Friday, 3 October 2014

Recipes for Bad Bellies: Fructose Friendly Mason Jar Salad

Last week, I discovered a new phenomenon – the Mason Jar Salad. By layering ingredients into a Mason Jar (or something similar), this is a very clever way to make a salad, especially to have for lunch at work.


The basic principle of a Mason Jar Salad is the way you layer the ingredients in the jar, particularly to keep wet and dry ingredients separated, to ensure that the salad stays fresh. Additionally, after you then tip the salad out onto a plate or into a bowl, the ingredients should mix together well, i.e. with the dressing on top, and leafy greens on the bottom. Here is a summary of the basic formula:

  • First layer (bottom of the jar): salad dressing
  • Second layer: “hearty” vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, capsicum, broccoli, celery)
  • Third layer: other vegetables (e.g. beans, mushrooms, corn, avocado)
  • Fourth layer: grain layer (e.g. pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa)
  • Fifth layer: protein (e.g. chicken, fish, eggs, other meat) and cheese
  • Final layer (top of the jar): leafy greens (e.g. lettuce, spinach, cabbage), nuts and seeds

As long as you keep to this basic formula, even if you are not using ingredients from all the layers, the salad should keep fresh in transport to work, and fall out of the jar correctly.


There are many websites that provide a good range of recipes for Mason Jar Salads, such as this one, or this one. Just by doing a search on Google, you can find even more. However, most of these recipes are not completely suitable for those with fructose malabsorption, or IBS in general – but they are easily adaptable.

This week, I chose to adapt this recipe for a Greek Chicken Mason Jar Salad. Most of the ingredients in this recipe are on the low-fructose content list, but I still made a few small changes. First, I did not put in any salad dressing, because pre-made ones tend to contain ingredients that affect my belly, such as garlic. Additionally, I am not a big fan of olives, so I substituted them for carrot. And finally, I added in parmesan cheese, for a little extra flavour, and pine nuts, for a bit of crunch.

Therefore, here is my recipe:


1 small-sized chicken breast fillet, cooked and sliced into small cubes
5-6 mini Roma tomatoes, chopped into halves
½ half of a cucumber, sliced and chopped into halves
1 medium-sized carrot, sliced and chopped into halves
1 small piece of feta cheese, chopped into small cubes
Approx. 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese, shaved
Approx. ½ tablespoon of pine nuts, roasted
1-2 handfuls of lettuce leaves, chopped into medium-sized pieces
1-2 handfuls of spinach leaves


  • Add tomatoes, cucumber and carrot to the bottom of a small- or medium-sized Mason Jar (or similar - must be a glass jar with an airtight screw lid).

  • Add the feta cheese and parmesan cheese.
  • Add the chicken.
  • Add the pine nuts, lettuce and spinach.
  • Ensure that the ingredients are packed into the jar tightly, and then put on the lid.

  • During your lunch break at work, tip out the salad on a plate or in a bowl (you may need a fork or spoon to help), and enjoy!

I was very happy with the result - the salad was still very fresh, and tasted really good! And my belly was completely fine. This is something I will definitely try often.

Have you tried making a Mason Jar Salad? Please share below.

No comments:

Post a Comment