How to Make Mason Jar Meals: Part 2

Hmmm, I think I am on to something here, this whole Mason Jar Meal idea that is. I have combed every store in my area for a variety of Mason jar sizes because my brain has gone into over-drive with ideas. I saw a cute quote that other day that sums up my thought life perfectly, “I can’t sleep because my brain keeps talking to itself.” In this post I will share some of the meals and their recipes used to make Mason Jar Meals- MJMs.

Benefits of these MJMs are…

1. No more wasting food
2. No more not knowing what to have for dinner
3. No more cooking every night
4. No more blah food
5. No more messy refrigerator
6. No more plastic containers
7. No more unhealthy food- well maybe. Wink.
8. No more coming home from CrossFit ravenous, but too comatose to cook.
9. No more eating out every day for lunch.

WHY MASON JARS?
1. Dishwasher safe
2. Re-usable
3. Not plastic
4. Clear
5. Stain-proof
6. Make food look delicious
7. Stackable and packable
8. Lids and jars can be purchased separately
9. Help control portions
10. Inexpensive


In yesterday’s post, How to Make Mason Jar Meals: Part 1, I instructed you to lay out all the ingredients you would be using for your MJM. Here is my list…

Proteins
Organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Organic eggs
Wild-caught sockeye salmon
Uncured Bacon

Vegetables
Broccoli slaw- never again- smells gassy
Onions
Baby mixed greens
Green beans- Haricot verts
Fresh Dill- for roasting on the salmon
Fresh cilantro
Fresh basil

Tubers– not Paleo
Red New Potatoes
Yams

Fruit
Melon
Cantaloupe
Red grapes
Cherries
Lemons
Mandarin oranges
Black Olives
Cherry tomatoes
Strawberries

Legumes– not Paleo
Chick Peas

Cheese– not Paleo
Feta

Nuts and Seeds
Quinoa
Almonds
Sesame Seed

Healthy Oils
Extra virgin olive oil
Coconut oil

Other
Balsamic Vinegar- for roasting the green beans
Vinaigrette dressings for the salads
Sea Salt
Black pepper

THE MEALS I MADE
Yam and Chickpea Salad x 2 quarts
Chicken Ramen Salad x 2 quarts
Salmon Niçoise Salad x 4 pints
Chicken Cobb Salad x 4 pints
Greek Quinoa Salad x 4 halfpints
Fruit Cups x 9 halfpints


Chicken Ramen Salad– Divide the dressing evenly between 2 quart-sized Mason jars then layer the chicken, slaw (I used broccoli slaw which was too smelly-never again!), and the other ingredients ending with the almonds. Wrap the ramen noodles separately and store with the jar in the refrigerator.

Yam and Chickpea Salad– Divide the dressing evenly between 2 quart-sized Mason jars then layer the chickpeas, sweet potatoes (I roasted mine this time mixed with olive oil and pumpkin spice with a bit of salt and pepper), then the onions, finishing with the cilantro.


Salmon Niçoise Salad– In a pint-sized Mason jar add 2 tablespoons of your favorite vinaigrette dressing, then layer roasted green beans, one half hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, black olives, roasted new potatoes, and roasted salmon. This was my favorite salad!

Chicken Cobb Salad– In a pint-sized Mason jar add 2 tablespoons of your favorite vinaigrette dressing, then layer roasted chicken, chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped bacon, cherry tomatoes, and mixed baby greens. I left the avocado out of this salad since I figured it would brown and look gross.

Quinoa Greek Salad– In a halfpint jar layer 1 tablespoon vinaigrette dressing, cherry tomatoes, cubed Feta cheese, quinoa, and fresh basil leaves. These made great mid-afternoon snacks.


And lastly, Fruit Cups. If I do not wash, peel, cut, chew, and spit fruit into my children’s mouths, they will not eat it. These little fruit cups are colorful and appealing and did a great job with keeping me on track with getting my fruit in each day.

Some of you have asked how I stay so trim. I do so by following a modified Paleo diet, sometimes going strict, and going to CrossFit. The side effects of this lifestyle in the last 18 months have been a 25 pound weight loss, being the fittest I have ever been in my entire life, and having more energy now than I did during my college years. I did not go into CrossFit to lose weight, I did it to get in shape and feel stronger, then in the long run I lost the weight. I am not perfect but I try, and I think these MJM’s will keep me on track.

Related Posts: How to Make Mason Jar Meals: Part 1
More Mason Jar Meal Ideas Part I
More Mason Jar Meal Ideas Part II

31 Comments

  1. Ar~Pic
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    thank you SO SO SO much for sharing all of this w/us…i can’t wait to try it. it is so brilliant, and healthy and pretty and organized. thank YOU!!! (btw, my son and his wife are crossfitter’s as well…they LOVE it! i’ll have to share this w/them) =)

  2. leila ayer
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    Can you reccomend an easy mac and cheese recipe that can be canned for later use? Is that even possible? and spaghettie noodls with tomatoes and meat sauce?
    thank you so much or your input!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

      I do have a homemade Sphagettio’s recipe and Mac and cheese recipe on my site. I only use the jars for short term storage in the fridge or freezer, I do not can the food. I imagine a Canning book could tell you how long to hot water bath certain foods for canning.

