Packing your lunch for work can help ensure that the food you eat is both healthy and cost-efficient. Mason jar meals are portable and easy to prepare, and they’re perfect for any time of the day! Below, we learn how to make these delicious and nutritious make-ahead meals that are ready to grab-and-go when you are! We encourage you to get creative layering, mixing and matching fresh fruits, veggies and grains. As you’ll see, many of these recipes are not vegan — we’d love to hear your ideas on how to alter them so that they’re more plant-based.
By Kissairis Munoz -
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.
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!
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.
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.
With this basic recipe, you can wake up to a delicious breakfast with a good amount of protein in a different flavor every day! Try raspberry vanilla for a dose of fiber, blueberry maple for anti-inflammatory anthocyanins to protect against cancer and heart disease, ormango almond for a kick of immune-boosting vitamin C.
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!
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!
8. 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.
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.
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.
11. 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 — or try adding vegetables or other sauces. While the recipe uses homemade pasta dough, you can totally try wonton wrappers or cooked packaged noodles.
Originally posted on Greatist.com.
-Art via Lauren Conrad