Packing our lunches for the work week is a continual series of ups and downs. Since I work from home, with full access to a fridge and kitchen appliances, my lunches can be a little more flexible. If all else fails, I can poach an egg, put it on a piece of toast and call it good. But I like to make sure that Jeff has a good lunch to take to work, too.
Some weeks, we have all kinds of blog food leftovers. “There’s chicken! And roasted veggies! And salad fixins’! Or, I could make you a smoothie! Or a sandwich! Or a chicken and roasted veggie sandwich! Which one do you want?”
Other days, the “What can I take for lunch?” question is met with “Well…there’s this apple. I’m not sure how old it is. But you could dip it in peanut butter. And…there’s this half of a piece of salmon. And….mixed nuts? Is that an OK lunch?”
A surefire way to solve this problem is to have at least a couple of ready-made lunches on hand in the fridge. That way, at least I know that for a few days out of the week, these will be available (and we can probably combine random leftovers for lunches for the other days).
I like to prepare these ready-to-eat lunches on the weekend. I’ll usually make either a big batch of soup or salad jars.
These are a light and fresh Spring-time salad jar. The marinated white bean salad is inspired by a classic dish at many Detroit-area restaurants. The longer the beans sit in the marinade, the better they are, so they’re perfect for a salad jar.
Top them with whatever veggies and greens you want. Here, I’ve used grape tomatoes, sliced red onion and peppery arugula. Here’s to a week of foolproof and tasty lunches!
For the Marinated White Bean Salad:
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
For the Salad Jars:
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 cups packed arugula
- Make the Marinated White Bean Salad: In small bowl, whisk together garlic, vinegar, thyme, lemon zest, mustard powder, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated. Add beans and toss to combine.
- Divide Marinated White Bean Salad equally among 4 pint-sized mason jars. Layer onion, tomatoes and arugula, ending with arugula. Top with lids and refrigerate up to 3 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.
Want more salad jar ideas? Check out these other portable, fun lunch recipes!