Salad – Diabetic Kitchen https://diabetickitchen.com Mon, 11 Feb 2019 19:51:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Can’t Eat One More Boring Salad? Mix Things Up! https://diabetickitchen.com/boring-salad-mix-things-up/ https://diabetickitchen.com/boring-salad-mix-things-up/#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 19:51:11 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4071

Ah, the salad. Perhaps the single food most associated with ‘eating healthy’ or ‘being on a diet.’ (Also known by many enthusiastic carnivores as an instrument of culinary torture.) While it’s true that salads can be healthful, there is absolutely no reason they have to be boring and tasteless. Salads can be exciting and delicious! ...

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Ah, the salad. Perhaps the single food most associated with ‘eating healthy’ or ‘being on a diet.’ (Also known by many enthusiastic carnivores as an instrument of culinary torture.) While it’s true that salads can be healthful, there is absolutely no reason they have to be boring and tasteless. Salads can be exciting and delicious!

Most salads start with a sad, bland base of iceberg or romaine lettuce. These popular salad greens have a high water content, but do not pack a powerful nutritional punch. The same goes for red and green leaf lettuce varieties, and butter lettuce – they’re mild tasting and versatile, but not very nutritious. Try enhancing those lettuces with a little spinach, kale, or arugula to increase flavor along with vitamin and mineral content.

Kale is all the rage, with its high levels of vitamins A, C, and K. Be mindful though, raw kale can be difficult to digest, especially if you aren’t used to eating it often. Start by mixing a small amount of kale into other greens, just to get your digestive system going.

Arugula is often thought of as a “garnish” green, but it can be so much more than that. It’s bright, peppery flavor really goes a long way in adding zip to your salad, and it’s an excellent source of fiber, protein, and a host of vitamins and minerals.

Yes, the base of any salad is the greens. While you can vary your greens for flavor and nutritional content, let’s be honest – it’s still considered lettuce by most of us. Add some out of the box ingredients, however, and you can start to elevate your salad game!

Toppings like tortilla chips or crispy noodles may sound like a delicious way to bring crunch and flavor to your salad, but resist the temptation! Toppings like this increase not only a salad’s carbohydrate content, but add sky high salt levels and potentially add harmful trans-fats, as well. The sprinkle of processed “cheese” over the top of that salad certainly doesn’t help matters either.

Instead try ingredients like julienned carrot to give that craveable crunch, and freshly shaved parmesan cheese for a nutty saltiness. Trust me, there are plenty of ways to impart flavor while keeping nutritional content high and blood sugar stable.

Veggie additions to your salad are seemingly endless: alfalfa sprouts, avocado, beets, bell pepper, black beans, broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomato, zucchini… the more crunch and color the better. Use this salad as an opportunity to branch out and try different ingredients! A new variety of cheese, some high-quality olives, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers… like in this family’s “Favorite Salad.”

On that note, salads aren’t just for vegetables – why not try topping your creation with fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries? Blow the socks off your next Potluck (or every day lunch!) with this Jicama Mango Salad With Cilantro and Lime.

Now, just because it’s a salad doesn’t mean it can’t have meat! It’s especially important for diabetics to include protein when constructing their salads. Baked chicken, grilled steak, even shrimp are all excellent protein options. Just give this Feta Salmon Salad a try!

If you aren’t a meat eater, add some tofu, garbanzo beans, nuts, or seeds to your salad. Nuts and seeds are excellent non-meat sources of protein (and a host of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.) Healthy fats are all the rage these days, as studies continue to validate the importance of making them a bigger part of our diets. Just one quarter cup of walnuts provides more than the daily recommended amount of omega-3 fats.

For a true protein punch, try hemp seeds.  Believe it or not, the hemp seed is actually 30% protein. Better yet, that protein is of extremely high quality (better than most any other seed) and it’s what’s called “complete protein” – meaning the seeds contain all of the essential protein amino acids that your body cannot produce itself. With benefits like that, meat eaters should add nuts and seeds to their salads, too!

Now we enter into a point of contention for many folks – salad dressing. Is it Ranch, Blue Cheese, Thousand Island, or French? Or is a simple oil and vinegar more your style?

