Teach Eat Love

Jam Jar Salad – Kale, Beets, & Tempeh

I’ve started to notice something at my house. I work hard to make sure my family has yummy, healthy meals, but I frequently eat whatever I can grab for my own lunches. A handful of crackers between errands and folding laundry? Whatever the baby didn’t finish for her lunch? Does this sound familiar to anybody else out there?

And I know I’m not just talking to stay at home mommies here. When I was teaching full time, it was the same story: grab whatever I could find before I had to head out the door.  So whether you’re working at home or at the office, the story is the same: we deserve a real meal for lunch.

easy make ahead lunch ideas

I love make ahead salads that I can throw together on Sunday for a week’s worth of lunches, but that requires planning ahead, and sometimes I’m not great at that. Enter the Jam Jar Lunch. It’s simple, easily portable, and has endless possibilities. This recipe is chock full of super foods: kale, beets, tempeh, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and a soy sauce dressing. Sub leftover tofu, chicken, or even duck for the tempeh if you want, or almonds for the sunflower seeds. The sky’s the limit.

So grab a mason jar with your favorite citrusy or gingery dressing, and toss in some kale…overnight salad

Follow that up with some shredded red beet.

make ahead lunch

Now we’re going to add some golden beet. Look at that color!  jam jar salad ideas

Toss in some tempeh or leftover chicken.

make ahead lunch

And add some goat cheese and sunflower seeds or walnuts for a little crunch.   easy office lunch ideas

Jam Jar Lunch - Kale, Beets, & Tempeh

Make this easy, healthy lunch the night before!


1 pint sized jam jar with lid

1 small red beet, peeled and grated

1 small golden beet, peeled and grated

a handful of rinsed and chopped kale (about 1 cup)

1 oz of goat cheese

1 T. sunflower seeds (or walnuts)

1/2 c. cooked and cubed tempeh (or leftover chicken)

1/4 c. your favorite dressing (I like Asian style ginger and carrot)



  1. Pour the dressing into the jar.
  2. Stuff the kale into the jar and tamp it down with a spoon.
  3. Follow it up with the red beet and pack it down with a spoon.
  4. Repeat with the golden beet.
  5. Toss in the tempeh (or chicken), goat cheese, and sprinkle on some sunflower seeds.

This will keep in the fridge for about 24 hours. Pour it out into a big bowl for lunch time and enjoy!


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