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"Mason Jar Meals – Tips and Recipe," by Kate Towell

Mason jar meals are the perfect solution to make portable, inexpensive, perfectly portion-controlled meals in no time at all. Photo courtesy of Kate Towell.
Mason jar meals are the perfect solution to make portable, inexpensive, perfectly portion-controlled meals in no time at all. Photo courtesy of Kate Towell.

The following article is being reproduced with permission of its author, Kate Towell. Kate is a holistic wellness counselor who supports individuals to create the balanced, vibrant life they imagine.

One of the most asked questions I receive is: How do you make healthy meals convenient and portable?

Like me, my clients have busy lives and need simple, healthy and portable food options. Enter meals in a jar.

Thanks to social media they’ve become super popular and you’ve likely seen them all over the Internet, in magazines and on your co-workers’ desks at lunch.

Mason jar meals have quickly become popular because they are the perfect solution to make portable, inexpensive, perfectly portion-controlled meals in no time at all.

Meals in a jar can be made up to a week in advance, are a much cheaper and healthier option to eating out, and with the variety of meal possibilities you’ll never get tired of exploring recipes.

Tips for Mason Jar Meal Prep

  • Pick a Jar – Generally mason jars are affordable and easy to find. I use the 32 oz., quart size jar for individual servings of lunch or dinner, and I use 16oz jars for my on-the-go breakfast meals.
  • Start with Dressing – Place a few tablespoons of your favorite dressing on the bottom of the jar or I often opt for dressing on the side.
  • Roots on the Bottom – Pack the drier, harder more resilient veggies or fruits on the bottom of the jar. Root vegetables, potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers and dried fruits make a sturdy bottom layer.
  • Beans, Grains or Pasta – Cooked grains or pasta, beans or chickpeas are ideally placed next.
  • Protein – If you are adding animal-based protein add this layer 24hrs before or the day you are going to consume the meal. Chicken, smoked salmon or hard boiled eggs can be stacked here.
  • Greens. Greens. Greens – Now is the time to pile on the greens. Spinach, kale, chard or shredded cabbage. Load up this layer with your favorites.
  • Toppers – Nuts, seeds, berries, cheese and sprouts all make great final additions to your meal in a jar.

Recipe Zucchini Noodle Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing
adapted from http://inspiralized.com/mason-jar-zucchini-noodle-salads/

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 4 leaves Thai basil

For the rest:

  • 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp minced cilantro
  • 1.5 tsp coconut flakes
  • 3 asparagus stalks, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1 medium zucchini, spiralized or cut in thin slices
  • 2 scallion stalks, diced
  • 1/4 cup cubed feta

Preparation:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender or food processor. I use my Vitamix. Pulse until creamy. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the quinoa, cilantro and coconut flakes. Toss to combine and set aside.
  • Bring a small saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Then, add in the asparagus. One minute later, add in the peas. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and drain, cool and set aside.
  • Assemble your mason jar salad. First, put in dressing. Second, the zucchini noodles. Then, the quinoa. Then, the asparagus and peas. Next, top with scallions and the feta. Put the lid on the mason jar and refrigerate for later use.

Experiment and enjoy!

Wishing you Vibrant Living,

Kate

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