Did you know that the dressing you choose will make or break your salad? Those thick, creamy dressings are delicious, but can skyrocket the calorie content of your salad to that of a cheeseburger! Be very mindful of the sugar content in prepared and bottled dressings. As always, avoid the words “low-fat” as this equals “added-sugar.”

If you must have your store-bought dressing, be sure to enjoy it in an appropriate two tablespoon portion. Try dishing out the two tablespoons in a small bowl next to your salad plate. Dip each bite of your salad into the bowl, that way you get dressing in each bite and won’t feel deprived. Using this method, I can almost guarantee that you will eat your fill of dressing and still have some left over – much better than drowning your salad in dressing!

If you want to hop off of the store-bought dressing train, a simple homemade dressing really can be delicious. Olive oil with red wine vinegar, or with a little lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper will enhance, not hide, the freshness of your salad. Freshly chopped herbs like cilantro, parsley, basil, or mint make for a fantastic pop of flavor. Checking out this herb vinaigrette will make you consider a lifelong commitment to homemade dressings!

Speaking of lifelong commitments, we hope these tips, tricks, and recipes inspire you to mix things up, and give salads another shot. A salad shouldn’t have to settle for being a sad, unsatisfying diet food – it can be exciting and delicious!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.health.com/food/make-over-lunch

https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-best-worst-salads

 

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‘Cool As A Cucumber’ – Health Benefits Of This Refreshing Veggie https://diabetickitchen.com/health-benefits-of-cucumber/ https://diabetickitchen.com/health-benefits-of-cucumber/#respond Wed, 29 Aug 2018 23:10:57 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3947

The common cucumber… turns out to not be so common when it comes to health benefits. From soothing the skin, to providing cardiovascular and antioxidant boosts, even reducing risk for certain cancers – this versatile vegetable has quite the résumé! Perhaps the most obvious benefit of cucumbers for diabetics is the way in which they ...

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The common cucumber… turns out to not be so common when it comes to health benefits. From soothing the skin, to providing cardiovascular and antioxidant boosts, even reducing risk for certain cancers – this versatile vegetable has quite the résumé!

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of cucumbers for diabetics is the way in which they contribute to lower blood sugar. This is due to the high fiber contained in the skin of the cucumber. Fiber has a powerful effect on reducing blood sugar, due to encouraging certain varieties of gut bacteria that cause the byproducts butyrate and acetate to multiply.

Researchers believe that acetate and butyrate raise the acidity levels in the gut. By creating a more acidic gut environment, not only does the amount of “bad” bacteria go down, insulin production is ramped up. This is the process which researchers credit with better blood sugar control.

Cardiovascular disease is also a major concern for individuals suffering from high blood sugar. That’s why the antioxidants in cucumbers, (flavonoids to be exact), are so important. They help to protect against the development of heart disease by decreasing ‘bad’ cholesterol, increasing ‘good’ cholesterol, and decreasing triglyceride levels. Cucumbers also promote the widening of the body’s blood vessels, helping to stabilize blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension.

A third nutritional gold star can be awarded to cucumbers for their astronomical water content. Cucumber contains the highest water content of any solid food – 96.7% in fact! One medium cucumber contains nearly one cup of water!

This helps not only to keep the body hydrated, but in combination with a high fiber content, makes cucumber lovers quite ‘regular’ – if you get the drift. There’s no better solution for healthy digestion than plenty of water plus lots of fiber!

Individuals who eat sufficient amounts of fiber consistently tend to weigh less than those who do not. This leads into another benefit of the cucumber – it is extremely low in calories. An entire medium-sized cucumber contains the same amount of calories as ¼ of a medium-sized apple! This makes cucumbers a fantastic low-calorie (and low-carb) substitute to chips when enjoying your favorite dip.

Cucumbers have also been touted as potential cancer-fighters. The lignans contained in cucumbers are converted by bacteria in the digestive tract into compounds that bind onto cellular estrogen receptors. Research has shown that this may help reduce risk of estrogen-related cancers like breast, prostate, ovarian, and uterine cancers.

Believe it or not, cucumbers have been credited with the ability to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. This is due to the presence of flavonoids and tannins, both of which have been shown to fight the release of free radicals, reduce inflammation, and assist in pain management.

Now that those cucumbers have helped reduce your pain levels, it’s time to relax! Those same anti-inflammatory properties work on the skin, as well as, in the body. Imagine a day at the spa… do you envision yourself with cucumber slices on your eyes as you are pampered? There’s actually some science behind that seemingly silly practice.

