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Mandarin Orange Mason Jar Salad with Sprouted Whole Grain Croutons

Shake up your weekly meal prep—literally—with this delicious and easy Mandarin Orange Mason Jar Salad with Sprouted Whole Grain Croutons. In just a few minutes, you’ll have a healthy lunch that you can grab on your way out the door, all contained in a single jar. The sweetness of the oranges complemented by bitter greens and crunchy almonds will surely satisfy your tastebuds. And thanks to the nutrient-packed, sprouted whole grain croutons made with our Sprouted Power Heritage Grain Big Red’s Bread, this lunch option will keep you energized for whatever your afternoon has in store.

ingredients:

For the Mason Jar Salad:

  • 2 cups mixed bitter greens salad mix (look for one with arugula, radicchio, and/or escarole, or mix your own)
  • ½ cup carrots, shredded or spiralized
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
  • 4 – 6 mandarin or clementine oranges, peeled and separated into segments

For the Dressing:

  • 1 large navel orange, zested and juiced (about ½ cup fresh orange juice)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp fresh chives, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped fine

For the Sprouted Whole Grain Croutons:

instructions:

For the Sprouted Whole Grain Croutons:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, toss bread cubes with melted buttery spread. Bake on a parchment-lined sheet until crispy and golden, approximately 12 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the Mason Jar Salad:

  1. Wash your carrots and greens, then shred or spiralize the carrots. Separate your oranges into segments and measure out your almonds and dried cranberries. Finely chop the herbs.
  2. Prepare your salad dressing by adding all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and combining together with a whisk. If you’re devoted to the jar theme, you can alternatively add all of the ingredients to a small jar and shake the dressing until combined.
  3. Assemble the salad into the mason jars. To keep the salad from becoming soggy before you eat it, put the dressing at the bottom of the jar, followed by heartier ingredients such as the carrots, almonds, and cranberries. Top with the greens, oranges, and croutons, leaving enough room at the top of the jar so that you can shake it later.
  4. When you’re ready to eat, shake your mason jar to evenly distribute the salad dressing throughout and enjoy!
tips:

Try these tips to save time and customize this recipe:

  • These mason jar salads can be made in advance to eat throughout the week. Store the assembled salads in the fridge for up to three days. Add the croutons when you’re ready to eat!
  • Croutons can be made in large batches to save time. Make up to 8 slices at once; you’ll need 2 tablespoons of vegan buttery spread to cover it all. The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month. Try varying the spices depending on what you’ll be topping with croutons! Sprinkling chili powder or rosemary on your croutons can add a whole different dimension to your salads. With a little melted vegan cheese and dried basil or oregano, you can use these croutons as a delicious garnish for tomato soup.
  • If you don’t have a spiralizer, but want something fancier than simple grated carrots, a vegetable peeler can be used to make beautiful carrot ribbons.
  • For some extra plant-based protein, add smoked tofu cubes or tempeh.
  • Reducing food waste is a great way to help care for our planet! Making croutons out of stale bread is one option to avoid wasting food. If you’re using stale bread, try reducing the baking time from 12 minutes to 10. 

What are your tips for packing healthy, hearty lunches that travel well?