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Tag: salad

Mason Jar Meals

When it comes to preparing meals in advance it’s always nice to find fun ways to put a spin on classic go-to recipes. Mason jars add a rustic charm and delight to anything they hold. They can make food more appealing and colorful, while also providing a pre-portioned easily microwaveable container.

Here are 5 unique combinations to mix up in a mason jar:

  1. Quinoa salad. Add a vinaigrette dressing to the bottom, then add tomatoes, cucumber, quinoa, and feta cheese. Pour contents onto a plate when you’re ready to enjoy a healthy lunch or dinner.
  2. Overnight oats with chia seeds and fruit. Mix old flashed oats with chia seeds and almond milk. Add your favorite fruit to the top of the oat mixture.
  3. Taco salad. Place salsa, sour cream, taco meat, rice, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce in a jar. Secure the lid and you’re ready for a hearty salad on the go.
  4. Stir fry veggies and shrimp. Pre-sauté your favorite frozen or fresh stir fry veggies with added shrimp. Add pre-cooked vegetables, rice, soy sauce and shrimp to a jar then reheat in the microwave before serving.
  5. Layered lasagna. Place pre-made meat sauce, ricotta cheese, any shape cooked noodles, wilted spinach, and mozzarella cheese in a jar. Reheat, mix and enjoy!

Summer Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing

3 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups carrots, julienned
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup edamame, shelled (optional)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

For the Ginger Peanut Dressing:
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Honey
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Peanut Butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Ground Ginger
1 garlic clove, minced

In a mason jar with a lid add all of the ingredients for the ginger peanut dressing. Be sure the peanut butter is at room temperature so it will blend in well. Secure the lid to the jar and shake well until ingredients are evenly distributed. Set dressing aside while chopping veggies for the slaw.

Shred or finely chop green and purple cabbage. Place cabbage in a large salad bowl. Add julienned carrots and sliced red pepper. Add shelled edamame beans (You can use frozen edamame and heat in the microwave) to the salad bowl. Add green onions, cilantro, and chopped peanuts to the slaw mix.

About 30 minutes before serving add dressing to the slaw mix. Gently toss slaw to evenly distribute dressing. Add a few more dry roasted peanuts if desired just before serving.

Making the Perfect Picnic Lunch

When the weather is beautiful it seems only fitting to plan a picnic. Whether you’re heading out on a sunny day for lunch or planning a meal under the stars, here are a few simple tips to make your picnic relaxing and enjoyable.

  1. Plan a menu. There are no right and wrong foods to bring to a picnic but it’s certainly more convenient to plan dishes that travel well and can be made in advance. Try to avoid foods that need a lot of cutting or extra utensils. Ideally, plan finger foods and items that just need a fork. Veggie pasta salads and fruit salad are healthy examples of items that can be packed in a reusable container and easily transported. Nuts are great portable snacks to bring along. Plus, they don’t crush as easily as chips.  Try these recipes:

Picnic Pasta Salad

Honey Lime Fruit Salad

  1. Do your prep work at home. Planning to chop vegetables or fruit at your picnic site can get complicated and messy. Once your food is prepared arrange your containers and beverages that need to go in a cooler together. Bringing a cooler bag or small insulated tote can make transporting your items easier. Have a separate canvas bag for dry goods and food that can be kept at room temperature.
  2. Skip disposable packaging if possible. It’s more environmentally friendly to bring reusable plates and cutlery. Use parchment and twine for sandwiches versus plastic wrap and throwaway containers. Cloth napkins can add colorful practicality to outdoor dining. Sustainable packaging is also an attractive way to display your foods.
  3. Bring a few simple supplies to be comfortable and festive. A blanket, a few throw pillows (if desired), and a small tray or wood cutting board so you have a flat surface to set cups and plates. When you arrive at your picnic area place your tray or cutting board in the middle to act as a makeshift table.
  4. Enjoy your surroundings. Picnics can take place anywhere. You can be in your backyard, the local park, lakefront or oceanfront. Just be sure to stop and take a moment to enjoy the people and nature surrounding you.

Courtesy of Best Choice Brand

Growing Your Own Greens

The cool mornings and sunny afternoons of spring make an ideal growing season for leafy greens. This salad staple is easy to grow even if you have a busy lifestyle. Lettuce adapts well to container gardening, so you can grow your veggies in a sunny spot in your kitchen. All lettuce requires is moist soil in a pot that drains well, and a nice window seat so it can catch lots of sun.

When harvesting your lettuce cut the outside leaves of each bunch, but leave the inner foliage so it can keep producing more greens. After harvesting your lettuce rinse the leaves in cold water to keep them crisp. Whether you start your lettuce from seed or transplant have fun enjoying the colorful harvest.

Improving Your Lunch

Whether you’re packing a lunch for your child to take to school or you’re packing food for yourself at the office it’s easy to fall into the routine of bringing the same thing. Here are a few creative lunch ideas that the whole family will love.

1. Balance is best. The most nutritious and filling lunches are ones with protein, vegetables and natural carbohydrate from foods like fruit and oats. Some of the classic convince lunch items are still great options. Apple sauce and mixed fruit cups are great ways to add a serving of natural carbohydrate to any lunch. Combine them with a string cheese or a deli meat roll-up and you have a perfect carbohydrate and protein blend.

2. Deli meat roll-up. Take a slice of your favorite cheese and wrap a piece of deli meat around it. You can also place spinach leaves and spicy mustard in the roll-up for an extra kick. I love munster cheese and spinach wrapped with a slice of turkey. Bring two or three of these roll-ups with a piece of fruit and you’ll have a protein packed lunch.

3. Vegetable based pasta salad. In July we had a recipe for Picnic Pasta Salad. The mix included broccoli, peppers, cheese, chicken, Italian sausage, artichoke hearts and more! This delicious blend of wholesome foods combined with Italian dressing is a great lunch selection. You can make it ahead of time, mix & match different vegetables to fit your taste and add variety.

4. Breakfast for lunch. A hard boiled egg with oatmeal is not only a power breakfast but it can be a power lunch as well. Enjoy a hard boiled egg with overnight oats & chia seeds (recipe on blog) and you’ll have energy to make it through a long afternoon.

Sweet Corn And Cherry Tomato Salad

2 cups fresh sweet corn off the cob
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Black Pepper
Cut corn kernels off the cob and sauté in a skillet for 5 to 8 minutes or until kernels are a vibrant color and soft to touch. Let cool. While kernels are cooling combine basil, oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk vigorously until well combined. In a large salad bowl combine corn, cherry tomatoes and cucumber. Pour dressing over the top and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Roasted Beets


3 whole beet bulbs
3 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and cut off green leafy tops if they are still attached. Using a vegetable peeler, skin the beets. Slice beets into 1/3 inch slices. Grease a baking sheet with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Coat beets with olive oil and arrange on the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle Ground Pepper and sea salt on top. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, stopping to flip beets over half way through cooking time. My favorite way to enjoy roasted beets is on a salad with goat cheese and toasted walnuts.