Contained in the cucumber’s skin are vitamin C and caffeic acid. Along with the high water content, this combination cools and soothes skin while reducing swelling and inflammation. In fact, cucumbers have long been used as a topical home remedy for skin irritations like acne and sunburn!

Ready to fill your grocery cart with a few pounds of cucumber? Now you’ll just need delicious ways in which to utilize them! While the old cucumber sticks dipped in ranch may be an easy segue for the veggie non-lovers out there, don’t be afraid of more complex cucumber culinary creations!

Shrimp and Cucumber Rounds, Sugar-free Fresh Cucumber Pickles, and Crisp Cucumber Salsa all deserve a shot at showcasing the health benefits (and refreshing taste) of the cucumber. Whether your chosen preparation is simple or grand, one thing is for sure – this veggie is one cool cuke!

 

Sources:

https://www.health.com/nutrition/health-benefits-cucumbers

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-ricci/health-benefits-of-cucumbers_b_8231704.html

https://www.livescience.com/51000-cucumber-nutrition.html

https://www.ndtv.com/food/diabetes-eating-cucumber-regularly-may-help-reduce-blood-sugar-levels-1884961

 

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How To Make The Perfect Salad – In A Jar! https://diabetickitchen.com/how-to-make-mason-jar-salad/ https://diabetickitchen.com/how-to-make-mason-jar-salad/#respond Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:21:45 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3584

Mason jar salads are everywhere on the internet… and now it’s time to put them in your own refrigerator! Your mason jars need to be wide-mouthed with tight-fitting lids in order to keep your salad fresh. For an entrée salad, use a larger mason jar (more room for deliciousness.) If you only want a side ...

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Mason jar salads are everywhere on the internet… and now it’s time to put them in your own refrigerator! Your mason jars need to be wide-mouthed with tight-fitting lids in order to keep your salad fresh. For an entrée salad, use a larger mason jar (more room for deliciousness.) If you only want a side salad, use a smaller jar.

The absolute key is to put wet ingredients in the bottom of the jar, while keeping your greens dry at the top of the jar. Always start by pouring your dressing of choice into the bottom of the jar. This first step will make or break your salad.

Pause before pouring in your favorite dressing. Thick, creamy dressings are delicious, but can skyrocket the calorie content of your salad to that of a cheeseburger! A simple oil and vinegar dressing really can be delicious. Olive oil with red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper will enhance, not hide, the freshness of your salad.

If you must have your ranch, thousand island, or blue cheese, be sure to enjoy it in an appropriate two tablespoon portion. Be very mindful of the sugar content in prepared and bottled dressings. As always, avoid the words “low-fat” as they equal “added sugar.”

Next up are the veggies! Vegetable additions to your salad are seemingly endless: beets, bell pepper, black beans, broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomato… the list goes on and on!

When layering a mason jar salad, put “hard” vegetables like carrots, bell pepper, or cucumber on top of the dressing to act as a barrier. “Softer” veggies like avocado, tomato, or sprouts should go on top of the hard veggies.

Salads aren’t just for vegetables – why not try adding fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries? Fruits would go on top of the “softer” veggies as you continue to layer your salad.

Now it’s time to add the protein. It’s especially important for diabetics to include a little protein with their salads. Grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, or steak are all delicious and versatile salad additions. If you aren’t a meat eater, add some extra garbanzo beans, or cubed tofu to your salad.

You can also add extra protein and healthy fats by sprinkling seeds or nuts on top of the meat. This not only increases the nutrition factor, but adds texture and crunch!

Finally, add in the greens. Choose your greens wisely. While iceberg lettuce is high in water content, it is low in actual nutrition. It’s low in calories and can help fill you up, but your body does not get much in the way of fuel. There are a few varieties of salad greens that pack a more nutritious punch.

Perhaps the most widely advertised lately is kale. Kale is all-the-rage, with its high levels of vitamins A, C, and K. It can be difficult to digest, however, especially if you aren’t used to eating it often.

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse in any number of recipes, but most especially when raw and enjoyed in salads. Vitamins A, C, and K, iron and fiber. While usually regarded as a simple garnish, watercress is another delicious and nutritious salad green option, with over half your daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a 2.5 cup serving!

