Mason Jar Salads: Recipes for Salads on The Go

The best part about salad jars is that they are customizable. Each of these salad jars is packed with fresh veggies, flavorful combinations, and ample protein so that you’re satisfied and energized after lunch. Just be sure to put the dressing at the bottom and the leafy veggies towards the top so that they don’t get soggy once you’ve prepped them.

Instructions – For each salad: Add all ingredients into a 16 oz Mason Jar (or equivalent). Keep in fridge until ready to enjoy! When ready to eat, simply pour ingredients into a bowl and serve.

Greek Chicken Salad

  • 2 tbsp. balsamic dressing
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ¼ c. diced cucumber
  • ½ c. chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp. diced red onion
  • ¾ c. diced, grilled Just BARE chicken breasts
  • ¼ c. kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp. feta
  • 1 c. chopped romaine

Chicken Quinoa Berry Salad

  • 2 tbsp. raspberry vinaigrette (or any berry vinaigrette)
  • ¼ c. quartered strawberries
  • ½ c. cooked quinoa
  • ¼ c. blueberries
  • ¾ c. grilled Just BARE chicken breasts
  • ¼ c. goat cheese crumbles
  • ¼ avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp. almonds
  • 1 c. arugula

Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Salad

  • 2 tbsp. peanut dressing (1 tbsp peanut butter + 1 tsp soy sauce + ½ tsp honey + 1/8 tsp ground ginger + ½ tsp apple cider vinegar + 2 tbsp water)
  • ¼ c. red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp. green onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ c. cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, diced
  • ¼ c. mango, diced
  • ¾ c. grilled Just BARE chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 c. romaine
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cashews

Southwest Chicken Salad

  • 2 tbsp. southwest ranch, avocado ranch or chipotle ranch dressing
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • ¼ c. diced cucumber
  • ¼ c. corn
  • ½ c. black beans
  • ½ jalapeño, sliced (or pickled jalapeños)
  • ¾ c. diced, grilled Just BARE chicken breasts
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • 1 c. chopped romaine

Tasty Spring Time Recipes!

Looking for fresh new recipes for this spring season? Check out our list of what fruits and vegetables are in this spring to make these tasty meals, created with seasonal ingredients like zucchini, asparagus, strawberries and more! Happy Cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 5 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 8 ounces grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Toss pasta with olive oil.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, roast asparagus, broccoli, bell pepper, and zucchini until flecked with dark brown. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Saute garlic with prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes until heated through. Toss with penne, roasted vegetables, and Parmesan. Place in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until hot.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 2.5 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 strawberries, quartered
  • 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Directions:

  1. Mix together raspberry vinegar, raspberry jam, and vegetable oil in a small container.
  2. Combine spinach, nuts, strawberries, and kiwi in a salad bowl. Toss with raspberry dressing.

What’s in this spring?

 

After a long winter, there’s nothing more welcoming than the sight of spring’s first vegetables: Crisp lettuces, earthy mushrooms, slender spears of asparagus, leafy spring onions, fresh peas, and green beans, and piles of bright rhubarb join year-round staples like garlic and beets as well as winter favorites nearing the end of their season. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables to look for this season as well as some expert tips for buying the best of spring’s bounty!

