Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mason Jar Lunches

Hello and welcome back! It has been several months since my last post, but I am back at it again! January was super busy as we welcomed my beautiful niece, Sophia into the world and celebrated my mother's birthday.

Isn't she gorgeous? I've been spending a lot of time with family, enjoying Sophia and her older brother, Colton. I've also been relaxing and enjoying the time off work due to snow and ice in Baltimore.  However, January and February were quite busy with assessments at work, so the paperwork piled up.  Fortunately, I was able to use some of the time off to catch up.  So here I am, caught up on paperwork and trying to get back into blogging.

Last week, my sister and I started making mason jar lunches. This was a result of salad greens going bad after trying to pack salads in Tupperware containers on Sunday nights for weekday lunches. Additionally, if we tried to make salads with anything perishable or with juices (ie. tomatoes, avocado, olives, pretty much anything except bacon bits and craisins) it often became gross by Wednesday. I first came across an awesome kale salad mix sold at Costco that I fell in love with in the previous weeks.  Then, my sister discovered the mason jar salads with hopes that it might keep the greens fresh for a full week. We found a few examples on Pinterest and figured we'd give it a try.  The first week we made the pesto chicken antipasto salad from Lexi's Clean Kitchen pictured below.

 The only difference was that we used the kale salad from Costco instead of spinach leaves. The Sweet Kale Chopped Salad is made by Taylor Farms and I found it on their website here.  After doing a little research I discovered Taylor Farms actually has a location in Annapolis, Maryland! Maybe this is why their salads are stocked at Costco in Baltimore.

After making our salads, they didn't look much different than Lexi's. Here they are stocked in my fridge for the week.  

Side note: to make our pesto chicken, we also used a product sold at Costco, the Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto.  I threw some frozen chicken strips into a pan with a little olive oil, stirred in the basil pesto, and voila! Let me tell you...this chicken was fantastic!  

When I brought my salad into work on Monday and poured it into my bowl, it came out perfect! According to staff walking down the hall passing my partitioned office, it smelled like an "italian sub!" People could not stop raving about the wonderful aroma in the hallway. It tasted just as delicious as well. By Friday, I was concerned the salad may not still be good. But when I got to lunch, much to my surprise, it was still fresh and tasty. I was so happy with the way everything turned out, I was looking forward to trying it again this week.  Fortunately for me, I have a wonderful chef of a sister (not really a chef, but she could be!) who found some other cool mason jar lunch recipes to try. Looks like it will be a zoodle (zucchini noodle) recipe. So excited for this one. Will get back to you once we've prepped and tasted them!

Ironically, I sent my friend Megan (in California) a picture of my first mason jar salad and she sent this back saying, "so funny because I just bought this last week!"

Megan's boyfriend Shawn researching mason jar salads!
The movement is happening people! Are you ready to join?

Have you tried any mason jar recipes? If so, what's your favorite? 

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