Arugula is another of those “garnish” greens, but it can be so much more than that! It’s bright, peppery flavor really goes a long way in adding zip to your salad, and it’s an excellent source of fiber, protein, and a host of vitamins and minerals.

We’ve made our way to good ole’ romaine lettuce. This popular salad green contains vitamins A and K, but not in the levels of our other greens choices. The same goes for red and green leaf lettuce varieties, and butter lettuce – they’re mild tasting and very versatile, but not quite as nutritious. Try enhancing those lettuces with a little spinach, kale, or arugula to increase flavor along with vitamin and mineral content.

The combination of dressing, veggies, and protein can be random, or can allow you to “theme” your salad. For example, guacamole at the bottom of your jar, bell pepper, onion, black beans and tomato for your veggies, and grilled chicken as your protein. Spinach and arugula for greens, with some chopped cilantro added in = southwest mason jar salad!

Once you’ve crammed in the greens, be sure to seal the jar tightly. Store your jars of salad goodness in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. (Good luck trying to make them last!)

 

 

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/better/how-pack-perfect-salad-jar-ncna756256

 

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Are Salads Truly The Healthier Choice? https://diabetickitchen.com/are-salads-healthy/ https://diabetickitchen.com/are-salads-healthy/#respond Sun, 26 Nov 2017 16:05:28 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3431

Trying to be healthier by eating salads? While it’s true that vegetables are nutritious, the “salad” most commonly enjoyed here in the U.S. is nothing but lettuce and creamy dressing… and healthy it is not. Salads do have the potential to propel you forward in your journey to health, they just have to be constructed ...

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Trying to be healthier by eating salads? While it’s true that vegetables are nutritious, the “salad” most commonly enjoyed here in the U.S. is nothing but lettuce and creamy dressing… and healthy it is not.

Salads do have the potential to propel you forward in your journey to health, they just have to be constructed the right way. “Lettuce” break the salad down one bite at a time, and learn how.

Start with the right greens. While iceberg lettuce is high in water content, it does not contain much in the way of vitamin and mineral content. It’s low in calories and can help fill you up, but your body does not get much fuel from iceberg lettuce. There are several varieties of salad greens that pack a more nutritious punch.

Perhaps the most widely advertised green lately is kale. Kale is all-the-rage, with its high levels of vitamins A, C, and K. Be mindful though, when eaten raw kale can be difficult to digest, especially if you aren’t used to eating it often.

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse in any number of recipes, but most especially when raw and enjoyed in salads. Spinach is high in vitamins A, C, and K, iron and fiber.

While usually regarded as a simple garnish, watercress is another delicious and nutritious salad green option, with over half your daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a 2.5 cup serving!

Arugula is another of those “garnish” greens, but it can be so much more than that! It’s bright, peppery flavor really goes a long way in adding zip to your salad, and it’s an excellent source of fiber, protein, and a host of vitamins and minerals.

We’ve made our way to good ole’ romaine lettuce. This popular salad green contains vitamins A and K, but not in the levels of our other greens choices. The same goes for red and green leaf lettuce varieties, and butter lettuce – they’re mild tasting and very versatile, but not quite as nutritious. Try enhancing those lettuces with a little spinach, kale, or arugula to increase flavor along with vitamin and mineral content.

At this point in the salad game, most packaged or restaurant salads begin to fall short. Regardless of the type of salad greens they use, once the toppings and dressings come into play, the nutritional value of many salads takes a steep plummet.

Toppings like tortilla chips or crispy noodles increase not only the salad’s carbohydrate content, but the sodium levels, and potentially trans-fats, as well. The “sprinkle” of processed cheeses over the top of those salads certainly doesn’t help matters either.

Never fear, there are plenty of tasty ways to add healthy goodness to the salad party! It’s especially important for diabetics to include a little protein with their salads. Grilled chicken, a piece of salmon, or a few slices of this incredible ribeye with mayonnaise marinade are all excellent protein options. If you aren’t a meat eater, add some garbanzo beans, or tofu to your salad.

Veggie additions to your salad are seemingly endless: alfalfa sprouts, avocado, beets, bell pepper, black beans, broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomato, zucchini… the list goes on and on!