  • Spring Peas: Peas should be tender and the pod plump.
  • Blackberries: Ripe berries are large, plump, and deeply colored.
  • Swiss Chard: Harvest leaves under 4 inches and when tender.
  • Strawberries: Berries will have an even deep red all around.
  • Celery: Ripe when the stalks are 6 inches in length and clustered together.
  • Parsnips: Roots should be 1 to 2 inches wide and 8 to 12 inches long.
  • Beets: Best when harvested young, smaller than 6 inches.
  • Leeks: Harvest when stalks are around an inch wide.
  • Oranges: Ripe when the fruit has a firm texture with thin, smooth skin.
  • Carrots: Mature carrots will have a firm and tender texture.
  • Broccoli: Ready when the buds of the heard are firm and tight.
  • Rutabaga: Ripe when it is smooth and has purple-tinged skin.
  • Cauliflower: Ready when the heads are compact, white, and firm.
  • Avocado: Ripe when it has a slight sponginess to it and is dark in color.
  • Raspberries: Ripe berries are plump, large, and brightly colored.
  • Peaches: Ready to each when the color is deep golden.
  • Mushrooms: Freshest right after the veil breaks open.
  • Asparagus: Ready when spears are deep green or violet tinted.
  • Brussels Sprouts: Ready when the heads are firm and 1 to 2 inches.
  • Rhubarb: Freshest when the stalks are at least 10 inches long.
  • Cabbage: The heads should be firm all the way though when squeezed.
  • Bok Choy: Leaves may be anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet when ready.
  • Radishes: Fresher when harvested young, roots no wider than an inch.
  • Artichoke: Look for a firm bulb with tightly closed inner petals.
  • Lettuce: Leaves will be well-ruffled and deeply lobed when mature.
  • Plums: Ripe when texture is semi-soft has a deep, even color.
  • Zucchini: Will be a deep green and around 6 to 8 inches in length.

 

Chili Cornbread Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Cornbread Topping:

  • 1 c. cornmeal
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
  • Sour cream and sliced jalapenos for topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F and lightly coat a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Brown ground beef with onion in a large skillet. Once meat is cooked and onion is soft, add in garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in crushed tomatoes and corn, then simmer for 5-7 minutes. remove from heat and stir in black beans and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and butter. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Pour chili into prepared baking dish and top with cornbread batter. Bake for about 28-35 minutes or until cornbread is slightly golden.
  5. Top with sour cream and jalapeno slices if desired. Enjoy!

Gift Guide for the Holidays

These two small kitchen appliances are all the rage right now. With everyone looking for the best and healthiest ways to prepare meals at home, these gadgets make for the perfect holiday gifts.

AirFryer

This popular appliance is making its way into the homes of many, especially those looking for a healthier alternative to oily, fried foods. Airfryers come in many sizes catering to any sized household. According to online reviews, Phillips makes the best performing and easy-to-use airfryer.

The well-known brand sells three different models: The Compact, XL and XXL. These models all have the patented “Turbostar Technology,” meaning hot air circulates 360 degrees around the food as it cooks. This ensures the food is cooked evenly and has a crisp outside with a tender inside. And as the food cooks, any excess fat is simultaneously drained, which is 75% – 90% less fat than typical fried foods. You can also download the “Philips Airfryer app” for recipes, tutorials and tips.

Although the “Turbostar Technology” is used in all the models, the portion size and capabilities are what sets them apart. The basic Compact Airfryer model can easily fit on your countertop, has the ability to cook two portions (1.8 lb) at one time and has easy-to-use controls. The XL Airfryer model is the midsized option that can cook up to four portions (2.65 lb) at one time and features digital touchscreen controls with a preset button to remember your favorite foods. Lastly, the largest XXL Airfryer model is the most powerful model that Phillips offers. It can cook two bags of fries or even a whole chicken in one go, which makes this model ideal for larger families.

Anova Precision Cooker

The other gadget that would make a great gift this holiday season is the Anova Precision Cooker. With this simple device and your phone, you can cook professional level meals. The Anova Precision Cooker uses what is called “Sous-vide” (pronounced ‘sue-veed’) or precision cooking, a technique that uses precise temperature control to achieve perfectly cooked, flavor-filled results.

Here’s how it works. Grab any sized pot and fill it about half way with water. Place the Anova wand into the water and use the clamp to secure it to the side of the pot. Use the controls on the wand or the Anova app on your phone to select the temperature specified in the app or recipe book to achieve your desired doneness. Take a resealable plastic bag and place your choice of ingredients and seasoning inside and seal it. Place the bag in the preheated water and clip the bag to the pot. That’s it! The water will continue to circulate eliminating any hot or cold spots, and in no time at all you will have a perfectly cooked meal! Once the ingredients are cooked, you can use a pan to crisp up the outer layer.

