Salad in a Jar (Recipes)

When I first saw this fad, I didn’t think much of it. I assumed the lettuce would get soggy inside the jar and you’d be left with an icky salad. I was so wrong. I learned the hard way that the jar is pretty much the perfect storage container for a salad if packed right. I had only two jars and a bunch of tupperware containers. So I packed some of my salads in the tupperware thinking it couldn’t be better/worse than the jars. The salad in the tupperware wilted in less than a day, and the salad in the jars lasted days (I ate them by day 4, and they were still as fresh as when I packed them). The jars are perfect because, when layered right, they’re air/moisture proof.

So my first order of business was getting salad recipes. I happen to love Zupas Cafe which is based in Utah (I miss it dearly), so I went on their site and found their salads/ingredients and made my own salads based off of some of them (with some minor tweaks). The spinach salad was based off of Applebees’ Spinach shrimp salad with bacon vinaigrette.

Note:

I used chicken for most of my recipes. I put 3 large chicken breasts on a greased sheet pan, drizzled some olive oil and sprinkled on some salt and pepper. I baked at 375 F until thermometer read 165F. The time varies depending on how big the breasts are, if they’re frozen or not.

Also, I boiled 4 eggs to use in some of the salads. This is a simple recipe, place your eggs in a pot with a splash of vinegar. Cover with cold water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn off the heat and let the pot sit on the warm stove for exactly 12 minutes. Drain and place eggs immediately in an ice bath.

To serve the salad, place in a bowl and mix around with some tongs until dressing coats everything.

California Protein Salad

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Herb Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp oregano, dried
1/2 tsp basil, dried
a small handful of fresh parsley (you can use a tsp of dried parsley if that’s what you have)
1 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 Tbs sugar
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and pulse in a food processor.

Assemble Salad in this Order

Dressing
Grape/cherry tomatoes
peas
olives
walnuts
cranberries
chicken
cucumbers
avocado, sliced
green/red leaf lettuce and Swiss chard
feta
boiled egg, sliced
croutons

Asian Chicken Salad

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Toasted Sesame Dressing

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
tsp of garlic, chopped
tsp of ginger, chopped

Salad Assembly in this order

dressing
peas
sliced mushrooms
edamame (I found this in the frozen veggie section)
orange bell peppers, chopped
chicken
mandarin oranges
green/red leaf lettuce and Swiss chard
cashews
wonton strips

Strawberry Chicken Feta Salad

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Strawberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup sliced strawberries
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
pinch of salt

Salad Assembly in this Order

dressing
cranberries
walnuts
sliced gala apples
chicken
sliced strawberries
green/red leaf lettuce and Swiss chard
feta, crumbled
croutons

Spinach Shrimp Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

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Bacon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil
4 strips of bacon
3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

Assemble Salad in this Order
mushrooms, sliced
walnuts
sliced strawberries
shrimp, cooked
spinach
boiled egg, sliced

Tip: Serve the dressing separately on this one. It tends to coagulate once cooled, so I would heat it up before dressing the salad. 

Italian Wedding Soup

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I had been planning on making this recipe for a while now, I had seen a bunch of recipes and then I made up my own taking ideas from all of them.

Traditionally, I think, this soup is made with spinach, but I wanted to to use kale. I like the texture more and it has way more nutrients than spinach. Also, for the meatballs, I used all pork and as this recipe usually calls for you to put the meatballs straight in the soup and let them cook in there, I don’t care for boiled meat. So I baked them first which adds texture and (I think) more flavor.

This soup is so easy, the most time consuming part are the meatballs.

Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs:
2 lbs ground pork
1 small onion, minced
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Soup:
12 cups of chicken broth (I used 12 cups water and 1/4 cup chicken base)
2 cups kale (you can use as much or as little as you want)
I 12 oz box of Acini de pepe pasta (they look like tiny balls)

opt: parmesan cheese for garnish

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For the meatballs, combine all the ingredients, form into tiny balls, place on a greased or lined tray and bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes. They don’t have to be completely cooked through, I just like some color on it.

For the soup, place chicken broth in the pot with the chopped kale and meatballs. Bring to boil, add the pasta and cook until done. Serve and be completely blown away!

You can serve this with french bread and garnish with parmesan cheese if you would like.

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

Serves 2

1 Rib Eye Steak
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow onion
4 crimini mushrooms
2 large slices of provolone cheese
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
butter
1 T canola oil
2 hoagie roll

Slice the rib eye steak into thin slices. Slice the red pepper, onion, and mushrooms. Put them all in a hot skillet with a little bit of canola oil. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Saute on medium/high until browned on edges.

Slice your roll in half, but not all the way through. Butter the bread and set on a baking sheet. With the top rack close to the broiler, broil on high for 30 seconds, or just until slightly toasted and golden.

Spoon the steak/veggie mixture into the roll and then slice the cheese in half and place on top. Broil for another 30 seconds or until cheese is melted.

Huckleberry Crumble Bars

Sift together:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups all purpose flour

Add in

2 sticks soft butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Mix. Should resemble coarse crumbs when finished.

I used two smaller pyrex dishes, but you could also use a large baking sheet. Press 3/4 of the dough mixture into the base of the pan/sheet to form a crust/bottom layer.

In a bowl combine,

3 cups berries
1/2 cup sugar

Cover the crust with the berry mixture and then crumble the remaining dough over top the berries.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for a half hour, or until crumble is golden brown on top.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

I make the BEST fried chicken! I wouldn’t make that statement lightly. You can use any cut of chicken, just keep in mind that if you use the breast, it cooks quickly and tends to dry out quickly, and if you cook it on the bone, you need to cook it long and slow.

