Happy Monday! We’re still rocking and rolling on our Whole30 over here. Just two more days to go. With that, I bring you one of my favorite meals we enjoyed over the last couple weeks – we liked it so much I’ve made it three times already, which is quite an accomplishment for a salad. Making a salad into a meal in my house is not an easy feat. My darling husband requires lots of “goodies” to make it worth his while. Because of that, this salad was an immediate hit. You get bacon, avocado and egg. What is not to love? The bonus to this salad is that it is very easy to serve this as a dinner entree as well as a packed lunch version in a jar salad.
What is a jar salad you ask? You lucky little thing! It’s basically the easiest and best way to pack a salad for yourself in one container without needing to worry about greens getting soggy. The key to jar salads is strategic layers – starting first with your dressing and followed by each individual salad ingredient, layered from sturdiest (like onions or carrots) to most delicate (greens). We like to do this with leftover salad ingredients so that we can still enjoy them the next day without dealing with soggy greens or tons of containers. In fact, the first time I made this salad, I plated half of the recipe and packed the other half into jars for us to enjoy the following day at an all-day volleyball tournament. Spoiler alert: they were bomb.
Active Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time:15 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
- 4 large eggs
- 8 pieces of bacon (Whole30 peeps check the label for sugar!)
- 10 oz baby spinach (or greens of your choice)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 ripe avocados, sliced*
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard (Whole30 peeps check the label for wine and nitrates!)
- 2 lemons, juiced
- Sea Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Soft boil your eggs by laying all four in the bottom of a saucepan big enough to fit them all in one layer. Cover the eggs with water by at least 1 inch and bring the pan to the stove over medium high heat. As soon as the water reaches a boil, cover the pan with a lid, turn off the burner and remove from the heat. Allow the eggs to sit for 1.5 to 2 minutes, drain, rinse with cool water to stop the cooking and peel.
While you’re waiting on your egg water to come up to a boil, you can prep your bacon. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, ensuring that the aluminum comes up all the way on all sides (to catch the bacon grease and make your cleanup easier). Top the foiled baking sheet with a wire rack and lay your bacon strips on top of it in a single layer. Bake the bacon for 10-15 minutes on the center rack, watching closely after 10 minutes to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Once cooked, chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces.
Next, prepare your dressing by combining the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper in a medium bowl (I used the mixing container attachment for my stick blender), whisk together until well combined.
For the plated version…
In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, onion, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, bacon pieces and dressing until well coated.
To serve, dump the greens mixture into shallow serving bowls and top with the avocado slices and egg. Using a butter knife, gently cut your soft boiled egg in half so that the yolk falls into the salad. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
For the jar salad version…
Prep all of the ingredients as above (cook your bacon and eggs, chop your vegetables and whisk together your dressing). BUT THEN! Using a quart sized mason jar, layer the dressing equally at the bottom of each. Next, add the onions followed by the tomatoes, sunflower seeds and bacon. Chop each the avocado and egg, layer one on top of the other, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish the salad by packing the greens on top of the rest of the ingredients and seal the lid tight.
Store the jar salad upright until you’re ready to eat it. When it’s time to nom, turn the jar upside down and shake vigorously until all the ingredients come together. In the beginning, you may need to take a few bites of the salad and then resume shaking in order to get all of the dressing distributed over the goodies. I recommend eating this salad within 48 hours of packing it.
*Note: To make two servings of both versions, chop one of your avocados (I find it mixes better that way in the mason jar).