Daily Archives: January 11, 2013

Mason Jar Breakfast Parfait

Breakfast Parfaits

I love breakfast but there are times when I don’t feel the desire to whip out the pot & pan. Or when I simply crave something other than my usual “Green Smoothie”. This recipe is a great way to eat on the go & still be healthy. It also makes for a perfect snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granola, any variety
  • 1 cup washed & cut seasonal fruit (blueberries, strawberries, figs, peaches, raspberries).
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 pint size mason jar w/ lid
  • spoon

Instructions

In a mason jar add the yogurt and then fruit. Drizzle honey on top. Add granola last so it stays crisp. (Optional: Sprinkle parfait with a little cinnamon). Don’t forget to grab a spoon.

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Mason Jar Salad

Mason Jar Salad

Delicious lunches can be just a few easy steps away. All it takes is a trip to the grocery store, a couple pantry staples, some mason jars, and an hour of your time.

Why mason jars, you might ask? Despite the obvious cuteness factor, these jars will keep your greens fresher than fresh, they won’t stain, they’re BPA free, microwave and dishwasher safe, perfectly sized for salads for one, won’t leak, travel well, and are reusable. Convinced? Yes, I thought so!

There really are only two rules to the mason jar salad: Start with the dressing or sauce, and end with the lettuce and herbs. However you want to layer the rest of the ingredients—try different meats, beans, lettuces, cheeses, vinaigrettes, or sauces—is up to you (though I usually layer by weight so heavier items, like tomatoes, are on the bottom).

The best part is you can make five salads at a time, and they’ll stay fresh for the whole week—just grab and go on your way out the door! When lunchtime rolls around, you’ll be sitting pretty with your delicious salad ready to be shaken up.

To get you going, check out three of my favorite recipes, ingredients listed in layering order. Happy lunching!

Caprese Salad 300x300 The Best New Way to Bring Your Lunch

Caprese Pasta Salad

2 tbsp basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 ½ oz fresh mozzarella, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 oz cooked penne pasta

½ cup fresh spinach leaves

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Chickpea Salad 300x300 The Best New Way to Bring Your Lunch

Chickpea Salad

2 tbsp easy lemon vinaigrette (see below)

1 cup chickpeas

½ cup sun-dried or oven roasted tomatoes

¼ cup spring onion, chopped

¼ cup red onion, chopped

½ cup olives, chopped

¼ cup piquillo peppers, chopped

½ cup fresh spinach

Greek Salad 300x300 The Best New Way to Bring Your Lunch

Greek Pasta Salad

2 tbsp easy lemon vinaigrette (see below)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

¼ cup red onion, chopped

1 cup cucumber, chopped

½ cup feta, crumbled

2 oz rigatoni, cooked

½ cup mixed greens

½ cup fresh mint, chopped

Easy Lemon Vinaigrette

(will make enough for 3-4 mason jars)

Juice from one large lemon

½ cup olive oil

Good pinch of salt

Couple of grinds of black pepper

Shake all ingredients together in a small container.

Speaking of shaking, try to remember to leave room at the top of each jar. Don’t worry if you get a little over zealous (I usually am!) with your ingredients though—just shake the jar like crazy when you’re ready for lunch, eat a few bites, then shake some more once there’s a bit more room!

Homemade Granola Bars

Granola Bar

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick cooking (1 minute) oats
  • ½ cup Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup m & m’s
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted (optional drizzle)

Instructions

  1. In a nonstick pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter.
  2. Stir in the honey, brown sugar, and peanut butter.
  3. Bring to a very light simmer.
  4. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Stir in vanilla extract.
  7. Stir in oats and Rice Krispies until completely coated.
  8. Press mixture into a 8 x 8 inch pan lined with greased parchment paper. Be sure to press down really firm.
  9. Sprinkle the top with m&m’s and press them into the mixture.
  10. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
  11. Remove from pan and cut into bars with a sharp knife.
  12. Drizzle on the melted chocolate.
  13. Refrigerate until chocolate has set.
  14. Store in the fridge or in airtight container. (I prefer fridge)
  15. Eat & Enjoy!

Gorilla Bread

Gorilla Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  4. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside.
  5. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts.
  7. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.