Salads aren’t just for vegetables – why not try topping your creation with fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries? Slices of watermelon together with feta cheese and mint make an incredible salad, or toss a few fresh orange slices over arugula with a citrus vinaigrette.

Speaking of vinaigrette, let’s dive into dressings! Did you know that the dressing you choose will make or break your salad? Those thick, creamy dressings are delicious, but can skyrocket the calorie content of your salad to that of a cheeseburger!

A simple oil and vinegar dressing really can be delicious. Olive oil with red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper will enhance, not hide, the freshness of your salad.

If you must have your ranch, thousand island, or blue cheese, be sure to enjoy it in an appropriate two tablespoon portion. Try dishing out the two tablespoons in a small bowl next to your salad plate. Dip each bite of your salad into the bowl, that way you get dressing in each bite and won’t feel deprived.

Be very mindful of the sugar content in prepared and bottled dressings. As always, avoid the words “low-fat” as this equals “added-sugar.”

Salads can be a wonderful way to get the most out of your nutrition. By selecting the right greens as your foundation, adding plenty of fresh vegetables or fruits as toppings, including a little protein, and being smart with your dressing, a salad is a smart and healthy choice!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-best-worst-salads

 

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Feel Fuller Longer With These 10 Foods https://diabetickitchen.com/foods-feel-fuller-longer/ https://diabetickitchen.com/foods-feel-fuller-longer/#comments Mon, 07 Aug 2017 00:36:11 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3171

Apples The fiber in the fruit and skin of an apple helps you feel full and satisfied. Because you eat the whole fruit (with the exception of the core), your brain perceives the apple as a larger volume of food. Also, an apple is stimulating to multiple senses when you eat it: you see the ...

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Apples

The fiber in the fruit and skin of an apple helps you feel full and satisfied. Because you eat the whole fruit (with the exception of the core), your brain perceives the apple as a larger volume of food.

Also, an apple is stimulating to multiple senses when you eat it: you see the whole apple in your hand, you smell and then taste its sweet tart flavor, and hear the crunch as you take a bite. Believe it or not, by tuning into all of these details, you will feel full faster, and stay feeling full for longer!

Avocados

Dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Lori Zanini, emphasizes that avocados are one of the only fruits that contain monounsaturated fats; “Including healthy fats in our meals during our day is important in order to keep us full and satisfied after meals.”

An avocado is a great source of fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar, as well. Fiber also promotes a healthy gut and colon, helps to control appetite, and can be helpful in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fats and fiber to keep you feeling satisfied. One tablespoon of whole flaxseed has 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of healthy fat. Try adding a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to a smoothie, or sprinkle it on top of yogurt.

Greek Yogurt

A 5 oz. container of plain full-fat Greek yogurt contains 15 grams of protein. Some studies are now suggesting that protein may be even more filing than fat or carbohydrates.  Other high-quality sources of protein include lean poultry, meats and fish, milk, eggs, lentils, and peanut butter.

Nuts

Raw, unsalted nuts like almonds and walnuts are full of protein, healthy fats, and nutrients. This makes nuts a great addition to meals and desserts, and also qualifies them as an exceptional snack. A handful of nuts can keep you full (and energy levels up) far longer than a bag of potato chips would!

Oats

Oats are a complex carbohydrate and take longer to digest. As the oats are digested, they release energy slowly, allowing you to hold onto your feeling of fullness. It also helps to keeps blood sugar and insulin levels stable. To get the full benefits (and flavor) choose steel-cut oats made at home – stay away from microwave packets!

Quinoa

Quinoa is a great source of both protein and fiber. One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. This combination not only fills you up, it helps stabilize your blood sugar, too!

Salad

Vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes have a very high water content. Combine that with their abundance of fiber, and you’ve got yourself a full stomach!

Eating a salad before a meal has been associated with increased feeling of satiety and decreased calorie intake. Research has shown that when the first course of a meal is a large salad, people eat fewer calories for the entire meal compared to skipping the salad.

Soup

Similar to salad, a bowl of soup before your entrée helps to take the edge off of hunger, increase feelings of fullness, and reduce the total number of calories consumed during the entire meal. Keep in mind, this doesn’t work well if you eat 500 calories worth of soup before dinner, so keep your appetizer soup to about 150 calories.

