Salad in a Jar

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I know many of you have seen the posts about salad in a jar, some of us have thought what a neat idea and others have cocked their head to the side going “huh?” But that’s ok because today it’s all going to make sense!

It’s not very often that my Dad will make a request for me to make him something for lunch. He had a certification class he had to take at work and wasn’t sure about his lunch time allotment, so he asked me to make him a salad in a jar. I. Lit. Up! Shocked that he knew about such a thing, he must had seen one of my posts on Facebook about it 😉 It worked out that Tuesday night I had made some chicken for dinner and could incorporate that into his salad!

How much of each ingredient do you add? Well, I didn’t measure (of course) and just went with it. Since I had about 4–5 small pieces of chicken leftover I just cubed those up. The mini sweet peppers I used were 1 sweet red, 1 sweet yellow, and 2 sweet orange(since they were really small). As for the lettuce, I packed in two big handfuls of romaine mixed lettuce. I pushed it all down into the jar and for a second I thought this might be too much but as you’ll see in a picture below that it was actually the perfect amount!

Ok, enough hype…let me break it down, or rather show you a diagram, of how to assemble a salad in a jar. Mind you, your choice of ingredients are limitless, the picture is JUST to show you the ‘how’.

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How do you eat such yumminess? EASY!

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You pour the contents out into a bowl or onto a plate and enjoy! This is the picture Dad sent to me during his lunch break. The next time you know you won’t be able to go out to lunch or if you’re trying to save a few bucks (and inches from your waistline) consider making a salad in a jar! The best part, you can make these salads according to your nutritional needs. Doesn’t get much better than that 🙂

Be sure to check out All Parenting‘s website for more ideas and recipes for salads in a jar!

Have a blessed day!

Guest Post: Let’s Talk Mayonnaise

I’m so happy to finally have this post for you all! I’ve been waiting for weeks now and I must say the wait was worth it! It comes from my biggest fan, friend, and the one who has seen every side of me over the years, yet still loves me at the end of the day. She has taught me all that she knows when it comes to cooking and baking, even tried her best to teach me how to crochet and play the piano. While I wasn’t a star student with thread and musical notes, she did manage to teach this night owl a thing or two in the kitchen (except food that has yeast in it, I refuse to touch that stuff lol). Please welcome my Mom, Gayle! 

“I’m not ashamed to say it. I love mayonnaise! It’s my go to food when I need to dip something—bacon, fish, meat. It’s good on wraps and any kind of sandwich. Friday nights while everyone is enjoying grilled burgers and brats, I eat a burger bowl. It’s like a cheeseburger without the bun—bacon, cheese, burger and a BIG dollop of mayo. BLT’s are standard fare for me so long as the L and T are on the side and I don’t have to eat the bread. Just bacon and mayo. Yeah, it’s pretty weird, but I got over it a long time ago.

I’m also not afraid to tell you that I was leery of trying my hand at making homemade mayonnaise. And why not? While the list of ingredients is short, it’s too easy to fail. Many a cook quakes in her apron at the thought of blending oil and egg yolks into that creamy condiment. Why bother? Store bought mayonnaise is easy to get and tastes pretty good. Like me, you may have convinced yourself that you don’t need to do it and that we probably can’t do it anyway. Why waste the ingredients and time?

I finally gave homemade mayonnaise a try when we decided to eliminate as many non-whole foods as possible from our diet. It became a daunting task when we discovered how much food has soy in it. The brand of mayonnaise we were buying had soy oil, soy lecithin and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Some brands list water as the first ingredient. Other brands have modified cornstarch, enzyme modified egg yolk (what is that?), lemon and lime peel fibers (really?) and phosphoric acid. Even if a cook is willing to give homemade mayo a try, most are leery of trying for two very good reasons: 1) raw eggs and 2) the method used can lead to failure. Raw eggs are the biggest offender. Because of the salmonella problem that we hear about constantly, using raw eggs and then consuming raw eggs is something many people don’t want to do. You CAN use pasteurized eggs if you have a fear of salmonella.

No one knows for sure who started the first batch of mayo, but it’s a sure bet that wherever oil and eggs existed together, someone figured out how to make this creamy, tasty condiment. Anyone who watches cooking shows on TV eventually gets to see an episode where someone is making mayo. So I watched, and this is what I found:

1) Put the eggs in a blender with all the ingredients except the oil, and then blend, adding oil a couple of drops at a time.

2) Blend eggs and oil by hand with a whisk.

