Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mason jars pack your salad

Oh sure the Mason jar salads look beautiful. But are they practical? Everybody’s talking about the layered Mason jar salads, with levels of red radish, dark green spinach, purple onion.. whatever you like. What’s the best source for how to really pack that Mason jar salad tight, with dressing on the bottom and little air for it to settle?
How about “Mason Jar Salads and More,” by Julia Mirabella. This illustrated book will make you long for Sunday evenings, when you can pack your spinach/radish/quinoa; or tortellini with basil pesto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella in beautiful jars for all next week. Or maybe those handy jars will hold your smoothies, or fried rice or squash risotto. The main thing is, you have a cure for “sad desk lunch.” I’m in. These recipes are clever and unexpected. Blueberry and corn? Never would have thought of it. But I read this book cover to cover and went in the kitchen to play with what I had. Experimentation is, after all, encouraged. I layered tomato vinaigrette, then canned fave beans, iceberg lettuce, some blueberries (why not?) and a boiled egg. Two wide-mouth jars of this will go with me to work this week. Can’t wait to fill more jars.
Update on the above: Regarding the blueberries here, I chose poorly. The rest fared well.

More on Masons
Mason Jar Cookie Company makes layered master pieces you must commit to disassemble to create more masterpieces, like Berries ‘n Chocolate oatmeal bake. Gosh, food looks so good in Mason jars that this company even puts their pancake mixes in pouches that look like jars. This past weekend I whipped up buttermilk chocolate chip as well as cranberry orange pancake mixes to appreciative audiences. They turned out beautifully, and these are not things I normally make well. Thank you MJCC.
Thumbs up here. I regret that I ate so many pancakes I have to hold on sampling the baked goods, but at least I get to look at the layers in the beautiful jar for a while.
Other temptations in the line are Chai Cappuccino, Salted Caramel, and Triple Chocolate. Want yours vegan or dairy-free or gluten free? They can make it for you.
now available in gluten–free blends as well. Add your own fresh dairy and eggs, or substitute. You can tricks). Available in the Signature Glass Jars or Iconic Jar-Shaped Pouch OR customize and design your own blend and even name it on the label. Its like having your name linked to Mason. Go for it this holiday. It’s designer gifts you can eat.

The Protein Bakery
Blondies with walnuts; cookies with peanut butter, chocolate chips and oatmeal; brownies thick with goodness… I sampled some of these outrageously healthy options from The Protein Bakery and then took a long walk. Boy, did I feel smug walking past drive-thru windows and hearing people order calorie-laden breakfasts.
The Protein Bakery, 20 W. 20th Street in New York City, has been around 10 years, baking dietary fiber into tasting treats and impressing the likes of Oprah. Me, too, now. Here’s why makers say you ought to try them:

·      High in muscle-building protein
·      All treats are individually handmade in small batches
·      High dietary fiber to satisfy hunger
·      No wheat flour, which means very low in gluten
·      Trans-fat free
Visit to learn more about why and how they were developed, and how popping them in the microwave yields new layers of enjoyment.

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