Food for Thought: Packing the perfect Mason jar salad

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EASY RECIPE 

Popsugar.com recently shared the four steps to a perfect Mason jar salad: 

1. Add the dressing. Start with 3 to 4 tablespoons of salad dressing for a quart jar, or 2 tablespoons for a pint jar. 

2. Add the base layer. This should include ingredients that don’t soak up dressing, like carrots, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas or chickpeas. 

3. Continue layering. Pack the layers as tightly as possible. 

4. Top with greens and cheese. The greens create a moisture barrier to keep the salad from getting soggy. Add cheese and/or nuts last. 

Twist on the top and keep the jar in the refrigerator. If you are including a protein like chicken, add it on top of the greens on the day you’re eating the salad. To eat, pour the ingredients out into a bowl and toss.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Kids and healthy eating 

Understanding your own views on food will help you raise a child with a healthy attitude about food and body image, according to "The Gentle Eating Book" by Sarah Ockwell-Smith. Some tips:

1. Trust children to eat instinctively. 

2. Set a good example. 

3. Don’t diet in front of your kids. 

4. Don’t reward kids for eating anything. 

5. Don’t restrict food.

HEART HEALTH 

Follow these tips to keep your heart healthy

1. Be careful of what you snack on between meals. High-fat and high-sugar snacks are popular, but ultimately unhealthy. Opt for fresh instead of processed and choose fresh fruits and vegetables for your snacks between meals. 

2. Don’t just drink the drink. Your beverage choices could add unnecessary fats and sugar to your diet, so choose low-sugar and no-sugar alternatives as well as low-fat milk or cream for your coffee. This way you’ll avoid drinking empty calories. 

3. Avoid ordering before-the-meal extras. Cocktails, appetizers, even bread and butter are all sources of extra fat, sodium and calories. Cut them out and your calorie intake will drop — and so will your bill.

RECIPE

Multipurpose Shaved Vegetable Salad 

Restaurants will be serving more lotus root this year, according to www.bonappetit.com. The following recipe from Bon Appetit highlights the versatile vegetable. 

Recipe

12 cups shaved crunchy raw vegetables (such as cauliflower, fennel, turnips, lotus root, radishes or beets) 

1 cup mint leaves, torn if large 

2 lemons 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper 

Place vegetables in a large bowl. Add mint and finely grated lemon zest. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice into bowl. Drizzle in oil and vinegar; season salad with lots of salt and pepper. 

Toss to coat. Vegetables can be shaved 6 hours ahead. Just submerge in a bowl of ice water to chill. Then drain and pat dry before using.