One of my main goals for April has been to start making healthy, easy, and convenient mason jar meals ahead of time to eat lunch on the go.Mason jars are a godsend in the kitchen that are so often taken for granted. after all…

1.  Mason jars are clear glass and allow you to see and know exactly what is in them. 

2.  Mason jars are dishwasher safe.

3.  Mason jars are made of a thick tempered glass and can be heated, frozen, refrigerated, and stored in your pantry.

4.  Mason jars are not plastic, and will not stain like typical lunch containers.

5.  Mason jars are really inexpensive.

6.  Mason jars are re-usable. 

7.  Mason jars are stackable.

8.  Mason jars are super easy to label.

9.  Mason jars can be used to store SO many things…leftovers, overnight oats, smoothies, homemade yogurt, freezer jam, herbs, dried grains or beans, salad dressings, homemade syrups, pickles, salsa, baking mixes, choppped veggies, marinades, sauces, and cooked grains.

10.  Mason jars come in different sizes and can be chosen based on how much food you have prepped. 

11.  Mason jars fit great in your fridge.

12.  Mason jars help control portions.

13.  Mason jars look cool and make your food look delicious.

14.  Mason jars make your food last almost twice as long as regular Tupperware.

15.  Mason jars will literally last you the rest of your life.

  
Tips for using Mason jars...

Any cooked items must cool before placing them in jars or you will wilt salads or cause other items in the jar to get mushy. 

Choose the appropriate jar size. Lunches for work go in pint-sized jars, snacks in half pint jars, and larger salads that more than one person would eat in quart-sized jars.

Choosing the right combination of ingredients as far as texture and flavor is also important…ideally, you’ll have a filling protein, something salty and crunchy, and something sweet and tangy. Here 

Keep jarred meals up to a week in the refrigerator.

Make nice and even layers. The more appealing the meal, the more likely you and your family will actually want to eat it…and this also helps when removing the meal from the jar. 

Store items that need to remain crispy, like ramen noodles for a chicken ramen salad, in a separate bag or container and place with the jarred meal right before eating.

  
Most people think salad when it comes to meals in jars…and yes, salad is a valid option…

The secret to a perfect and tasty Mason jar salad is all in the order…so starting at the bottom and working our way up…

1.  Dressing…putting the dressing in first guarantees that your salad ingredients don’t get soggy.

2.  Big and Chunky...now add your grains, protein, or anything else that is heavy…this will protect your more delicate ingredients from getting smooshed.

3.  Fixings....little things like shaved nuts, raisins, cheeses.

4.  Leafy greens...these go in last so that when you turn the jar over, the greens will make the salad bed. 

Here are several salad recipes that are perfect to have on hand for your weekday lunches.

  
1.  Asian Noodle Salad Jar…Foxes Love Lemons 

  
2.  Feta and Asparagus Salad…She Knows
  
3.  Fresh And Springy Walnut, Radish, And Apple Salad…Vegetarian Salad Recipes
  
4.  Greek Salad…Cinnamon Spice And Everything Nice 
  
5.  Healthy Taco Salad…Food Faith Fitness 
  

6.  Lemon Basil Vegetable Pasta Salad in a Jar
  
7.  Mozzarella, Tomato, Pasta and Spinach Salad…Organize Yourself Skinny 
  
8.  Pomegranate and Pear Salad…Fake Food Free 

  
9.  Salmon Niçoise Salad 
  
10.  Seven Layer Avocado Salad…California Avocado 
  
11.  Shrimp and Feta Cobb Salad…Savoring The Thyme 
  
12.  Sriracha Shrimp Caesar Salad…Running To The Kitchen 

  
13.  Strawberry and Spinach Mason Jar Salad…Eating Bird Food 

  
14.  Thai Chopped Chicken Salad…Lexi’s Clean Kitchen 
  
15.  TROPICAL SRIRACHA CHICKEN SALAD…The Healthy Maven

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