Wednesday, March 16, 2016

SUNSHINE SALAD IN A MASON JAR

I've been into making mason jar salads regularly for several months now, and I'm officially in love.  It helps me eat healthy, pretty food everyday, and it has really helped my overall diet and vegetable intake.  I wrote about it with links to a few recipes back in November, and I'm coming back to share a couple of recipes that I love.

The first is a copy-cat recipe of a salad I love at a local restaurant, Heights Taco & Tamale company.  This is a mock up of their Sunshine Salad that I regularly get when I eat there, with a side of lots of chips, several different kinds of salsa and likely cheese dip.  I'm sure I cancel out the health benefits, but I'm okay with that.

I looked online for a Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette dressing to make and found this recipe that was delicious and easy.  I typically use about 2+ Tbsp of dressing in the bottom of each mason jar.  This recipe made enough for me to make two rounds of salad, so I saved the extra from the first round for the next time I wanted this salad.

After the dressing was in the bottom, I then layered (from bottom to top) these ingredients

Mango chunks
Sliced Avocado (with lots of lime juice squirted on to prevent browning)
Cooked Shrimp (I baked my shrimp at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes, or until cooked through - before cooking, I dressed it with lime juice and a little salt and pepper)
Pumpkin seeds (or almonds - whatever you have on hand!)
Spinach

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The salad is good for about five days after being made because of the avocado.  It really is delicious, light and fresh - perfect for spring and summer.  Though I've been eating it in winter to pretend that its springtime which also works.

Other recipes that I have LOVED and made several times are:

Stetson Salad with Pesto Buttermilk Dressing - it is such a unique blend of flavors, and the freeze-dried corn is a really fun bonus.

Spicy Southwestern Salad with Avocado Dressing - this is what I've been eating this week with tortilla chips, since those make anything even better.  I've had a mild love affair with sweet potatoes recently, and the avocado dressing on this is so very tasty.  I make it with basil and parsley instead of cilantro, because I fall into the small percentage of the population that dislikes cilantro.  It tastes like soap to me - this is really a thing.  Look it up on the internet if you don't believe me.

I do occasionally use store bought dressing in my home made salads - usually Newman's Own Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Having an almost gourmet lunch everyday makes me excited about eating food that is good for me, so these salads have been a life-saver.  You can just grab them as you run out the door - plus a fork and a paper plate or bowl.

Enjoy!

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