Have you ever made blackened chicken salad in a jar?!  So easy, awesome meal prep and the possibilities are endless.

Having only spent $17.30 on groceries over the weekend, I took it as a challenge to do a whole weeks worth of meal planning using just what I have on hand.  Sometimes it gets you creative!

At the meat bin on Saturday I bought this package of what was labeled “chicken for stir fry.”  Huh.  It was basically strips of chicken breasts, but it only cost me $1.50, so it was perfect.

Seasoned with Dak’s blackened seasoning, the perfect seasoning for blackened chicken salad in a jar, while the meat got to room temperature (about 30 minutes) let the chicken marinate.  Now, since I was not reheating the chicken later in the week, I cooked it all the way through.  Normally if I were to reheat this I would only cook 75% of the way.

Since this chicken was thinly sliced, I cooked over medium high heat in a touch of grape seed oil for only two minutes, then let cool completely before assembling my salad in a jar.

Chicago peeps know about Portillo’s chopped salad with Ditalini pasta and bacon.  This is my take on that salad, even though it’s just a nod to that salad.

How do you layer a salad in a jar?

So here’s a few things I suggest.  Keep the items you want to stay fresh on top – for me that was the spinach and pasta.  If that were on the bottom with the dressing, it would have gotten soggy and gross.  No one wants a salad that tastes like ass.

Firstly, the stuff that I didn’t mind “marinating” in the dressing until it was ready to eat – the red pepper and cucumbers.  Secondly, layer the chopped salad, fruit, then finished with the spinach, pasta and bacon on top.

Once I had a styrofoam container at work, all that was needed was to dump the salad onto the plate and I am glad I did that because there was a lot of dressing/liquid on the bottom, so I was able to toss the salad and put it in my bowl, and left about two tablespoons of the liquid in the container.

What salad dressing works best?

Use your favorite dressing, but oil based ones tend to work best.  I also added Newman’s own light ASIAN dressing, which paired well with the fruit and didn’t clash with the spicy blackened chicken.  This whole salad was only 6 points.  Yum.  I can’t wait to make blackened chicken salad in a jar again!

If you like salads, you need to check out my summer orzo pasta salad – so good!

This is my pork medallions over cheesy grits.  It’s simple, ready in 15 minutes and perfect for a weeknight dinner.  And um, it looks fancy AF!  

That plate was 12 points but worth every single one.  The pan sauce makes this whole dish – it’s chicken broth, a touch of honey, crushed red pepper and I seasoned my pork with Dak’s steakhouse seasoning, so the mustard seeds just popped in this dish.  YUM!

Happy Tuesday friends!  I hope you have an amazing day – Love, Biz