You’ve seen it all over Pinterest – fresh, colourful, tasty and healthy these lunch-in-a-jar recipes are the best thing since sliced bread. Prep your lunch to take to work – or better yet, give them to the kids for school! 

With a rainbow palette and packed with freshness and nutrients, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t adopt the trend sooner.

Grab some mason jars from Ikea, K-Mart or Big W. Make sure they have lids! If there are smaller jars or mini-pots that look solidly leak proof, grab these to pair with the jars (excellent for dressing)

ALWAYS put the wettest ingredients at the bottom. This will make sure that it will keep well until lunch (you’ll have have to make sure to keep it upright when travelling to and from your destination)

1. Avocado-Greek Yoghurt Zucchini Salad

Blitz half an avocado with 1/4 cup of greek yoghurt. Add salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Place at the bottom of the jar. Then top with chopped mango, crumbled feta, tomato, kalamata olives, then grated or spiralized zucchini. Voila! Just shake up before consuming to make sure the dressing distributes well or keep in separate container.

2. Chickpea Paprika Pasta Salad

Mix together half a cup of cooked spiral pasta with tomato pesto. Add to the bottom of the jar and drizzle with a tsp of olive oil if it is dry. Toss a 1/4 cup of chickpeas in some paprika. Add some chopped cucumber, tomato and the paprika chickpeas, then top with a handful of spinach and some chopped mint.

3. Mexican Bean Salad

Layer into the jar 1/4 cup of canned chopped tomatoes, then season well and stir. Add finely chopped red onion, red kidney beans, corn, chopped avocado, grated cheddar cheese and spinach leaves.

4. Asian Peanut Noodle Salad

Make the dressing with a dash of soy sauce, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 cup hot water until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool before transferring into jar or dressing pot. Add into the jar 1/4 cup of cooked soba noodles, chopped red capsicum, grated carrot, chipped spring onion, and chopped cooked green beans. Delicious!

5. Roast Veggie Quinoa Salad

This one is perfect for roasting the vegetables in advance and keeping you sorted all throughout the week. Make the dressing using a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a little dried oregano. Place this one in a separate pot. Add to the jar layers of roasted onion, beetroot, carrot, sweet potato, then 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa, a few slices of fresh mozzarella, and then a layer of spinach leaves.

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