Purple bell pepper

Recap: Try Something New Tuesday 122

Good morning friends!

How are you doing today? I hope your week has been lovely so far, and if you’re a Canadian parent or student, I hope the back to school transition went smoothly! Yesterday was my final day of work before moving on to my new job opportunity next week, and it was full of saying goodbye to my awesome co-workers. I’m going to miss them all so, so much, but at the same time am super excited about the new possibilities that lie ahead. For now, I’ve got a couple of vacation days to enjoy. Hot yoga here I come!

Let’s get into this week’s new things, starting with…

1. Recipe of the Week: I know that not everyone is going back to school, but September always feels like a new year to me because of all the change it brings. I know a lot of others look at it this way too, and if your eating habits could use some cleaning up, it’s a good time to look for some fun and nutritious portable lunch ideas. That’s exactly what I’ve got for you today, and although I hesitate to call it a recipe because of its simplicity, I’m excited to tell you about it nevertheless. To begin, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Chopped Chicken Salad Ingredients

If you don’t have some of the above veggies, feel free to swap in your favourites or those that you have on hand. Similarly with the chicken, vegetarians and vegans could easily swap in cooked beans, edamame, marinated tofu, or tempeh. It’s almost impossible to mess up the assembly of this meal, which I’ve decided to call  Chopped Chicken Salad to Go.
All you need to do is stack the ingredients in some mason jars, top them with greens, and voila! Instant portable lunches for an entire week (or however many you decide to make).

Chopped Chicken Salad To Go

The order of the layers here is important. The chicken is at the bottom, so that if you were to drizzle in a dressing ahead of time and let the salad sit, it would absorb the flavour and become gorgeously juicy. The greens are at the top so they don’t get squished, and the cooked spelt berries are just beneath so that when the jar is tipped over into a bowl, you have a nice grainy base. This recipe makes enough to fill 4 mason jars with the capacity of about 1 1/2 cups each, and any remaining space in the top can be filled with greens. Happy lunching!

Chopped Chicken Salad To Go from Eat Spin Run Repeat

2. Purple peppers. In my opinion, there are far too few blue and purple foods. By this, I mean natural ones – blue and purple Gushers and Slurpees don’t count. This is why I was very excited to find some of these over the weekend:

Purple bell peppers

Bell peppers  are certainly not new to me, but purple ones are! Like other purple fruits and veggies, these bell peppers contain lots of anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant also found in blueberries. Its concentration is highest when the pepper is eaten raw, so that’s exactly how I prepared mine.

Purple bell peppers

I only needed to pack one lunch for myself this week, so I used some of a purple pepper in a salad (which could be named the quarter-cup salad, as you will soon see below) with the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup purple bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup orange bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup defrosted shelled edamame
  • 1/4 cup white navy beans
  • about 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • fig infused white balsamic vinegar

Quinoa and Rainbow Pepper Salad

After taking these pictures on Monday, I was really, really looking forward to lunch on Tuesday! I packed up the salad and kept it in the fridge overnight, where it absorbed the flavours of the herbs and the fig balsamic vinegar.

Quinoa and Rainbow Pepper Salad

So what was the verdict on the purple peppers? They weren’t nearly as sweet as the red, orange, and yellow ones! In fact, they tasted a lot like green bell peppers, which I don’t tend to snack on like I would red or orange, but don’t mind when added to salads and other dishes. In this particular one, the lack of sweetness was made up for by the fig vinegar and other peppers. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find and purchase purple peppers, but they were still fun to experiment with and they add a nice pop of purple to the photos!

Quinoa and Rainbow Pepper Salad

So tell me…

  • Did you try anything new this week?
  • What was in your school lunches when you were a kid? My mum had my sister and I making our own lunches from a very early age (grade 2-ish), and I’ll admit that sometimes we got away with murder! I could often be found with Pizza Pops, Oreos, and Fruit By The Foot in my lunch bag, but on other days we had our fair share of healthier sandwiches and fruit. One day, our dentist told my mum about just how bad Fruit Roll Ups were for our teeth, and from that day on, they never entered our house again. A sad day it was indeed, but I suppose it was for the best!

Ooh, and one more thing… If you’re looking for a tasty beverage today, be sure to check out my Cherry Almond Smoothie guest post over at Healthful Pursuit!

Have a great day!

Comments

  1. says

    enjoy your few days of vacation, angela!! hopefully, the weather will be nice the rest of this week (although that doesn’t really matter when in a yoga studio!). will you be working closer to uptown?!
    our lunches tended to be a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a couple of homemade cookies. we came home at lunch til grade 7 – i don’t think any kids still go home for lunch since a lot of schools have the two nutrition breaks now!

  2. Ami says

    I am IN LOVE with your mason jar salad idea – and am planning a shopping excursion TONIGHT to get some. I am with Miz…STUNNING!

    Your purple pepper salad looks delicious, too! I saw purple peppers at the market the other day – glad I stuck with yellow peppers as I was buying a whole huge box of them and wanted something sweet! The purple ones just looked sooooo pretty though!

    School lunches? Couldn’t do without GREEN jello. Mmmmm…

    Have a great week!

    • says

      Thanks Ami! Don’t worry, mason jars are super cheap. I actually found 4 at Value Village for about $1 and use them regularly (I gave them a good scrub and run through the dishwasher first of course!) Oh, and SNAP on that jello!! We used to get it, but only as a treat. I was more of a fan of the blue, but green was just fine too. ;)

  3. says

    That salad looks AMAZING. I need to get myself some mason jars to bring my salads to work – my coworkers would be so jealous!!

    I grew up having some type of sandwich almost everyday (turkey, ham, etc.)… my dad always made them for me – he was the best at it!

  4. Danielle says

    Hot yoga sounds like a great way to spend vacation! Enjoy your time off :)

    I made a mason jar salad yesterday for my first day of grad school! Great way to kick off the school year.

  5. says

    Ok, two things…

    1. Blue gushers, natural or not, have a special place on my list of “foods” I love but can’t eat every day unless I want cavities and heart disease.

    2. Thanks for introducing me to the purple pepper! I had NEVER even heard of it, let alone seen it! How cool! I’ll be watching my farmers’ markets closely to see if they are available in Upstate New York.

  6. says

    The salad in a jar looks soo cute! I would definitely eat it just because of the presentation :) And purple bell peppers?! I learn something new every day! hehe sometimes if I was lucky my mum would let me have sandwiches with a chocolate spread for lunch – like dessert. It was amazing – crusts taken off please! :)

  7. alex says

    Weird question I am sure… but could you use a pyrex bowl? Or would there be too much air promoting bacteria growth as the salad sits for a few days? My husband asked this and I didn’t have an answer. I personaly like the compact size of the mason jar. Thanks!

    • says

      Hmm… I’m not 100% sure, but I think you’d be fine. It’s just like storing leftovers in glass containers – you could store them in small ones, or big ones (that would take up way more space in the fridge than needed!) I don’t really see the extra air space being a problem. For carrying to and from work or school etc, the same food safety rules would apply regardless of the container – if there’s an animal-based protein like chicken or fish in the jar, make sure you get it in the fridge!

  8. Penelope says

    We were introduced to these today at our American Heart Association luncheon. One of our attorneys lost 40 pounds using it for his lunches and won $750 in a biggest loser contest he had against another attorney. Everyone at the luncheon got a large jar to use. Can’t wait to try it out with your recipe.

    • says

      Wow, that sounds like a fantastic contest! I really hope you get some good use out of your jar. I have heaps of them and use them for everything from drinking water, smoothies and green juice out of, to carrying salads. Thanks for commenting! :)

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