5 healthy plant-powered mason jar lunches to make this week

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Mason jar lunches are the latest trend. If you want delicious and Instragram-worthy midday pick-me-ups your coworkers will drool over in envy, read on.

These meals involve very little cooking, can be created quickly, and stay fresh all day. First off, get yourself some shiny glass mason jars with a tight fitting lid to avoid spills — the dollar store has a nice selection. These jars are portable, can control the amount of food you eat, and it’s always fun to see your yummy stacked ingredients through glass.

Tips:

  • Add the dressing first so your ingredients don’t become soggy
  • Then add your protein and grain of choice or heavier in weight ingredients
  • After that add the lighter fruits, veggies, or leafy greens
  • Your crunchy and savory toppings like nuts, hemp seeds, croutons, or dried fruit are the final ingredients in the jar
  • You can give your jar a good shake just before you are ready to eat

These five lunches are just a guideline. Don’t be afraid to be creative and DIY by adding in your favourite spices, herbs and dressings. Bon Appetite!

Monday – Cold pasta salad with fresh garden veggies

Bowtie Italian pasta will make your jar look super fancy, but any type of pasta will taste great. Semolina flour milled from durum wheat is high in protein, or try brown rice or quinoa pasta. Once the dressing (Balsamic vinaigrette goes well) and cooked pasta is in the jar, layer in snow peas, red peppers, green beans, artichokes and black olives. Toasted pine nuts top it off with a crunch.

Tuesday – Quinoa salad with dried cranberries and fresh fruit

This quinoa jar is deliciously layered with kale, carrots, sweet onion, dried cranberries, walnuts, and seasonal fruit on top. You can alternate a layer of cooked white quinoa followed by a layer of the other ingredients until the jar is full. Add spices and dressing according to taste. Raw Foodz (available at grocery stores) has mouthwatering raw, organic and vegan dressings such as Italian Idol and Ranch.

Wednesday – Layered garden salad with brown rice and chickpeas

Start by layering drained chickpeas (or your bean of choice), followed by cooked and cooled brown rice, mixed leafy greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, avocado (not too ripe) and your favourite herbs. Tahini and maple syrup dressing is a perfect match.

Thursday – Rice noodles with (ginger) tofu cubes and mixed veggies

This jar lunch doesn’t have to be layered. Create everything in a big bowl and simply empty the contents into the jar. Once the rice noodles are cooked and cooled, add in tofu cubes (baked or fried, depending on how healthy you want to be), baby corn, mushrooms and snow peas. If you like diced red onion and minced garlic they both add lots of flavour and go well here, so do diced cashews on top. Ginger dressing adds a tasty flavour.

Friday – Sweet potato with black beans

Black beans go in after the dressing. Then add two layers of roasted sweet potato cubes (cooked separately in a pan for 25 minutes with a dash of oil); a layer of your favourite greens such as spinach, field mix, or arugula. Layer in sliced cucumbers and red peppers. Sprinkle toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds on top and you are ready to go!

Feel free to add your favourite Mason jar lunches in the comments or by tweeting @YahooStyleCA.