Make yourself or your sweetie lunch for a week by layering healthy food in mason jars. Cooking ahead can help you stick to your diet or your budget. It also helps you feed your loved ones when you have to be away. I came up with this idea when I was traveling a lot and had to leave my Taster to fend for himself between basketball games.
Add food in the reverse order you want to see in on the plate. I tuck an orange-peel heart, beet star, or another surprise on top to serve as a little mid-day Valentine. The jar for the first day has raw salad on top, which he can set aside before heating up the plate. The other days are even easier: dump the jar on a plate, heat, and eat.
I love that there is no plastic involved and that they look so comforting in the fridge. These would be great brown-bagging lunches for work or school, too.
Cook for Good supporting members can learn more about what my Meredith College intern Callene Ryan named Power Jars in the Supporters’ Recipe Library. She and her children came up with some fun and tasty ideas.
- 2.5 cups cooked beans
- 2.5 cups diced tomatoes
- 2.5 cups orange or green vegetables
- 2.5 cups cooked grains or baked sweet potatoes
- 2.5 cups lettuce or lightly steamed cabbage optional
- Set out as many clean mason jars as you need. In each jar, Layer 1/2 cup each of cooked beans, diced tomatoes, orange or green vegetables, and cooked grains or sweet potatoes. Add lettuce or lightly steamed cabbage if you want. Here, you'll see I used steamed carrots and kale with spring onions. For grains, try brown rice, quinoa, or barley.
- Top with a surprise if you want, like this heart made from candied orange peels. Refrigerate or keep cold until ready to serve, for up to a week. Then open a jar and turn it upside-down over a plate, so the grains or potatoes are on the bottom and the beans on top. Microwave for three or four minutes if desired. Eat hot or chilled.