The Anova wand can be used to cook anything from steaks and fried chicken to eggs and potatoes. There are over 1,000 recipes available on the app and online. Anova makes cooking so simple, you’ll never want to use anything else!

Take the Pressure Off of Cooking with an Instant Pot!

The Instant Pot is revolutionizing the way that people cook by taking all of the hard work out of the process. By combining multiple appliances into one, the possibilities are endless!

The most advanced Instant Pot has the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, yogurt maker, sauté pan, steamer, warmer and sterilizer. This smart, safe and dependable electric pressure cooker is putting dinner on the table two to six times faster than conventional cooking. This makes the Instant Pot ideal for busy households in today’s fast-paced world.

Almost anything you can think of can me prepared using this one easy-to-use device, which in return saves you time and energy. Dishes like stews, pot roasts and chilis that originally took an entire day to prepare can be done in as little as an hour! Other foods like fresh or frozen vegetables can be soft and ready-to-eat in just two to three minutes.

You can even bake your favorite cake without using your oven. If you are on the fence and need more convincing, go online and research all of the different delicious dishes you can whip up in fraction of the time. Now that summer is here, there will be many parties and events that require you to bring a side dish. Try out the recipe below for an easy Instat Pot potato salad recipe that you can bring to your next outdoor barbecue!

 

Quick Potato Salad in the Pressure Cooker:

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dill pickle juice
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Put the steamer basket in the pressure cooker pot. Add the water, potatoes, and the eggs. Lock lid in place, select High Pressure, 4 minutes cook time and press start.
  2. When timer beeps, turn off pressure cooker and do a quick pressure release. When the pressure is released, carefully remove the lid. Remove the steamer basket from the pressure cooking pot. Put eggs into ice cold water to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the onion, mayo, parsley, pickle juice, and mustard. Add cooled potatoes and gently mix the mayonnaise mixture into the potatoes. Peel and dice three of the cooled eggs and stir into potato salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. If needed, add more mayo to achieve desired consistency.
  4. Chill at least one hour before serving. Top with slices of remaining egg.

Visit https://recipes.instantpot.com/ for more delicious recipes!

Easy Dinner Ideas That Will Impress Your Valentine

Ingredients:
• 3/4 c. balsamic vinegar
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tbsp. honey
• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 tbsp. dried thyme
• 1 tbsp. dried oregano
• 4 steak fillets, such as sirloin
• 2 tomatoes, sliced
• Kosher salt
• 4 slices mozzarella
• Fresh basil leaves, for serving

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic, honey, olive oil, dried thyme, and dried oregano.

2. Pour over steak and let marinade 20 minutes.

3. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper.

4. Heat grill to high. Grill steak 5 minutes per side, then top with mozzarella and tomatoes and cover grill until cheese is melty, 2 minutes.

5. Add basil and serve.

http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a48615/caprese-steak-recipe/

Ingredients:
• 1 c. all-purpose flour
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• 2 tbsp. butter
• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 3/4 c. marsala wine
• 3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
• 1/3 c. heavy cream
• 2 tbsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley
• Cooked angel hair, for serving

Directions:
1. Season flour with salt and pepper, dredge chicken in flour.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. Add chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

3. Make Marsala sauce: melt remaining butter in skillet and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are golden and liquid has been released, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, then season with salt.

4. Add marsala, chicken broth, heavy cream, and parsley and bring to a simmer.

5. Return chicken to skillet and spoon sauce over breasts.

6. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

7. Serve over angel hair, if desired.

http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a49576/creamy-chicken-marsala-recipe/

Ingredients:
• 4 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
• 1 lb. fresh strawberries

Directions:
1. Place chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.

