Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mason Jar Vegetarian Nicoise Salad

I am pleased to report that Salad Sundays are still alive and well in this house! This week I wanted to try one of our favorites -- veggie Nicoise salad -- in the large round Ziploc containers I have come to know and love at lunchtime.

This one is fairly time consuming, this recipe is a combo of what I did and what I want to try next time to speed things up.

 Nicoise Salad Recipe

adapted from Simply Recipes
  • Yield:6 large Mason Jar salads, or large round ziploc container salads

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 small new red potatoes (each about 2 inches in diameter, about 1 1/2 pounds total), each potato scrubbed and quartered
  • 12 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered 
  •  2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)
  • 1 cup niçoise olives, pitted
  • 1 ½ cups grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 ½ cups baby cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin (about 1/2 cup)
  • ½ lb baby arugula, washed


1. Boil large pot of water. Add in eggs, potatoes and green beans, bring back to boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Drain everything. (I am not sure if this timing will work, but I want to try it for next time -- eggs might need a little more, green beans a little less.)

2. Meanwhile, in a hand blender container, blend together the lemon juice, oil, mustard, and salt and pepper until emulsified. Add in the thyme, basil, oregano, and blend in spurts until herbs are minced. Mince shallots by hand and mix in with a spoon.

3. Layer the ingredients in the salad as follows: 

-- white beans
-- potatoes
-- dressing poured on top of these two items (approx. 4 T. dressing per container)
-- green beans
-- olives
-- capers
-- red onion
-- tomatoes
-- cucumbers
-- eggs
-- top up each jar with arugula

4. Close tightly, salad will keep in the refrigerator 5 days easily. When ready to eat, open and dump into a large bowl, mix everything up.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Soba Noodle Mason Jar Salads

Many people have these asian noodle salads with peanut dressing, this is the best though.

Yield: 6 large round ziplock containers
Prep Time: 1 hour


For the Salad:

  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup shelled edamame (soy beans), cooked
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup crunchy rice noodles
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 8 ounces spring mix lettuce blend

For the Peanut Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth
  • 1 lime, juice and zest of
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sambal chili paste, or more to taste (I usually use like 1 tbsp but I like things VERY spicy)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped


    1. In large pot of boiling water, cook edamame according to package directions. When done, scoop out with a slotted spoon into a bowl, and use the same water to cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Rinse noodles under cold water and drain.
    2. Meanwhile, make Peanut Dressing: Using a small blender or hand blender, blend together all dressing ingredients except cilantro. Add in cilantro and blend until it's chopped in there but not completely disintegrated.
    3. Divide Peanut Dressing equally among 6 quart size mason jars or large round ziploc containers (this recipe made 4 T. dressing per jar, which may be too much -- will see when I eat them). 
    4. Divide soba noodles over dressing. Layer remaining ingredients, ending with spring mix. Top with lids and refrigerate up to 5 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mason Jar Vegetarian Taco Salad

Yep, I'm still on my jarred salad kick. I tried making this one for the first time last night, and it's really really good:

Mason Jar Vegetarian Taco Salad

MAKES 6 big JARS (I use the 4-cup large round ziplock containers):

1 ½ cups black beans (1 reg can)
2 cups corn (1 big can)
2 cups diced tomatoes (I like to use halved grape tomatoes)
2 cups red bell pepper, julienned (2 whole)
1/2 of 1 lb. container of spring mix
2 cups corn tortillas (optional)

Walnut meat:
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1 1/2 tsp (5 mL) cumin
3/4 tsp (4 mL) chili powder (optional)
1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Creamy Avocado Dressing:
2 T yogurt
2 ounce goat cheese (crumbled)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 1/2 whole lime (juiced)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 whole avocado
3 T water 

  1. To make dressing: Combine greek yogurt, goat cheese, cilantro, lime juice, salt, avocado, and water in a food processor. Puree until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  2. To make walnut meat: add walnut halves to food processor and pulse to break up into large chunks. Add cumin, chili powder, olive oil, and soy sauce to food processor and pulse until walnuts pieces are small but still chunky and mixture resembles ground beef. Do not overprocess
  3. Assemble each mason jar in the following order:
  • First (bottom) layer: 2 heaping Tablespoons avocado dressing
  • Second layer: corn
  • Third layer: black beans
  • Fourth layer: Tomatoes
  • Fifth layer: red bell peppers
  • Sixth layer: 1 scoop walnut "meat" (approx. 2 Tbs)
  • Seventh (top) layer: fill to the top with spring mix.  
  • WRAP up a small handful of corn tortilla chips in plastic wrap and store that on top of the container. When you mix up the salad, crush up the chips and add them in. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter


This is a very good recipe -- and so fast!! Under 30 minutes.

May want to try adding garlic with the shallots and lemon zest at the end next time.