Both of these methods are fine, if they work for you, but they are time consuming and may not work at all. I know. I tried it. Repeatedly. Very discouraging.

After numerous failures, I realized I didn’t relish using an eye dropper to drizzle oil into blending eggs. A bowl and whisk is worse, at least for me. I have fibromyalgia. So I went to the internet and—behold! I discovered the quart jar / stick blender method! Instead of working for 5 to 10 minutes trying to coax mayonnaise from the blender, I could make it in 30 seconds—yes, that’s not a typo. Thirty seconds! Every time. No failures. Never ever had one!!

Now my family can enjoy homemade mayonnaise made with ingredients I don’t have to look up in a chemical guide. Once I mastered the egg to oil ratio, the objective then became finding the right blend of seasonings that the family would enjoy. This will vary from family to family. As long as the basic ratio of egg yolk to oil is observed, tinkering with the seasonings is encouraged. This recipe is filled with simple ingredients that everyone can pronounce.

Stick It In A Jar Mayo – Basic

1 whole egg, room temp

2 egg yolks, room temp

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. back or white pepper, optional

1/8 to 1/4 t. ground mustard, optional

2 t. sugar A sprinkle of garlic powder, optional

A sprinkle of onion powder, optional

1 T. white vinegar or lemon/lime juice

1/2 c. coconut oil, warmed until it’s just melted—then cooled

1/2 c. oil of your choice, olive, peanut, etc. or a combination to equal 1/2 c.

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Place all ingredients EXCEPT oils in a clean, 1 qt. jar. Using a stick blender, blend the eggs and seasonings. Stop blending.

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Add oils all at once. Stand stick blender straight up and pulse. As soon as you see the egg and oil emulsifying (turning a lighter color at the bottom of the jar), begin to raise and lower the stick blender, gently mixing in the remaining oil, lifting it higher and higher until all the oil is blended.

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It will thicken as you blend. Taste to make sure it has enough sweetness. If not, this is the time to add more, 1/4 t. at a time. Blend. Remove stick blender and scrape off finished mayo. Cover jar. Let sit on the counter for 2 hours, then refrigerate (if you have a problem with this, you can always put it right into the frig). Mayo will continue to thicken a little more as it gets cold in the fridge. Mayo is good for 1 to 2 weeks (remember, this mayo has no preservatives.). Makes approx. 1-1/2 c.

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Voila! Homemade Mayonnaise!!

Stick It In A Jar Mayo – Fancy

1 whole egg, room temp.

2 egg yolks, room temp.

1/4 t. ground mustard

1/2 t. salt

1/8 to 1/4 t. back pepper

2 t. sugar

1/8 t. paprika

1/16 t. garlic powder

1/16 t. onion powder

1 T. white or cider vinegar, lemon/lime juice

1/2 c. coconut oil, heated until it’s just melted—then cool 1/2 c. oil of your choice, olive, peanut, etc. or a combination to equal 1/2 c.

Tips:

1. Homemade mayonnaise won’t necessarily be as thick as commercial mayonnaise. The Fancy Mayo recipe will produce mayo that’s a very light orange.

2. White vinegar has a soft bite. Apple cider vinegar is stronger. You could try both, with 2 1/2 t. white vinegar and just a 1/2 t. of cider vinegar. You can also use lemon or lime juice, but go easy on it at first until you know how it will taste. Vinegar is anti-bacterial and helps ferment your mayonnaise, so don’t leave it out.

3. Use whatever oils you have handy in whatever amounts you want so that it equals the amount in the recipe. We use expeller pressed coconut oil from Tropical Traditions, so it has no coconut flavor. If you want to try it with olive oil, use just 1/8 to 1/4 c. to see if you like the flavor. Olive oil can impart a strong flavor. TIP: Don’t use just coconut oil. It hardens in the refrigerator and you’ll wind up with mayo you can’t spread.

4. You can reduce / add / leave out whatever seasonings you’re not happy with. You might not like adding onion powder or paprika to your mayo. That’s okay. Keep it simple at first, and add one new ingredient until you find what you and your family like. I read that if you add ground mustard, it technically changes it from mayonnaise to a remoulade sauce, but the flavor is awesome. Some people prefer prepared mustard, but for us, it’s way too strong.

5. Honest, it only takes 30 seconds to turn oil, eggs and seasonings into delicious mayonnaise!

6. It’s important to remember that, when eating foods prepared with raw eggs, there’s always a chance of salmonella contamination. The USDA advises caution when feeding raw eggs to the elderly, the very young, and those with compromised immune systems. When in doubt, substitute pasteurized eggs.

