Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mason Jar Salads and More book giveaway

During the busy back-to-school time, don't forget to pack yourself a healthy lunch. Julia Mirabella's new book about grab-and-go layered lunches in Mason jars can help -- and you can win a copy.

Win a copy of Mason Jar Salads and More


Unless you've been living under a very large rock on the South Pole, you know it's back-to-school time.

And you don't know that simply because the calendar page flipped to September: You know it because it's being crammed down your throat everywhere you look, whether you have school-aged children or not. Major retailers have been working hard since practically July to sell you oodles of backpacks, lunch bags, plaid skirts and Number 2 pencils.

(Is there even such a thing as a Number 1 pencil? I imagine it being all uppity, like "I'm Number 1! I'm Number 1!" What a prick.)

And yes, I realize I'm dating myself with the calendar page and pencil references. Should have been an iPad reference, I guess. Whatevs: I'm still pretty analog.

Food bloggers are also guilty of riding on the coattails of the back-to-school fever. Packable snacks, cutesy lunchbox options and "kid food" boards are popping up all over Pinterest.

(Don't get me started on "kid food." Really, if I get started, I'll get all ranty and won't be able to stop.)

But while we're all focused on getting the wee ones back to school with the right supplies and a good lunch, we may have forgotten about ourselves. At least in the lunch department.

Bringing your lunch to work is a great way to reduce your dependency on fast food, processed food or other less-than-healthy food options -- and you know that helping you do that is pretty much The Ninj's raison d'etre. So put down that nasty-ass frozen Lean Cuisine because The Ninj wants to talk about a better, healthier lunch option that is still yummy and portable: Mason jar salads.

Win a copy of Mason Jar Salads and More
Photo courtesy of Julia Mirabella and Ulysses Press

The cool people at Ulysses Press were kind enough to offer me a copy of Julia Mirabella's fun new book Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go (clearly they knew that I'm practically a canning jar hoarder and use them for freakin' everything).

ERMERGAHD: I love this! It almost makes me want to take another corporate job so I can bring my lunch to work in canning jars.

Yeah, almost.

And while the salad-in-a-jar may seem like a simple concept -- as in "why-do-I-need-a-book-for-that" simple -- Julia's book is valuable because it provides not only great salad and dressing recipe combination ideas to ensure you don't get bored, it also offers lots of tips and tricks for ensuring that making your carefully layered salad isn't too time-consuming and that the salad itself doesn't get soggy or pathetic before you're ready to eat it. (Guess what? You can make a whole week's worth of salads in advance and just grab 'em go on your way out the door!)

OOOH! And I don't want to forget to mention the "And More" part of the book title! In addition to salads, Julia includes recipes for things like smoothies, oatmeal and pasta dishes ... all in canning jars, which can be toted with you to work, to school or wherever you're headed.

(I was also more than a little excited to find out that, while Julia now lives in Washington DC, her old stomping grounds were in Louisville, Kentucky -- which are now my new stomping grounds!)

Now, here's the good news: I liked this book so much that I asked the folks at Ulysses Press to give one away to my readers.

Win a copy of Mason Jar Salads and More
Photo courtesy of Julia Mirabella and Ulysses Press

To enter, use the giveaway widget below -- you must at least leave a comment below. And YAY for my Canadians readers: This giveaway is open to both U.S. and Canadian residents!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Details
The giveaway runs until midnight on Sunday, September 7, 2014 and is open to residents of the United States and Canada. One winner will be chosen at random. Winner should  allow up to 30 days for prize fulfillment from the book publisher.


24 comments:

  1. I love using mason jars as glasses for a nice country feel or as a centerpiece. Of course I also love them for canning!

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    1. I have some vintage blue ones from my grandmother, Amanda, that make GORGEOUS vases for flowers!

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  2. I'm even drinking my water today from a mason jar!

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    1. Have you seen all the cute drinking tops they make for them now, Kristin?!

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    2. I saw them for the first time at the store the other day when I went for some regular mason jar lids.

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  3. I use mason jars for canning, storing herbs and dehydrated foods, rice, pastas, etc. I prefer them to plastic storage, for sure!

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  4. Aside from the usual canning purposes, we've been using jars here for drinking - for some reason, the kids prefer them to regular glasses. Mmmmkay! I also love the 24 oz wide mouth size, I use it with reCap tops for things like simple syrup, salad dressings. Our hand blender fits in it perfectly, so we blend stuff right in the jar itself. Love 'em!

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  5. I make salsa and store it in them

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  6. I love anything that you can put in a mason jar!

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  7. All of my spices are stored in mason jars!

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  8. I like using them to store everyday items (office supplies, spices, breakfast yogurt parfaits..) but would LOOOOOOVE to extend my use into daily tasty lunches. Both stylish and practical. What more could you ask for?? :)

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  9. Mason jars rock. They are my drinking glasses, vases, general holders, as well as food storage and canning!

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  10. I've been canning lately, but we've always got mason jars in the cupboard holding nuts, grains & pancake mix. I just started making my own yogurt, so it's handing to do that in mason jars so it can get capped and go straight into the fridge. I've got a handful of jars in my craft space to hold all manner of things (three quart jars alone to hold all my buttons! another two for colored pencils). I'm starting to ferment in them. And of course we freeze tons of stuff in them.

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    1. I use my mason jars for making my own yogurt too!

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  11. Ooooo how cool! I have seen a few of these mason jar salads and have always been super intrigued by them. I love using mason jars for homemade condiments :)

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  12. I use mason jars mostly for canning. I also found that I can use a mason jar to replace a broken hallway light globe, it will screw right on the socket for a country look. I also store garden seeds in them, drink from them, and use the green color for candle holders. They are so pretty when lit at night. I like to put candy in them, too.

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  13. I use them for all kinds of things -- my favorite is to put an infustion lid on them and have fruit infused drinks!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  14. Love using my mason jars to transport lunch to work. No more plastic!

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  15. Leftovers and storing different nuts

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  16. This would be good for my shift work too!

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  17. Canning and storing rice and macaroni etc. in them!

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  18. I love using mason jars in the kitchen for storage and also as glassware. I also like to decorate mason jars and use them as store items for the home as well like candies and pencils.

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