Spinach

Spinach is a great source of thylakoids (plant membranes crucial to photosynthesis), which research suggests may encourage a feeling of fullness. One study found that when individuals ate foods containing thylakoids, their levels of leptin (the hormone that signals you to “stop” eating) increased. They also experienced a decrease in levels of ghrelin (the hormone that triggers feelings of hunger.)

By choosing foods that contain protein, fats, and fiber, you will not only make your tummy happy, but keep it that way!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/21/health/food-suppress-appetite-drayer/index.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/324162-quinoa-and-weight-loss/

 

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Mason Jar Salads https://diabetickitchen.com/mason-jar-salads/ https://diabetickitchen.com/mason-jar-salads/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 00:30:11 +0000 http://www.diabetickitchen.com/?p=2094

If you haven’t tried this yet … jump on board! We are a total convert to prepping salads this way. When I finally took the plunge and tried it, I was still very skeptical. I decided that a Tuscan Salad and a Cobb Salad would make be my first choices to make in my mason ...

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DK Mason Jar Salad 1If you haven’t tried this yet … jump on board! We are a total convert to prepping salads this way. When I finally took the plunge and tried it, I was still very skeptical.

I decided that a Tuscan Salad and a Cobb Salad would make be my first choices to make in my mason jars.

I decided to make 4 mason jar salads in quart jars. That would be two meals ready to go for each of us. Or as I found out a 1-quart wide mouth jar could be two side salads for a meal.

Vic’s main comment about any salad anywhere especially in a restaurant is “this would be better if it was served on cold on a cold plate”. So needless to say he loves the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays. (No plug … just a fact in our life!)

Now we can add Mason Jar Salads to that short list. Ice cold salads to rave reviews. As you well know when you make a salad all the ingredients are out on the counter and get prepped. By the time you are done with all the ingredients and the salad is served … at room temperature.

With the Mason Jar Salad once you are done layering and closing the lid, it goes back in to the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it.   All the ingredients get re-chilled and stay fresh and crisp. Delish!

So shall we begin?

DK Mason Jar Salad 17First I prepped all the ingredients I decided to use. Then you start layering.

For the Tuscan Salad I gathered grape tomatoes, marinated artichoke salad, Kalmata Olives, red bell pepper, mozzarella balls, Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, Tuscan Turkey, baby spinach, romaine,

For the Cobb Salad I boiled some eggs and gathered blue cheese, white sharp cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, Tuscan chicken, baby spinach, romaine.

I used the same salad dressing for both of these salads. It’s a basic vinaigrette that we both love.

Because I had veggies to use, I also made a veggie salad with an avocado dressing. I gathered and prepped parsley, fresh basil, grated carrots, edamame salad, green onion, celery, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, baby spinach and romaine.

I love going to the olive bar, salad bar or deli to help with my ingredients.   My latest find is the Boars Head All Natural Tuscan Turkey. It is simply delish! I have them cut one slice in the #9 width. Then when I get home I will cube it.

Sometime the deli will have an edamame salad or an artichoke salad and I will get a small portion for one layer. If you don’t want to do that get a jar of marinated artichokes or artichoke hearts in water. You can fine edamame in the freezer section that are already shelled.

I also get nitrate free, antibiotic free bacon and dice it raw and then cook it. Easy crumbles. I will drain and put what I don’t use in the freezer. I can pull out what I want for scrambled eggs or future layered Mason Jar Salads.   So you only have one mess and multiple uses.

With all your ingredients prepped it’s time to layer.

Put your dressing in first. Don’t over pour it. You don’t want a drowned salad.

Then think about ingredient would love to ‘marinate’ in the dressing. Adding your ‘wetter’ ingredients next ending up with the greens on top.

Here is how I layered my Tuscan Salad: 

DK Mason Jar Salad 13

 

DK Mason Jar Salad 14Balsamic Dressing, Artichoke salad, diced red bell peppers (or diced roasted bell peppers), Kalamata olives, mozzarella balls (cut in half), Tuscan chicken (cubed), grated parmesan cheese, pine nuts, baby spinach, chopped romaine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is how I layered my Cobb Salad:

DK Mason Jar Salad 15DK Mason Jar Salad 06Dressing, grape tomatoes (halved), celery, diced red bell pepper, Tuscan Chicken (cubed), sliced or chopped boiled egg, bacon crumbles, white sharp cheddar cheese (cubed), blue cheese crumbles, baby spinach, romaine.

