A New Way to Pack Your Lunch

Julia Mirabella is a Washington, D.C. based attorney who grew up enjoying Italian food. When the time came to pack her own lunches for the office, she began designing portable, delicious Mediterranean salads. In her book, Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go, she showcases tasty layered meals that fit easily in a wide-mouth jars.

Here are just a few of the recipes featured in Mirabella’s book, along with full-color photos and step-by-step instructions:

•Pomegranate and pear salad
•Pesto tortellini with cherry tomatoes
•Crunchy Asian salad
•Spinach, blueberry and blue cheese salad
•Curried chicken salad
•Kale and avocado salad
•Porcini mushroom risotto
•Overnight oatmeal with fruit
•Green bean and feta salad

One healthy favorite reflects Mirabella’s Mediterranean roots. It is chock-full of veggies, lots of protein thanks to the roast chicken and cannellini beans, and fiber from the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes.

Mediterranean Salad in a Jar

Single Serving:

Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette


4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Vinaigrette preparation:

1. Add vinegar, mustard, and extra-virgin olive oil to food processor and combine until emulsified.

2. Season with sea salt and pepper.

3. Toss into your favorite salad and enjoy!



2 tablespoons Dijon balsamic vinaigrette
¼ cup cucumbers, chopped
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
¼ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
¼ cup cannellini beans
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces organic rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
1½ cups organic spinach
1 tablespoon basil, shredded
Salad preparation:

1. Put 2 tablespoons Dijon balsamic vinaigrette in bottom of 1-quart Mason jar.

2. Layer cucumbers, olives, and artichoke hearts on top of dressing.

3. Layer the cannellini beans on top of the vegetables.

4. Layer sun-dried tomatoes on top of the cannellini beans.

5. Top the sun-dried tomatoes with chicken.

6. Layer spinach and basil on top of chicken.

7. Refrigerate.

8. When you’re ready to eat, shake the jar, pour salad into a bowl, and enjoy!