As a professional who used to commute over an hour each way to work in New York City and who brought her lunch almost every single day, there’s a lot to be said about mason jar salads. Yes, they look pretty, but their true beauty lies in their function. However as a stay at home mom, I’m still appreciating the ease of this perfect meal in a jar. When my son was a baby and was only sleeping for 40 minute intervals, getting a meal together for lunch was daunting. Sometimes just microwaving a meal for a few minutes felt like it took too long. When you’re dealing with a stressful commute or a difficult baby, the last thing you want to worry about is eating a light and healthy meal.
Yes, I said light and healthy. Were you thrown off by the word creamy in the title? Don’t be! By now, if you’ve been following along, you should know I have an addiction to a certain low-fat, thick Icelandic style fat free yogurt and use it in every which way possible to make meals just a little more luxurious. This salad is a perfect example. In addition to making the salad just feel a little more special, it also tones down the way hot buffalo sauce (didn’t know Frank’s Red Hot came in Xtra spicy, now you do!) making the salad all the more enjoyable.
Creamy Buffalo Chicken Mason Jar Salad
1/2 large cooked chicken breast (mine was from this leftover baked chicken)
Assorted diced or chopped vegetables (anything goes here. I chose cucumbers, grape tomatoes, celery (about 1/4 cup each and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces), and red onions (about an 1/8 cup and chopped small)
Your choice of cheese (I went with classic Blue- about 1/4 cup)
A vinaigrette of choice (I made a quick vinaigrette out of the juice of half a lemon, 1/4 cup of olive oil, a splash of meyer lemon vinegar but you can use white wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt, all mixed together)
Your choice of greens (I chose arugula just because I love it so. I could see this with a shredded iceberg or romaine or even a nice baby spinach)
Frank’s Red Hot (I used just under a 1/4 cup because mama likes it spicy)
Siggi’s Fat Free Yogurt (about 2 heaping tbsp)
Making the Creamy Buffalo Chicken:
I roughly chopped the chicken into fairly large cubes and then tossed it with the franks red hot and then folded in the Siggi’s yogurt. I then tossed in about half of the cheese and folded that in as well.
Layering the Salad:
The easiest way to layer the salad and set yourself up for mason jar success is to layer, from bottom up, the wettest ingredients. So, here’s how I layered it: vinaigrette, tomatoes and onions, cucumber, celery, the remaining cheese, the buffalo chicken, and then the arugula.
That’s it! Shake it up, gently dump into a bowl, and go to town on your perfectly portioned and layered salad. This salad will keep incredibly well in the fridge for a few days if you decide to make a few to bring to lunch or just have waiting for you when your babe finally goes down for a nap. The creaminess will make it feel decadent but you’ll feel light as a feather after chowing down on this perfectly delicious salad.