2. Holding the strawberries by the stem, dip in the melted chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off.

3. Transfer the dipped strawberries onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

4. Refrigerate the strawberries until the chocolate is firm, at least 30 min. Enjoy!

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:
– 1 large butternut squash
– 2 carrots
– 3 stalks of celery
– 1 large onion
– 5 cloves of garlic
– 6 sage leaves
– 1 sprig of rosemary
– 1/4 tsp. cayenne red pepper powder
– salt and pepper to taste
– 2 tbsp. olive oil
– 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Peel, pit and chop the butternut squash into 1” squares, add to a large roasting pan
3. Chop the carrots, celery and onions into big chunks and add to the pan
4. Peel the garlic and add cloves whole
5. Add herbs, red pepper powder, salt and pepper – add olive oil and toss to coat
6. Roast for 1 hour (roast for an extra 15 minutes if veggies are not soft)
7. When veggies are roasted, remove stems and add to food processor with
1 cup of vegetable stock – puree
8. Pour mixture into large saucepan and add the remaining vegetable stock – stir well
9. Simmer on low for 10 minutes

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/181692166196424656/

Recipe: No Bake Strawberry Pie Bites

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs fresh strawberries (diced)
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 or 2 boxes mini phyllo shells
Whipped cream

Preparation:
1. In a medium sized saucepan add the diced strawberries, reserving 1 cup.
2. Mash the berries with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached.
3. Add the lemon juice, water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
4. Stir the mixture together until the cornstarch is completely incorporated.
5. Turn the stove to medium heat, cooking and stirring the berry mixture until it thickens, about 8 minutes.
6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the extracts.
7. Cool the mixture completely, then cover and refrigerate until cold.
8. Once the mixture is cold, stir in the remaining cup of diced strawberries.
9. Just before serving, fill each mini phyllo shell with a spoonful of the strawberry mixture and top with whipped cream.

No Bake Strawberry Pie Bites

Doorstep Meal Prep

The thought of making a trip to the grocery store can make some people cringe, especially after a long day at work. So, why not make that stress a thing of the past by having your groceries and planned meals delivered right to your doorstep? Meal prep kits like HelloFresh, Green Chef and Blue Apron have grown substantially more popular in the last couple years with more and more options popping up all the time. So, which one do you choose? We did a comparison of three of the top doorstep meal kits to hopefully make your decision easier!


HelloFresh was our top choice with high ratings of best nutritional value with the most nutritional information, freshness of ingredients, and of course, great taste! However, if you’re looking to step out of the box and try some new flavors, HelloFresh has fewer options for those with adventurous taste buds. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the simplicity, HelloFresh’s meals, on average, had the lowest fat content, calories and sodium, making it perfect for those looking for healthy alternatives. Most of the meals take 30 minutes or less to prepare, but the more complicated recipes required additional time (about 15 minutes). HelloFresh is more on the pricey side with price per portion being about $11.50


Green Chef was our second choice with the majority of its ingredients being fresh and unblemished, its fiber and fat content being tied with HelloFresh, and its tasty flavors. Green Chef focuses on having all organic ingredients (GMO and hormone free) and a higher vegetable content than the other meal kits. Their meat products are also raised without the use of antibiotics. Green Chef also offers an expansive range of kits, which include vegetarian, carnivore, Paleo and gluten-free, making it ideal for diet and health conscious individuals. Meal prep time had a wider range of 20 to 45 minutes depending on the recipe. Green Chef is also one of the more expensive meal kits due to its all-organic ingredients coming in at about $11.99 per portion.


Blue Apron is our third choice, although it offers the most diverse recipes and the most budget friendly meal plans compared to the others. As far as taste, the dishes are fresh with good flavor and texture. The majority of foods were crisp, often organic and unblemished. The recipe cards do list calorie information, however they do not list any in-depth nutritional information as amounts may vary depending on how each meal is prepared. Meal cook time ranged anywhere from 25 minutes to 60 minutes depending on complexity. As stated above, Blue Apron is the most affordable with an average per portion price of $9.99.

Whether you’re cooking for your family or just yourself, make the process easier and skip the grocery store. All three of these meal prep kits offer a deal when you sign up to give it a try. HelloFresh offers $15.00 off when you subscribe to their email, Green Chef offers two free meals in your first week and Blue Apron offers 3 free meals on your first delivery. Choose the best kit for you and put those culinary skills to the test!