Like Hansel, mason jar meals are so hot right now.
Did you get that reference?! If not, here you go.
Mason jar meals are great, because they’re not only easy to prepare, they’re easy to store – they fit nicely in your refrigerator, you can shove them in your purse (or murse, if you’re a guy) and they’re a cinch to clean up – hello dishwasher!
Mason jar meals aren’t just for salads, which is probably the most popular type. Speaking of, Buzzfeed, if you’re reading this – include me in your next roundup!
Ha. People who work in corporate environments or those of us who are always on the go, mason jar meals are life savers.
Even though I work from home, there are definitely those days when I’m rushing around doing errands, having meetings and focusing on the blog and then I look up and it’s 6pm and Lu’s on his way home and I haven’t even thought about dinner.
Enter: the mason jar.
Basically, you pour the meal out into a mixing bowl, toss it around to combine all the flavors and disperse the sauce/dressing and voila: dinner!
You can make warm mason jar meals or salads. Today, we’re doing a raw zucchini noodle with a sundried tomato pesto.
If you’re home and want to heat this up instead of serving it cold, go ahead! Just first cook the zucchini noodles in a skillet for 3-5 minutes and then toss in a bowl with the sundried tomato pesto. Heat the rest of the ingredients up in a skillet (or a microwave, if you must) and voila – a warm, comforting meal in minutes!
I love sundried tomato pesto because it’s so chunky – I could literally eat it with a spoon, like I mentioned yesterday.
If you’d like to lower the calorie count of this meal, ditch the feta cheese and replace a tablespoon or two of the olive oil with water when making the pesto.
Otherwise, this meal is a home run – and both lunch and dinner appropriate!
One note when making mason jar meals iwth zucchini noodles – separate the sauce from the noodle, because the zucchini will release moisture as it sits in the refrigerator and thin out the sauce/dressing and make an overall mess!
Update: I recommend 64oz (half gallon) mason jars! Click here to buy the one you see in this post!
What’s your favorite type of mason jar meal?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
- For the salad:
- 1 large zucchini, Blade C, noodles trimmed
- ¼ cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
- 2 packed cups baby spinach
- ¾ cup canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ small red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- For the pesto:
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste (about 5 cranks of a salt grinder)
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Place all of the ingredients for the pesto into a food processor and pulse until creamy. Taste and adjust to your preference. If it’s not creamy enough, you can add some water or more oil.
- If eating same-day: Toss the zucchini noodles in a medium mixing bowl with the pesto. Top, in this order, with artichoke hearts, red onion, chickpeas, olives, feta cheese and finally the spinach. Refrigerate for later use. To serve, pour into a bowl and toss together.
- If letting sit overnight or more than 24 hours: in the bottom of the mason jar, add in the pesto. Top, in this order, with: artichoke hearts, red onion, chickpeas, spinach, olives, feta cheese and finally, the zucchini noodles. Refrigerate for future use. To serve, pour into a bowl and toss together.