Celebrate National Picnic Day with Mason Jar Salads

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The temps are rising and the leaves are unfolding in that lush Spring green. It won’t be long now and we’ll be in the thick of a beautiful Kansas summer, which means barbecues, iced tea, and cool summer salads. Weather-permitting, you can kick off those outdoor meals this Sunday on National Picnic Day. Grab your family, a blanket, and one of my Mason Jar Salad recipes to enjoy picnic-style!
This week in Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen we saw the winning submissions of the 67th annual Safety Poster Contest sponsored by Kansas Farm Bureau! Each year KFB gets hundreds of submissions from children all over the State promoting safety and common sense on the Farm. These three were the winners this year and will be showcased at the Kansas State Fair! Congratulations!
You can be a winner as the weather gets warmer, too, by practicing some outdoor FOOD safety! As I shared on WIBW, anytime you have a salad with a mayonnaise-based dressing it is helpful to nestle your salad bowl down in a larger bowl full of ice. This keeps the mayonnaise from spoiling and making your guests sick. Another good rule of thumb for outdoor feasting is cooked foods can sit out for two hours, but cool foods like salads and fruit should only stay out for one hour. Practicing food safety will not only keep you and your guests safe, it will also keep your snacks and salads tasting delicious!

Broccoli Apple Salad

4 cups small diced broccoli florets
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
1 cup walnuts
1 cup matchstick carrots, roughly chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 dried cranberries
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
pinch of kosher salt
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayo, vinegar, and  honey; season to taste with salt.
In a large bowl, toss together broccoli, apples, walnuts, carrots, raisins, cranberries and red onion. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing, tossing to coat. Serve at once.

Asian Greens Salad

3-4 Tbs. Honey Lime Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, diced
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or sub your favorite combo of any fresh greens)
1-2 Tbs. chopped scallions
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
1/2 cup edamame
1/4 cup crushed ramen noodles (no spice packet needed)

Place vinaigrette into the bottom of a quart-size canning jar; add remaining ingredients in the order listed above, topping the jar with the ramen noodles.  Seal jar tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.  To serve, unseal jar and invert to pour your ingredients into a serving bowl; toss to combine dressing with all ingredients.  Enjoy at once. Serves 1.

Honey Lime Vinaigrette
3 Tbs. oil
1 Tbs. honey
zest of 1 lime
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Greek Salad with Garbanzos and Feta

2-3 Tbs. Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup grape tomato halves
1/3 cup cucumber slices
2 Tbs. chopped red onion
1 Tbs. chopped scallions
3 Tbs. pitted black olive halves
3-4 Tbs. feta cheese crumbles
1 Tbs. chopped Italian parsley

Place dressing in the bottom of a pint canning jar; add garbanzo beans, then add layers of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, scallions, olives, feta, and parsley.  Seal and refrigerate till needed.  Serves 1.

Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 Tbs. good olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spinach, Blueberry and Corn Jar Salad

2 Tbs. Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe above)
1-2 Tbs. small dice red onion
1/2 cup cucumber slices
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup fresh blueberries
1-2 cups baby spinach
Place dressing into the bottom of a pint canning jar; top with red onion, cucumber, corn, blueberries and spinach, packing tightly.  Seal and refrigerate until needed.  Serves 1

Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

**This recipe was featured as part of Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen on WIBW 13 News, April 2017. Special thanks to the farmers and ranchers of the Kansas Farm Bureau for making this segment possible! For more information on the events shared in this segment, visit www.kfb.org!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. It may also contain “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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