Mason Jar Lunches

Mason Jar Lunches - A salad in a jar - perfect for lunches - healthy for the whole family.

Is it time to try Mason Jar Lunches? Do you and your family get tired of the same old, same old sandwiches for lunch every day. Move up to Mason Jar meals!

These are so easy to throw together  that you can make enough for everybody's lunch in the evening - and make one for yourself to take to work at the same time. The great thing is even the kids will want to help so they can choose their own ingredients plus you can use up any leftovers from dinner.

Do you need a list of ingredients? Probably not, since you can use whatever you prefer and change things around as you want. This is a great way to use up leftovers, too.

But here are the instructions.

1. In a clean mason jar (I usually use a quart jar but if you prefer just a small salad then use a pint jar), first, put your salad dressing of choice on the bottom.

Just a quick Best Pennywise Tip here. You want to keep the salad dressing away from the lighter, more fragile veggies, like lettuce or sprouts, or they will just go all mushy. So you are thinking, in general,

  • dressing on the bottom
  • lettuce on the top
  • firm, heavier ingredients in between.

Got that? It's really the only rule - besides keeping your Mason Jar Lunch refrigerated.

2. Back to the mason jar - after the dressing, layer in your choice of vegetables like chopped cabbage, shredded or julienned carrots, even fresh green peas and pea pods.  These are the tougher, less fragile, heavier vegetables.

Add chopped celery, chopped tomatoes, olives, chick peas (I like to put them on the bottom right in the dressing myself), chopped cucumber

3. Finish off with rice, pasta, crumbled or grated cheese and lettuce on top.

4. Refrigerate overnight, carry in a small cooler or insulated lunch bag with a small ice pack, then refrigerate at work if possible.


Lots of Choices - enough to keep everyone happy

Select from some of these choices to create your Mason Jar Lunch:

chopped cabbage,
shredded or julienned carrots,even
fresh green peas and pea pods. 
chopped celery,
chopped onions,
cooked and chilled fresh corn or drained canned corn niblets,
chopped tomatoes,
chopped cucumber
chopped sweet peppers
button mushrooms
avocado slices – toss in lemon or lime juice to prevent browning
olives
Beans and Lentils – drained and rinsed

  • chick peas (I like to put them on the bottom right in the dressing),
  • red kidney beans
  • black beans
  • white beans, and more

Leftovers, like cold cooked:

  • couscous
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • pasta

Cold Meats:

  • roasted chicken
  • tuna
  • shrimp
  • crab meat
  • taco meat

Dried cranberries, gogi berries or raisins
Chia, flax or sesame seeds
Lettuce of your choice, spinach, kale, parsley, etc
Cheese – just choose whatever cheese you think would go nicely with your salad.

  • chunky feta,
  • crumbled blue cheese
  • grated cheddar


And, of course, vary your salad dressing to go with your ingredients!

These are just some suggestions to get you started.

More Tips:

These are SO beautiful to look at just the way they are but you might want to tie a cloth napkin around them, too. If you fold the napkin in half with the fold at the bottom and hold it in place with a tie, you can tuck in your fork so everything you need is right in one place.

Did I mention that your can add fruit, too.

Okay, okay, too many choices!

But one very delicious Mason Jar Lunch.

Enjoy!

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