  1. Marinate the chicken. Remove the skin from the chicken (I like to use a paper towel, grab hold of the skin and pull) and place in a bag or bowl full of buttermilk and a teaspoon or two of siracha – just depends on how much spice you like. Let chill in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight if you’re feeling extremely patient. This helps tenderize the chicken, makes the chicken light and fluffy after the breading, and of course flavors it.
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  2. In a freezer bag, mix:
    -2 cups flour
    -2 Tbs Paprika
    -2 Tbs Garlic Powder
    -1 Tbs Onion Powder
    -1 Tbs Mustard Powder
    -1 Tbs Sage
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  3. In a skillet heat vegetable oil on medium – medium/high heat.
  4. In a cake pan, mix 3 eggs.

Assembly: Take chicken, place in egg wash and then place in the bag of seasoned flour. Shake and then remove with tongs and gently place in skillet.

Cook on each side for about 10-13 minutes occasionally moving the chicken slightly so it doesn’t burn. Insert thermometer close to the bone, it should read at least 165F. Let cool on paper towels.

Chicken Scampi

This recipe was so yummy, but I’ll be the first to admit that it was really hard to get a pretty picture.

I don’t know what it is about this recipe that feels nostalgic when I eat it. It’s one of my favorite dishes. Plus, it only took 30 minutes to make!

4 servings

Ingredients

2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced into half moons
1/2 red pepper
tablespoon of garlic
2 large chicken breasts cut in half
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup milk
angel hair pasta
parmesan cheese

Start by slicing your onions into half moons and your pepper into strips. Saute in skillet with garlic. Set aside.

Start by butterflying your chicken, only cut all the way through, so now you have 4 cutlets. on a plate combine the flour and seasonings and mix. Dredge the chicken into the flour and then brown in skillet. Add the onions and pepper mixture, the chicken broth. Combine the corn starch and water, mix and add into the skillet. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.

In a separate pot, boil some salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package. Strain pasta and add the the skillet, combine it all. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

Tortellini Asparagus Caprese Salad

I adapted this recipe from Damn Delicious’ Asparagus Pesto Pasta.

I love this recipe and if I’m ever going anywhere that I need to whip up a quick salad – this is my go-to recipe. It’s so simple and quick, and so, so yummy that it’s really a no-brainer.

Ingredients

1 20 oz package of Buitoni 3 cheese tortellini
4-5 oz of Buitoni pesto (you can make it yourself, but why??)
1 8oz package of mozzarella pearls (you can find them in the deli section of the store next to the prosciutto)
1 bunch of asparagus (I like to get mine as thin as possible and cut the ends off)
2 Tbs chopped sun dried tomatoes (I just blitz them in my ninja)
salt, pepper, olive oil

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the tortellini according the package instructions, mine took about 7 minutes. Drain and put back into the pot off heat.

Arrange asparagus on a tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coat and then bake at 425F for about 10 minutes or until browned on the side touching the pan. You can shake the pan a little to try to brown the other sides, but I think it’s ok as is. Cut the asparagus into thirds and throw into the pot of drained pasta.

Add the pesto, tomatoes, and mozzarella pearls, mix and put in a serving dish. You can serve warm or cold, it tastes great either way. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can chiffonade some basil and garnish the top of the pasta with it.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

I like to do roasts or one-pot on Wednesdays. I know what you’re thinking, that’s a lot of food on one plate, and you’re probably right. What’s better though, was that all of it was really healthy and took less than an hour to make. I’ll share the salad and roasted sweet potato recipe with you later.

Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

1.4 lb pork tenderloin (they come in the plastic wrapped packages – I get a small one to serve our family)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, sage, rosemary
olive oil

Sprinkle the seasonings one by one just enough to cover the tenderloin on all sides. Once you get through all the seasonings, massage them all into the tenderloin.

In a skillet, heat olive oil and brown each side of the tenderloin.

Heat oven to 350 F. Place Tenderloin on tray and into the oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Once out of the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes, there will be juices on the tray, go ahead and roll the roast around in there for more flavor. Cut against the grain and serve.

Garlicky Green Beans

This dish is so simple, yet so delicious! I hated green beans growing up, but I rarely had them fresh. When I did, people would boil them to oblivion! I’m going to give you the low down on how to cook the most perfect green beans.

1. Trim the stems off the beans – I don’t care if you leave the curly bit at the end.

2. In a pan, heat oil, butter and minced garlic together over medium/high heat – The olive oil helps the butter to not burn and heating the garlic with the oil together prevents it from burning as well.

3. Place beans in the skillet with the garlic, stirring constantly.

4. Season beans with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

5. Serve and enjoy!!

French Bread

1 1/2 T yeast

2 Tbs cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105-115F)

1. Combine these ingredients in mixer and let sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should bloom or grow in size and bubble. If it does, the yeast is good.

6 cups All-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
2 cups warm water

2. Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Combine. Add the salt, oil, and water, combine. After this, add about 1/2 cup of flour at a time until mixture resembles a sticky ball of dough.

3. Remove dough from mixer and place on a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and place in a warm area.

Tip: Heat oven to 175F and then turn off. This will create a warm space for the dough to rise.

4. Once dough has doubled in size, remove from bowl and knead until you can hear the air bubbles in the dough popping with every knead. It should be smooth and elasticky. Divide into three balls and shape into loaves.

5. Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a baking sheet with oil and coat with corn meal. Place the loaves smooth side up on the baking sheet and let rise on top of the stove for 15 minutes. Afterwards, make slashes in the bread with a knife and coat with egg white.

6. Place bread in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, spraying with sugar water every 3 minutes.

7. Turn oven down to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes spraying with sugar water every 3 min.

8.Remove from oven once golden brown. Let rest on a cooling rack until cooled off.