With the new year upon us, resolutions are flying left and right. Of course, many of them involve eating more healthfully or losing weight – the traditional self improvement goals. Though I’ve resisted making a specific goal around this, I have to admit that I’m more than enjoying Mason Jar Salads and More by Julia Mirabella.
I have a not-so-secret fascination with mason jars. I use them for their traditional purpose of canning – or pseudo canning in my case – as well as to create and house gifts for friends and relatives. Using them as a reusable adult version of a lunchbox? Sign me up!
Mirabella has created more than 50 layered lunches served in mason jars that run the gamut from the expected Cobb salad to far more exotic salads like a kale and avocado salad or corn and blueberry salad. Her ideas don’t stop there, however. The mason jars can be used for far more than salads or even lunches. For breakfast, she offers up a variety of smoothies, as well as steel cut oatmeal – something I couldn’t wait to try myself.
My personal favorite is the more unique ideas for the mason jar. I would never have thought of putting an asparagus risotto in a jar, but Mirabella provides simple and easy to follow from scratch recipes with common ingredients and clear instructions that make it very easy to follow. I really appreciate that she gives instruction as to how many and what size mason jars you need for each recipe, so you can plan ahead and be sure you’re making the amount you expect to make and have the right jars ready.
There are plenty of more hearty recipes from soups (mmmm chicken tortilla!) to egg salad and more. Because mason jars are made of glass, they are perfect for both cold meals where you’ll eat the meal straight from the jar or spread it on some bread as well as working beautifully for those meals you’ll want to warm up since you can safely heat the glass jar (but not the lid) in the microwave.
The book includes pictures of nearly all the recipes, although I’ll admit to being slightly disappointed that not every recipe was pictured within the book next to its text. There are also plenty of hints within each recipe from how to cut a mango to roasting beets. There is also an introduction at the beginning of the book that shares the tools you’ll need as well as how to assemble the salads so that they stay fresh and the greens don’t go limp.
I’m all for eating more healthfully, whether that’s changing the foods I eat or ensuring I have better portion control. Mason Jar Salads and More covers both of this with fun and unique recipes that I’ve enjoyed, whether I serve and store them in mason jars for future use or simply make them to enjoy in a more traditional matter.
Written by Michelle of Honest & Truly! who loves finding inspiration for new food ideas. She’s always cooking up something new on her blog, as well. Check her out her blog Honest & Truly! and follow along with her on Twitter where she is also @HonestAndTruly.