Mason jar meals can keep you away from the vending machine and the fast food lines for lunch. Prepare them over the weekend in bulk to guarantee that you eat well all week long.
Make sure to wait until the last minute to add condiments and delicate ingredients for your mason jar meals. Also, when layering your mason jar meals, heavier and wetter additions should be placed toward the bottom of the jar. And what may seem like an obvious word of caution, do make sure to use cooked ingredient where appropriate. For example, use cooked chicken breast and not raw chicken in your mason jar meals!
Here are some ideas for easy mason jar meals to get you started on eating healthier.
Ideas for Mason Jar Meals That Are Perfect for Lunch
- Salad in a Jar - Salad is by far the most common lunchtime meal in the jar, but the key to make it new is to get creative with the ingredients. Step outside the routine of romaine lettuce and grape tomatoes and try some powerhouse ingredients like harissa (a Middle-Eastern spicy pepper paste), cubed mango, baby bok choy, or whatever you find at the market that inspires your taste buds.
- Noodle Bowl Soup in a Jar - Instead of buying those Styrofoam cups of noodles, make your own. Add cubed tofu, your noodles of choice (like cooked rice noodles, cooked black bean noodles, or raw zucchini noodles), scallions, thinly sliced carrots, bouillon (or miso paste), sesame oil, soy sauce and whatever else strikes your fancy to a mason jar. When ready to eat, simply pour hot water into the jar (or place all contents into a bowl) and allow to set for 5-10 minutes and enjoy.
- Global Grain Bowl in a Jar - The beauty of a global grain bowl is that there are very few rules. Eat quinoa, arugula, beets, goat cheese, and raisins one day and the next day mix basmati rice, lentils, golden sauerkraut, butternut squash, and pistachios. The key is getting the right balance between your grain, protein, fresh ingredients, and fats. Experiment to find out what ratio and mixtures works for you.
- Rice and Beans in a Jar - Rice and beans is the ultimate comfort food. It’s an easy meal to make, it's inexpensive, and it’s tasty as heck. Simply layer cooked rice with your cooked beans of choice (seasoned with spices like cumin, garlic, chili powder) and top with your favorite condiments like Greek yogurt, salsa, and fresh avocado.
- Caprese Pasta in a Jar - Who doesn’t love a Caprese salad? Turn it into a more substantial meal by adding some pasta. Layer your cooked pasta of choice (like rigatoni or orecchiette), ciglione mozzarella (mozzarella that is in the shape of little balls), cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh spinach, and a little pesto for a filling lunchtime meal.
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