I will say that I was hesitant to add avocado to the jar. I didn’t want brown pieces so when I selected this salad to eat I added sliced avocado because I always have that healthy fat on hand.

 

Here is how I layered the Garden Salad:

DK Mason Jar Salad 12

DK Mason Jar Salad 16

Avocado dressing, grape tomatoes halved, quartered cucumbers, chopped celery, edamame salad, chopped parsley, grated carrots, baby spinach, chopped basil, romaine.

I will say that I wasn’t happy with this avocado dressing because it didn’t dress the salad as well as vinaigrette. Until I perfect a creamier dressing I will stick to my yummy vinaigrette.

Once the layering is complete, put the lid on and put in your refrigerator.

You now have a 1 minute meal at your fingertips!

 

DK Mason Jar Salad 19

 

When you remove the jar from the refrigerator, if you have made your vinaigrette with EVOO, it may have congealed a little bit.

Easy fix.

Put some warm water from the tap in a bowl just deep enough to set the Mason jar in the bowl with the dressing in the water to warm it up just a little bit.

Grab your plate.

Now tip the mason jar upside down and shake a little bit to dress your greens.

 

Remove lit and pour onto the plate. Done!

DK Mason Jar Salad 20

I have made mason salads several times.

The latest was with my son’s girlfriend Sarah. She loves salads and has a busy schedule as a real estate agent and a NFL cheerleader.  With late night practice she would come home hungry but didn’t want to eat a big meal. I shared my Mason Salad experiences.

So off to the store I went. However the grocery store didn’t have quart mason jars. So I decided to we could use pint size jars since she may only want a side salad. So I bought 12 wide mouth pint size jars and we’re off and running.

The next morning at 10 am we pulled all the salad ingredients out of the refrigerator. I had boiled the eggs the night before. Other than that we did everything that morning. Starting with dicing the bacon and cooking it while we prepped the remaining ingredients.

While Sarah loves all things veggies, Joseph was a little more specific. He wanted spinach, feta and chicken in his salad jar. So we made his version which mom (me) tweaked and two different versions for Sarah: the Tuscan Salad and a Cobb/Veggie Salad.

As Joseph walked by he said he like artichokes so I put that in first after his Greek dressing followed by a little red bell pepper, grated carrots (for some color), feta cheese, Tuscan turkey, bacon crumbles, baby spinach and butter lettuce blend.

I will say that I got a text later than night that he had eaten one jar as a late night snack and LOVED it.   He also wanted to know what that lettuce was. He was used to spinach only and that got a little boring. The combination of the spinach and the creamy butter lettuce blend was a nice compliment. See … Mom still knows a thing or two!

Anyway … we ended up with 6 salads for her and 2 salads for Joseph. Then because I had read on Pinterest that some people said they prepped then stored their lettuce in Mason Jars and they stayed crisp longer. We had extra jars and a little extra kale and spinach so we decided to try storing them in 2 of the pint jars.

So here is the best news.

Remember I said we started pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator at 10am. We were done and cleaning up at 10:30! That is what I call nothing short of amazing. Granted there were two of us chopping and layering. But in less than an hour you (on your own) can have 8 pint salads ready to go and literally have a 1 minute meal when you want it.

When you have food or a meal that you can reach for quickly you will eat healthier.  Invest a little time up front so you can reach in the refrigerator and select a jar and in less than a minute you have an ice-cold salad on your plate and ready to eat.

Oh yes … Sarah loved coming home from practice to a healthy quick salad waiting for her.  I have a feeling she will continue making Mason Jar Salads.

Oh … the mason jar salads will last at least 6 days.  That is when we ate the last one and it was still crisp and fresh.  😉

You nutritional information will be based on what you put into it.  Make sure you have a good balance of fiber, healthy fat and protein.

DK Mason Jar Salad 17

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Almost Potato Salad https://diabetickitchen.com/almost-potato-salad/ https://diabetickitchen.com/almost-potato-salad/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 00:30:56 +0000 http://www.diabetickitchen.com/?p=1453

No potato?  No problem!  Just wait till you try this.  It’s perfect as your BBQ side. I was skeptical if it would work. But you will never miss potato salad again! When my guest knows potatoes are rarely if ever on the menu and they walk in for July 4th lunch and said, “Oh, we have ...

