A Happy Lunch to Go in a Mason Jar

"Mason Jar Salads" by Julia Mirabella

The minister of my church once asked all the lawyers present to stand up. Nobody stood. “They’re all working. I should know, because I know the lawyers who are members of this church,” the minister reasoned. As an attorney, Julia Mirabella finds time to write a food blog at between long hours at the office analyzing data on computer screens and reading mile-high stacks of documents and forms.

While wisely managing time, Mirabella discovered the art of fine dining in a mason jar. To save time and money during the weekdays, she would concurrently pack several lunches in jars during the weekend. Once she mastered the technique of layering ingredients (such as placing vinaigrette at the bottom of the jars to avoid soggy salad leaves), she wrote a cookbook, Mason Jar Salads.

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Spinach Fettuccine with Basil Pesto Shrimp

The weather is cooler, but there’s still plenty of green vegetables everywhere, especially summer squash, arugula and basil. Fresh spinach fettuccine pasta (find it at an Italian store or use dry pasta) is tossed with shaved zucchini, basil pesto shrimp and baby arugula. It’s a pasta dish for enjoying the last of summer’s vibrant vegetables. Read more

Vegetable Chicken Soup with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

This week, being conscious of our expanding diets, I visited the farmers’ market to pick up carrots, leeks, fingerling potatoes, zucchini and basil. The local grocery store yielded a few out of season tomatoes. The taste will probably be pale, but I’ll add a bit of balsamic vinegar to sweeten them back to their sweet destiny. I’ve been consciously avoiding starches and sugar; justifying my consummation of a cornucopia worth of food. Below is a recipe for Veggie Chicken soup. It’s light and tasty until heavy Thursday arrives.

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