  3. Teri
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for posting this idea!! I am trying to incorporate more “fast foods” into our diet that are healthy–just grab and go. The one question I do have is with the eggs in the salad–I tried making a tossed side salad and throwing a hard boiled egg on top. The salad molded on the third day. Do you think I had too much water left in the lettuce? So far I tried the chicken mandarin salad and salmon with potatoes and asparagus that turned out fabulous.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

      Hi Teri,
      Yes you do want everything as dry as possible and the food must be at room temp so that is does not cause condensation in the jar. So glad you are trying this out!
      Enjoy!

  4. Stephanie
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    Hi Robin Sue, could any of these recipes be okay for room temperature storage? These recipes look great for my fiancee whom is a long distance trucker without a fridge in his cab. He gets really tired of all the food on the road.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted August 9, 2012 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

      Stephanie,
      Mostly only the desserts would be ok, the rest still need refrigeration or to be put on ice. Can he fit a small fridge or electrical camping cooler in his rig to store some home cooked meals? Some meals can be frozen and would defrost in a cooler on long trips and if a truck stop had a microwave, he would be in good shape! Not easy eating on the road- especially after seeing Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives- I could eat that kind fo food all the time even though me body wouldn’t let me!
      Thanks
      Robin

  5. biscuit recipe no
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:04 AM | Permalink

    This site truly has all the info I needed concerning
    this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  6. Angela
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    where did you get those mason jars with the regular twist on gold caps and not the ones that have a 2 part lid/band?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

      Angela,
      Filmore Container has a great selection for jars and lids. Here is the link for the lids.
      http://www.fillmorecontainer.com/Search.aspx?s=Name ASC&c=26&p=0
      If you have any questions you can email them or FB them and they will get back to you.
      Thanks!
      Robin

  7. Diana
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

    Great web site for the Mason jar meals. Just wanted some more ideas and most of the website visited had tons of ads that stream into your face. Its nice site, and love to visit more.
    Thanks

  8. Blanca
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    How do you keep the fruit and veggies from going bad in the jars? When I wash veggies like lettuce or strawberries, then store them, they seem to get bad w/in a day…How do you keep these fresh for up to 4 days???

    • Robin Sue
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

      I make sure to dry everything very well and eat them up as fast as possible.

    • Linda
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

      Rinse fruit and veggies in a solution of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 1 part water. I have found this extremely effective for strawberries and thin skinned cucumbers.

  9. JBowers
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    Where did you get the mason jar carrying basket that’s in the picture? I’d like to be able to carry two, or maybe three jars at at time.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

      I got it a few years ago at Walmart.

  10. Vanessa
    Posted January 20, 2013 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I just purchased a dozen of the quart size wide mouth jars and ordered the attachment for my foodsaver. I was looking for recipes online and most things were not paleo, I have been CFing since May and really trying to step my game up with my nutrition. Your recipes are great and I look forward to future ones, paleo friendly!!!! Thanks again =)

  11. Leah
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    Hi, I am very excited about your mjm’s. I have seen some info on salads before and they always seal ( suck out the air ) the mason jars, do you?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted January 30, 2013 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

      No I dont seal them, we eat everything up too fast!

  12. Linda
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    If you pour Diet Sprite or Diet 7-Up over the fruit before putting the lid on, after 1 day in the jar the fruit is amazing and drinking the juice is refreshing on a warm day. I found that you have to avoid banana. Other than that, the fruit keeps for at least a week in the jar.

  13. Posted June 27, 2013 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    I have just recently started doing this again after forgetting about it for many years ( I tend to do that for some reason ,Ive got a bad hurry habit :(.But you have definatly mastered it.Thanks for getting my brain flowing again!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

      Good for you for starting again! Have fun!

  14. Kara
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    Do you make the full salad recipe that you linked to, and divide it between the two jars? It seems like a lot of food even for two quart sized jars!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

      If you are referring to the sweet potato recipe then yes I split it up to two jars. You can make the recipes in half or double depending on your needs. Enjoy!

  15. Sis
    Posted August 29, 2013 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    Oh! These are all salad meals? Took me an hour to catch on! LOL They look wonderful. Thanks for the ideas. 🙂

  16. Sis
    Posted August 29, 2013 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    No noodles with the “ramen” salad? Did you add those in later?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted August 29, 2013 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

      Wrap them separately and store with the salad to add later.

  17. Joy
    Posted September 2, 2013 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    For the broccoli slaw, I stopped using the bagged stuff, which has a chemical preservative on it. Now, I peel the stalk of my broccoli and a carrot. I run the stalk, carrot, and a little purple cabbage through the shredder on my food processor. My very own broccoli slaw. It’s less waste too, since I am eating the stalk instead of composting it. Happy Eating.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 2, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

      Great idea!

  18. Ebony
    Posted October 6, 2013 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    Love Love Love!!!!! This is the bomb!!

  19. Posted May 8, 2014 at 3:03 AM | Permalink

    Basically Ball jars are the perfect reusable salad container – they are easy to transport, a cinch to clean and work great for shaking up the salad …

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