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No potato?  No problem!  Just wait till you try this.  It’s perfect as your BBQ side. I was skeptical if it would work. But you will never miss potato salad again!

When my guest knows potatoes are rarely if ever on the menu and they walk in for July 4th lunch and said, “Oh, we have potato salad?”,  you know it passes the vision test!   Check!   After the first bite Tori remarked,  “It’s just like potato salad.  yum, it tastes like fourth of July.”  So it passes the taste test too!  Check!

… and Vic’s smoked ribs were kinda awesome!

Almost_potato-salad2a

ALMOST POTATO SALAD
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups cauliflower, (approximately 1 med/large head)
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped (8 small/medium)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • ½ leek,chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Paprika, for garnish
  • Fresh chives, chopped, for garnish
METHOD
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile chop the large cauliflower into small pieces. When water comes to a boil place the cauliflower into the pot.
  2. Cook until tender, approximately 6-8 minutes. When tender, drain and immerse in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. When cool, drain again, place on towel and pat dry. If you don’t you will have a very watery salad. I know this from experience!
  3. In a bowl combine all the ingredients except for the paprika and chives. Add the dry cauliflower and mix gently. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste. If you like more mustard, add it.
  4. Place in refrigerator to chill for an hour. Before serving sprinkle with the paprika and the chives.
DK NOTES
You can steam the cauliflower but it will have more of a cauliflower taste as it seals the flavor in instead of washing away the flavor and of course some of the nutrients! Your choice.

I cut each stalk of celery into 3 to 4 long strips and then cut all of them together into little dices.

I cut the leek in half after I cut the green top off. Then I cut that piece into thirds and then cut the thirds together into small pieces.

If you have garlic chives in your garden use those for garnish and add a teaspoon in the salad too.

You can use regular paprika or smoked paprika. Your choice.


NUTRITIONAL INFO

Calories 159 |Fat 13g |Carbs 4g |Fiber 2g |Protein 6g
 

Almost_Potato_Salad_aa

 

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MamaLisa’s Coleslaw https://diabetickitchen.com/mamalisas-coleslaw/ https://diabetickitchen.com/mamalisas-coleslaw/#comments Sat, 01 Mar 2014 07:57:19 +0000 http://www.diabetickitchen.com/?p=1197

Tired of the typical Coleslaw? Then you will love this one. There hasn’t been one time that I have made it that someone commented on how great it tastes and wanted the recipe. It’s always a side for any BBQ, but can be enjoyed with other dishes too. MamaLisa's Coleslaw   Save Print Prep time ...

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Tired of the typical Coleslaw?

Then you will love this one. There hasn’t been one time that I have made it that someone commented on how great it tastes and wanted the recipe. It’s always a side for any BBQ, but can be enjoyed with other dishes too.

MamaLisa's Coleslaw
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag shredded COLESLAW MIX
  • 1 RED BELL PEPPER, sliced thin and diced
  • 4 GREEN ONIONS, chopped (white and green)
  • ¼ cup CILANTRO, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 TBL PARSLEY, chopped

  • DRESSING::
  • ½ cup GREEK YOGURT, full fat
  • ¼ cup MAYONNAISE
  • ¼ cup APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
  • 1 tablespoon ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEY
  • 2 teaspoons CELERY SEEDS
  • ½ teaspoon SALT
  • ¼ teaspoon PEPPER
METHOD
  1. Place Coleslaw in large bowl. Slice and dice the red bell pepper. Rinse and chop cilantro and parsley. Add all ingredients to the coleslaw mix.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, celery seeds, salt and pepper. Taste and make adjustments with the honey if needed. Sometimes I add 1 more teaspoon.
  3. Add dressing to coleslaw mixture and toss to coat. Serve now or place back in the refrigerator to chill all ingredients until you are ready to serve.
  4. Yield 8 (1/2 cup servings)
DK NOTES
You can adjust the dressing to your own taste. I use honey because I like the flavor the orange blossom honey gives. This is not the normal very sweet coleslaw. You can use liquid stevia as well. Just do a couple drops at a time until you get the sweetness you want. Better less than more! Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO
Calories 77 |Fat 6g |Carbs 5g |Fiber 1g |Sugar 3g
 

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