I’m happy to report that taste buds do indeed mature a little bit as you grow up and now, I’m full-on obsessed with the interplay between sweet fruit and savory food. I have several varieties of fresh and dried fruits on hand at all times to throw into savory dishes. Raisins and currants go in stuffed peppers. Mango is a must for dipping sauce for rangoons. Pineapple belongs onburgers. And tacos. And black bean dip. Apples can be the star of chicken chili. Salmon gets smothered with apricot glaze.
And now, chicken and grapes is my newest obsession. I grabbed some jars and packed my lunches for the entire week. Savory cooked chicken breast, sweet red grapes, crunchy walnuts, and salty Asiago cheese are packed together with leafy spinach and a mustardy, herby dressing. Fruit and real food never tasted so good together. I’m kicking younger Lori in the shins for missing out on all of this.
Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars
For the Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette:
- 5 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 5 teaspoons country Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad Jars:
- 8 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped
- 2 cups red grapes, halved
- 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup shaved Asiago cheese
- 4 cups baby spinach, roughly torn
- Make Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated.
- Divide Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette equally among 4 pint-sized mason jars. Divide chicken over dressing. Layer remaining ingredients, ending with spinach (you may have to tightly pack spinach into jars). Top with lids and refrigerate up to 4 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.
Want more salad jar ideas? Check out these other portable, fun lunch recipes!