Give it a try!”

I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise myself, if I have to use it on a sandwich I tend to spread it out thinly, so thin you can barely tell that there is any on the bread. But my Mom’s recipe for mayonnaise is nothing like the store brands. It’s fresh, light, and makes the best turkey and turkey bacon wraps! She and I debated on whether or not to make a video showing it really only takes 30 seconds. If anyone would prefer a video just leave a comment below and we’ll set some time aside this Friday to make a quick video. Hope you all enjoy this delicious recipe! Have a blessed day 🙂

 

Low Carb Recipes

Evening everyone! Tonight was a night to make a few different meals to appease everyone’s taste. I first made a creamy burrito bake, followed by a steak salad, and finally a chicken salad. For a lower carb dessert I attempted to make a “soft serve” out of whipped cream and mashed strawberries. I didn’t let it freeze till it was rock hard, just long enough to get frosty. It was a pleasant treat, not one I’d want to indulge in too often because of it’s acidity but a guilt free dessert for anyone living a lower carb lifestyle!

I started off with the creamy burrito bake. It was simple, easy to throw together and a hit with the family!

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I found the recipe on Spark Recipes, just one of my favorite sites to get dinner inspirations. The net carbs per serving is 9.9 grams.

What you’ll need:

1 pound ground hamburger

1 packet taco seasoning or 1 to 1 1/2 tblsp homemade taco seasoning

8 oz shredded cheese(monteray jack cheese or any that you prefer)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup sour cream

4 oz mild salsa

8 Low Carb high fiber tortillas (the only ones I keep in the house)

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions.

Mix together the can of soup, sour cream and taco sauce.

Spray a 9 x 12 pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 of the soup mixture into pan. Divide meat mixture evenly between the tortillas and sprinkle cheese in shell before folding and putting into pan.
Reserve about 1/2 – 3/4 cup cheese.

Spread rest of soup mixture onto the shells and top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

This serves 8

General consensus:: It was good. I may substitute the sour cream with cream cheese, it seems to hold up better than sour cream does. You can use any cheese you like, I just used a regular cheddar cheese since that’s what we keep on hand.

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For my Dad I used up the leftover steak from last night’s meal. Warmed it up, sliced it thinly and placed it over a mixed salad with tomato. As for how my Dad seasons it? Salt, pepper on one side and a homemade Outback Steak Seasoning on the other side. He topped them off with some homemade garlic butter and lets them rest before serving. That’s it! He was very pleased to have this tonight. Salads are pretty much a staple when living a low carb lifestyle, how you dress it up depends on your taste!

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For myself I chose to warm up some Tyson grilled chicken strips that I had marinated in a little soy sauce and served it over another mixed salad. It was a nice change, all that was missing was an egg roll (wishful thinking). You can dress up the Tyson grilled chicken however you like, I’ve even seasoned it with my favorite grill seasoning for a little extra kick. I left the tomatoes off my salad tonight and added extra organic cucumber.

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And for a dessert I looked around online for a suitable solution for a lower carb “soft serve”. Everything called for sugar, confectioners sugar, and I can’t use those ingredients. So, I kept it simple. I whipped up a 1/2 cup of heavy cream (which will make 1 cup of whipped cream) with 1/8 cup Stevia in the Raw. It was important to over whip it. Partially thaw 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries and put into a food processor or blender. It almost resembled a puree except for a few chunks here and there, to which I folded gently into the whipped cream. Not completely either, there were pockets of plain whipped cream and strawberry puree. Let it freeze for an hour or two, depending on how firm you like it. I let it sit for an hour in the freezer, it was firm around the edges and frosty toward the center. It was quite tasty, again not something I want to make all the time but a nice treat. It will serve two generously and stretch to serve three if needed.

1/2 Serving: 5.6 net carbs

1/3 serving: 3.7 net carbs

If you are a PCOS cyster looking for a lower carb dessert this may not be for you. Though I’m lactose intolerant I’ve never had any issues with heavy cream. Mostly because I don’t consume it in large quantities, and one must take into consideration that not everyone suffers from the same lactase deficiency. However, I have found that taking one acidophilus pill prior to consuming any dairy does help me with my intolerance.

It’s been a mentally draining day and may even turn in early. Thankfully there’s nothing on the agenda to bake tonight. I am hoping to order some almond flour and coconut flour soon to start baking up some gluten free desserts that have become family favorites! Goodnight 🙂

Related Article:

http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/l/lactose_intolerance/intro.htm