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Saturday, April 25, 2015

27 Healthy and Portable Mason Jar Meals | Greatist

27 Healthy and Portable Mason Jar Meals | Greatist:

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Only a few years ago, mason jars were pretty much strictly for canning. Now, most likely thanks to social media, they’re as trendy asgreen juice and coconut oil. Sure, they can house wedding centerpieces and tiki torches, but even better: They make portable, portion-control meals a cinch—some don’t even need a second of cooking! Plus, hello food porn! Who knew salads looked even more appetizing stacked?
But don't worry if you don’t feel like you #nailedit on the presentation. Taste buds know that it’s what inside that counts, and these recipes are sure to please.


1. Blueberry and Grilled Peach Quinoa Parfait

This beaut calls for grilled peaches to up the sweet ante, though fresh work just as well in a time-crunch. Layered with nutty quinoa, creamy Greek yogurt, crunchy pecans, and soft blueberries and drizzled with maple syrup, it’s a symphony of textures so delicious we’d make it for dessert too.

2. Bacon and Eggs in a Jar

Mason jar breakfasts aren’t all layered parfaits, oats, and chia seeds. Hearty combinations like this one work just as well, making eggs portable without putting them on an English muffin or bagel. Instead, toss in a jar with bacon, spinach, and cheese, and nuke in the microwave for a speedy, healthy meal.

3. Salted Turtle Overnight Oats

Turtle chocolate lovers, this one’s for you. If you’re not familiar with the sweet, it’s a delightful combo of chocolate, caramel, and pecans mixed together. This a.m. meal keeps it healthy with medjool dates as a surprisingly perfect stand-in for caramel, plus cocoa powder, unsweetened almond milk, oats, and of course the pecans. Decadent and delish!

4. Blueberry Pancake in a Jar

That’s right—flapjacks to go! Made with real ingredients rather than prepackaged mix and vegan (or not, if you desire), this version cooks in the microwave and is all the light, fluffy, fruity goodness you expect off the griddle. Plus the jar makes for easy portion control since a stack of pancakes can go down pretty easy.

5. Breakfast Jar Parfait

Gotta love a recipe that doesn’t require cooking. Oats and chia seeds soak up milk, vanilla, and cinnamon overnight to make a thick pudding-like treat. Alternated with Greek yogurt, berries, and peanut butter and topped with granola come morning, this nutritious meal takes just minutes to put together and is perfectly portable. Take that, Mickey D’s.

6. Oven-Baked Egg and Vegetable Cups

Who you callin’ half pint? This meal comes in a smaller container but still packs satisfaction from egg’s protein. Asparagus may help ease a hangover, so consider making these before a big night, then warm one up once you finally crawl out of bed.

7. Granola Breakfast in a Mason Jar

Can’t go wrong with the classic: fruit, yogurt (try goat yogurt, which has less sugar than yogurt make from cow’s milk), granola (we recommend homemade to control the sugar), and bananas. Mixprotein powder into the yogurt for extra flavor, and switch up the other ingredients based on what’s in season and what you want!

8. Overnight, No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal

With this basic recipe, you can wake up to a delicious breakfast with a good amount of protein in a different flavor every day! Tryraspberry vanilla for a dose of fiber, blueberry maple for anti-inflammatory anthocyanins to protect against cancer and heart disease, or mango almond for a kick of immune-boosting vitamin C.

9. Mason Jar Breakfast Casserole

Despite the slew of oat recipes out there, morning mason jar options for Paleo eaters do exist. This one takes a hash of sausage, sweet potatoes, onions, and eggs scrambled with coconut milk—a source of appetite-suppressing medium-chain fatty acids—and bakes everything in the jars. Make a few and have breakfast set for the week.

10. Choco-Banana Refrigerator Oatmeal

Waking up with chocolate is approved when it’s this healthy and balanced. Yet it’s so creamy and rich thanks to chia seeds, yogurt, and soaked oats, it tastes like a treat. Top with extra bananas, walnuts, and honey, and it’s ready to go.


11. Zucchini Pasta Salad With Avocado Spinach Dressing

Zucchini noodles with a Greek yogurt-avocado dressing—what’s not to like? Mixed with red bell pepper (which has more vitamin C than an orange), tomatoes (for lycopene), buttery edamame, crunchy celery, and salty feta and olives, if you’re not drooling yet, there’s something wrong with you!

12. Shrimp Feta Cobb Salad

With fewer calories, less fat, and the same amount of protein as ham, we’re not sure why we didn’t think to put shrimp in a cobb salad before. There’s still the cheese, egg, and bacon in this recipe, plus a variety of vegetables that can be adapted as you like.

13. Minty Chickpea Yogurt Parfaits

The breakfast fave takes a walk on the savory side in this recipe that’s loaded with flavor, texture, and nutrients. We’re talking chickpeas, raisins, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, walnuts, pistachios, and mint, with a Greek yogurt-based ranch dressing to bring everything together. Warning: This will inspire you to experiment with other fun ways to try savory yogurt!

