Trending: One Jar Meals
Written by Cheyenne Watts | Reviewed by Laura Kahn MS, RDN, CDN
One of the greatest struggles to eating healthy is the lack of convenience. You work hard all day, hit the gym, and then head home for some much needed relaxation. As you start to sink deep into your couch with Netflix open on your lap, you realize, “I didn’t make lunch for tomorrow, [insert angry words here].”
Now, you have an adorable angel on one shoulder saying, “You can do this! Get up and cook some chicken breast and quinoa!” A little devil on your opposite should is snickering in your ear, “Wouldn’t McDonald’s be sooooo much easier? Just pick something up on your break! Sodium schmodium.”
And then your brain breaks up the argument, yelling, “Wait! I don’t want to do either of those things!” Plain, same-old protein, grains, and steamed vegetables are “healthy” but excruciatingly boring, and takeout is going to break all the good habits you’ve developed during your journey towards a healthier lifestyle. What are you to do? How in the world are you going to find a happy medium?
We have a solution! The latest and greatest trend: One Jar Meals! These perfectly portioned meals are travel friendly, aesthetically pleasing (so feel free to snap some photos for your latest Instagram post), and will save you loads of money. You can prepare, quite literally, any type of meal in a mason jar, from chili with cornbread topping to smoothies; from bacon and eggs to parfaits; and, our favorites, overnight oats and protein-packed salads!
Chilled Swiss Oatmeal
This healthy oatmeal will have you craving it all day, every day!
1 cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 2 splashes
½ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt (substitute soy, almond or coconut milk yogurt, if desired)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
½ cored Pink Lady apple, chopped into small pieces
½ teaspoon vanilla
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 tablespoon roasted almonds, chopped
Chia seeds, for sprinkling on top
Maple syrup, for drizzling on top
Place oats, milk, yogurt, cranberries, apple, banana, vanilla and cinnamon in medium-sized bowl. Cover and store in refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, add a splash or two of almond milk and stir. Portion out one serving into mason jar and sprinkle almonds, chia seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup over the top. Enjoy!
Thai Chopped Chicken Salad with Chili Vinaigrette
Never again will you find yourself standing in the around-the-block line at an overpriced make-your-own salad restaurant. This protein- and veggie-packed one jar meal can be prepared the night before, and your lettuce will never get soggy! Plus, the dressing is delicious and light, so you won’t feel heavy or sluggish after your lunch break.
Chopped lettuce (HOW MUCH?)
Spiced grilled chicken (use grill pan or BBQ grill)
1-2 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of sea salt
Spicy broccoli (sauté in pan)
½ cup broccoli
1 tablespoon chili paste
Mango and cabbage slaw (combine in bowl)
½ cup mango, sliced or cubed
½ cup cabbage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
½ cup grape tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil or sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chili paste
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Bottom: Chili vinaigrette
Roasted red peppers and tomatoes
Mango and cabbage slaw
Top: Chopped lettuce