potassium) and antioxidants – which reduce the risk of heart disease and improve the integrity of skin, mucosa, and eyesight. Butternut squash is an awesome vegetable for avid exercisers since it is full of energizing carbohydrates without the high-calorie load of most carbohydrates (such as bread, pasta, and rice). This vegetable also contains a bundle of fiber, which will help fill you up and keep you fuller longer!
Tomatoes – Organic grape tomatoes are a great addition to this salad for taste and nutritional purposes! Tomatoes are loaded with vitamins (Vitamin A, C, K, and B vitamins), minerals (potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus), and a powerful antioxidant (lycopene) that plays a huge role in reducing inflammation and improving heart health! Specifically for athletes, tomatoes can stimulate blood circulation, improve fluid balance, detoxify the body, and reduce inflammation and related conditions.
Shredded Chicken Breast – Pasture-raised chicken breast is the protein-packed star of this salad in a jar! Lean protein is vital for the maintenance and growth of lean muscle mass, which is extremely important for active individuals (especially those who perform high-intensity exercise)!
Walnuts – Walnuts are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals (Vitamin C, folate, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, and selenium) and have been dubbed “brain food” due to brain-boosting benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. The addition of raw walnuts to this salad enhanced the nutrition profile as well as provided necessary healthy fats and fiber (for longer-lasting energy)!
Spinach – Organic baby spinach is loaded with various vitamins and minerals (such as folate, B vitamins, Vitamin A, C, and K, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium) as well as phytochemicals that play a huge role in reducing inflammation. Consuming spinach on a daily basis will enhance bone remineralization and strengthen muscles – both great benefits for high-intensity athletes – as well as reduce the risk of developing various chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, stroke…)!
As you can see, there are several health benefits in this Paleo Salad in a Jar! And not to mention, the wholesome ingredients also make this meal very pretty!
Now to the fun part – the recipe!
Ingredients (makes 2 servings)
- ¼ cup “Paleo-approved” balsamic vinaigrette (homemade or try Marie’s brand)
- 1 cup butternut squash (cubed and roasted *see simple recipe below)
- 10 organic grape tomatoes
- 6 oz pasture-raised chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
- 2-4 tbsl chopped raw walnuts
- 2 cups organic baby spinach
*In a medium mixing bowl, combine butternut squash cubes with 1 tbsp coconut oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (to taste). Spread out seasoned butternut squash on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with non-stick coconut oil. Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes.
- Use a large Mason Jar (or airtight Tupperware container) to take the salad on the go and then pour salad into a bowl when ready to eat!
- Pour 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette into the bottom of the jar, then add ½ cup roasted butternut squash, 5 grape tomatoes, 3 oz shredded chicken breast, 1-2 tbsp chopped walnuts, and top with baby spinach leaves.
- Cover the jar and keep cold until ready to eat. Pour into a bowl (or eat it straight from the jar) and enjoy!
Now doesn’t that Paleo Salad look good!? As you can see – it’s versatile, portable, delicious, and nutritious and will give you the energy you need to make it through the day and dominate your next workout! I don’t know about you, but I know what I am having for dinner tonight when I get home from the gym!
Kelly Puryear (M.A., RDN/LDN, CSCS)
Information about our guest blogger, Nutrition Expert –
Kelly is a Tampa-based registered dietitian, personal trainer, and owner of Fuel for the Soul, LLC. Kelly provides private nutrition and fitness services as well as community nutrition and corporate wellness services in Tampa Bay and remotely online. Kelly believes that your body is an engine and you need to fuel it with the right combinations of food that you enjoy, in the right amount, at the right time in order to achieve optimal performance and overall wellness. For more information about Kelly and her services, please visit her website and social media platforms. There you will also find simple, healthy recipes and free weekly workouts that anyone can make and do with minimal time and equipment!