FMCC: Mason Jar Salads and Zucchini Carrot Mini-Muffins

Mmmm, cannot wait to share the recipes we made at this week's FMCC! As usual we found inspiration in our CSA boxes from Heavens Harvest Farm. Delicious, healthy, pre-made salads in mason jars and quick, easy mini-muffins packed full of veggies. Mason jar salads have been a staple for my weekly food prep, but this is the first time I have included the dressing in the jar -- I will definitely be making it with the dressing from now on. They came out perfectly and it is a great way to control portions (especially when the dressing is so good you just want to drink it!). These salads are a life-saver during the week -- throw them in a cooler on the way to work, or simply grab out of the fridge for an easy, healthy lunch with no clean-up, add some grilled chicken or steak and you have a complete dinner. Have you tried mason jar salads???  If not, I hope you will give it a go after reading this post!

Ranch salad topped with grilled steak

Before you make your muffins and salads, make sure you have all the correct tools and of course, mason jars! I am frequently asked what tools I use in the kitchen -- here are my favorite tools for assembling these recipes:

( I have recently been accepted as an Amazon Associate (yay!) which means if you order any amazon products through my site I receive a tiny portion of that sale which will go toward maintaining the site.)

The Recipes

Zucchini Carrot Mini-Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrots
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Grease mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, mix dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon).
3. In another smaller bowl, mix eggs and oil.
4. Add we ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly (batter will seem quite dry, but no worries!) .
5. Add zucchini and carrots, mix thoroughly.
6. Scoop batter into muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Freeze for up to 3 months. The perfect addition for school lunch boxes!
*Adapted from Good Housekeeping 

the Mamas hard at work!
Homemade Ranch Mason Jar Salad
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh dill
buttermilk (add as needed for consistency)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
*Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
2 heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 cups cooked corn kernels (we used frozen, but if it was summer I would use fresh)
2 cups black beans
2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
(you can also use 2 chopped avocados, chopped cucumber, shredded cheddar cheese, or any other combination of veggies and cheeses you like!)
*Makes approximately 8-10 salads
1. Mix all dressing ingredients in a large bowl, adding buttermilk last and stir to attain desired thickness and of course dip a veggie in there and take a taste;) adjust seasoning as needed.
2. Place 2-3 tablespoon dressing in bottom of wide-mouth quart mason jar.
3. Add desired amount veggies, then cheese, then lettuce goes in last. It is very important to place the lettuce in last, so it does not get soggy from the dressing.
Salads will remain fresh up to 5 days in the fridge. Of course, they can last even longer if you use farm fresh ingredients!
Mixed Greens Mason Jar Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato and Parsnips
We used Fresh Mama Honey-Balsamic Dressing for this salad
2 sweet potatoes, chopped into bite size pieces
4 parsnips, chopped into bite size pieces
one small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz. goat cheese
8 cups mixed greens
*Makes approximately 8-10 salads
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
2. Place sweet potatoes, parsnips, and onion on baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss together to coat thoroughly.
3. Roast 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender and cooked through. Make dressing while veggies are roasting. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. Assemble salads with 2-3 tablespoons dressing, then 1/4 cup roasted veggies, then 1 oz. cheese and finally fill remaining space in jar with mixed greens. Salads will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
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