14. Mango Black Bean Mason Jar Salad

There’s something about fruit in a salad that gives it an exotic feel, and this version is no exception. With mangos, avocados, black beans, corn, and quinoa, this colorful, fiber-packed salad has a Tex-Mex feel with a little added sweetness. The blogger describes it as “kick ass,” so be sure you put your name on it in the company fridge—you don’t want this stolen!

15. Creamy Citrus Chicken and Orzo Salad in a Jar

Rice-shaped orzo is actually pasta. This would make a nice picnic dish that’s lighter than traditional pasta salad yet hearty. The zesty orange-balsamic dressing—made creamy with Greek yogurt—goes beautifully with the grilled chicken and sweet roasted red pepper.

16. Asian Noodle Salad

The trick to great mason jar salads: Add the dressing first so it sits on the bottom and doesn’t get the other ingredients soggy. The peanut dressing here adds a nice kick to soba noodles (which are often gluten free but not always, so read labels), edamame for protein, and crunchy veggies. Best of all, this salad will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator.

17. Coconut-Lime Avocado Zucchini Noodle Salad With Quinoa, Peas, Asparagus, Scallions, and Feta

We’ve got a thing for zoodles, so naturally we fell for this portable recipe. The name seems long and intimidating, but it’s really not that many ingredients, and the Thai-inspired coconut-avocado-lime dressing is creamy, tangy, and addictive. Add quinoa, coconut, vegetables, and feta, and it’s a healthy dose of flava.

18. Caprese Salad in a Jar

Rather than layering fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil on a plate, put it in a jar! Bocconcini—fresh balls of the cheese—are perfect here, but thinly sliced mozz works too. Pour phytochemical-rich olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top, and mangia!

19. Greek Salad

What’s better than a Greek salad? An on-the-go Greek salad. Layer lettuce or another leafy green atop your favorite Greek dressing. Add chopped carrots, cukes, celery, and red onions. Top it all off with feta cheese, pine nuts, and olives and pretend you’re on the Mediterranean Sea.

Comfort Food

20. Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese

Just when you thought mason jars couldn’t get better, here comes mac and cheese. And if you love cheese as much as we do, you’ll appreciate how using a jar makes figuring out the proper serving size no worry! This version uses gluten-free noodles, but feel free to sub regular ones if you’re not sensitive.

21. Chicken Pot Pie

Why make a massive pot pie when you can make individual portions instead? Using store-bought pie crust and leftover chicken cuts down on prep time, plus these can be frozen to have on hand for nights when comfort food is all that will do. (Just be sure to let the jars come to room temp before placing them in the oven, otherwise the glass may break!)

22. Deconstructed Sushi

Get the taste of an avocado roll without needing Japanese chef-level skills with this deconstructed sushi jar. Anyone can handle alternating sushi rice (flavor with soy sauce so you don’t have to tote a bottle with you) with all the fixings—carrot, cucumber, avocado, nori, and pickled ginger. Don’t forget the wasabi!

23. Almost Instant Noodle Soup

Who needs Ramen (which has 52 percent of daily recommended max for sodium, plus half of its fat is saturated) when you can make a homemade version just as quickly? Assemble seasonings, rice noodles, and veggies—cabbage, spinach, bean sprouts, and watercress all work well—in a jar, then add hot water when lunch time comes.

24. Burrito Bowl

Eat your heart out, Chipotle, because now it’s easier than ever to make your own burrito bowl. Quinoa takes the place of rice and partners with chicken for a protein-filled meal, while Greek yogurt takes the spotlight from traditional sour cream. Add or subtract your favorite vegetables, though we love the unexpected addition ofsweet potato.

25. Lasagna in a Jar

Lasagna is delicious—but pretty impossible to cook for one. Mason jars to the rescue! Layer as many as need with noodles, pesto, cream sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, and tomato sauce (with meat, if desired)—or try adding vegetables or other sauces; it your mouth! While the recipe uses homemade pasta dough, you can totally cheat and try wonton wrappers or cooked packaged noodles.

26. Mason Jar Chicken Cordon Bleu

Get fancy with this chicken dinner. Thin sliced breasts are covered with smoked ham, and Swiss cheese and stuffed into a mason jar. A buttery panko topping turns crispy and golden in the oven as the cheese melts to perfection. The French may not approve of portable cordon bleu, but we do!

27. Shepherd’s Pie in a Jar

Another classic, feed-the-soul recipe turned into a portable, portion-controlled meal. Replace mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflowerfor a lighter dish, and add other vegetables like carrots, onion, and peas for more flavor and nutrients.
Note: Use caution (and oven mitts!) when baking with mason jars. After removing them from the oven, let cool completely before screwing on the lid, and refrigerate immediately.


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