Wednesday, 1 June 2016

150 Best Meals in a Jar

150 Best Meals in a Jar
Salads, Soups, Rice Bowls and More
by Tanya Linton

Paperback, 192 pages

What do you take for lunch? Leftovers and sandwiches are good - some of the time - and take out or restaurants are a treat for once in a while, but our bodies crave good, healthy, fresh foods to help us last the workday and into the evening.

Tanya Linton offers 150 simple, fun, pretty and delicious meals that you can take to work or college in good old canning jars! They come in all sizes and many can be prepared at once, saving you time, effort, and money.

There is a science behind the layering. You want your food as fresh and vibrant as possible to nourish your body and mind. And with 150 recipes, you will never get bored with lunch again!

Contents include:
  • Introduction
  • Mason Jar Basics
  • Breakfasts and Snacks
  • Soups
  • Fruit and Vegetable Salads
  • Pasta and Noodle Salads
  • Grain and Legume Salads
  • Surf and Turf Salads
  • Rice Bowls
  • Hearty Meals
  • Dressings
  • Desserts
From the Back Flap:

Canning jars are perfect for a healthy and delicious salad. The dressing goes on the bottom, with heavier or harder ingredients making up the next layer(s), perhaps topped off with some fresh leafy greens. Everything stays crisp and separate until it is time to toss the salad in a bowl ready to serve and enjoy.

When made ahead these 150 tempting and innovative recipes last for days in the fridge for almost a week's worth of lunches and/or dinners. These "grab and go" salads are ideal on those harried weekday mornings or busy weekends. Tanya Linton includes creative snacks and breakfasts as well as a chapter devoted to rice bowls and even desserts.

Lettuce-based salads like Italian Salad (chopped salami, spicy green beans, white beans and Pecorino), Green Goddess (sugar snap peas, proper peas and edamame with hoisin chicken) or Sweet and Salty Salad (arugula, figs, buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto) are great for the whole family.

For something more hearty, there are also noodle and grain/legume based salads like Pasta Carbonara Salad (pasta, cooked eggs, cooked pancetta, baby arugula), Chicken Soup Salad (noodles, carrots, celery, chopped kale and chicken) and Layered Tabbouleh Salad (couscous, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, onion).

For a dessert idea for an office celebration or a picnic, Pretty Pavlovas, Layed Cheater Chocolate Cheesecake and Banana Bread Parfait are favorites. 

Asian Vegetable and Tofu Soup
This soup is a fresh take on a traditional soup in a cup. Bring the jar to work and just add boiling water. I like using snap peas and bean sprouts, but any crunchy vegetables will do.

To “julienne” means to cut into matchstick-shaped pieces. For the carrots in this recipe, trim off the rounded ends of each piece, then cut into 1⁄8-inch (3 mm) thick strips. Cut the snap peas on the diagonal into 1⁄8‑inch (3 mm) thick strips.
It’s best to pack this soup tightly. If the jar isn’t fully stuffed, the vegetables will settle after a day or two in the refrigerator. With the back of a spoon, press the vegetables down to compact them, leaving just a little room at the top. The tofu should rest right at the top of the jar.

•    1-quart (1 L) mason jar

1 tbsp    powdered chicken bouillon    15 mL
1 tsp    hoisin sauce    5 mL
1⁄4 tsp    hot pepper sauce    1 mL
1⁄2 cup    julienned carrots (see Tips)    125 mL
11⁄2 cups chopped napa cabbage    375 mL
1 cup    bean sprouts    250 mL
1⁄2 cup    julienned snap peas    125 mL
1⁄4 cup    chopped green onions    60 mL
1 tbsp    sliced gingerroot    15 mL
1⁄3 cup    cubed firm tofu (1⁄2-inch/1 cm cubes)    75 mL
1⁄2 tsp     sesame oil    2 mL
11⁄2 cups boiling water    375 mL

1.    Add bouillon, hoisin and hot pepper sauce to the jar, coating the bottom. Layer carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, peas, green onions, ginger, tofu and sesame oil on top. Seal jar and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

2.    When ready to serve, stir in boiling water and let stand for 2 minutes before serving.

Makes 1 serving

Courtesy of 150 Best Meals in a Jar by Tanya Linton © 2016 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Breakfast Burrito in a Jar
This is my take on a breakfast burrito. It doesn’t have the wrap, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t bring one with you. Or just eat it without. By the time you get to work, it will be at room temperature and ready to eat.

•    Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
•    Baking sheet, lined with foil
•    1-pint (500 mL) wide-mouth mason jar

1    8-inch (20 cm) flour tortilla    1
2 tbsp    olive oil, divided    30 mL
1    large egg    1
1 tbsp    milk    15 mL
1⁄4 cup    salsa    60 mL
1⁄4 cup    chopped red bell pepper    60 mL
1⁄4 cup    chopped avocado (see Tip)    60 mL
1⁄4 cup    diced dry-cured chorizo    60 mL
1⁄4 cup    shredded Cheddar cheese    60 mL

1.    Roll flour tortilla into a cylinder and cut into thin strips. In a small bowl, toss tortilla strips with 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil until coated. Arrange strips in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely in pan.

2.    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk egg and milk until blended.

3.    In a medium skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture, tilting the pan to cover the bottom with a thin layer of egg. Cook for about 3 minutes or until almost set. Turn egg over and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, roll egg into a cylinder and cut into thin strips.

4.    Add salsa to jar, wiping down any splashes from the side of the jar. Layer egg strips, bell pepper, avocado, chorizo, cheese and tortilla strips on top. Seal jar and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Enjoy straight out of the jar.

When chopping avocados to add to a mason jar, squeeze a bit of lemon or lime juice over them to prevent them from browning. In place of the avocado, you could use guacamole with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

Makes 1 serving

Courtesy of 150 Best Meals in a Jar by Tanya Linton © 2016 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Cute and Clever Key Lime Pie
My favorite thing to do in a Florida airport is look at all the alligator paraphernalia and citrus products. A few years back, I got hooked on Key lime juice, and now I always pick up a bottle on my way home. It’s a bit more tart than Persian lime juice, but it’s perfect for tarts, fruit salads and marinades.

•    8-oz (250 mL) mason jar

1⁄4 cup    graham cracker crumbs    60 mL
1 tsp    melted unsalted butter    5 mL
1 tbsp    granulated sugar    15 mL
1⁄4 cup    cream cheese, softened    60 mL
2 tbsp    sour cream    30 mL
1 tbsp    grated lime zest    15 mL
2 tbsp    Key lime juice    30 mL
1⁄4 cup    blueberries    60 mL

1.    In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.

2.    In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cream cheese, sour cream, lime zest and lime juice.

3.    Press graham cracker mixture firmly into bottom of jar. Layer cream cheese mixture and blueberries on top. Seal jar and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


If you happen to have access to Key limes, by all means use grated Key lime zest and freshly squeezed juice. If you can’t find bottled Key lime juice, substitute Persian lime juice.

Makes 1 serving

Courtesy of 150 Best Meals in a Jar by Tanya Linton © 2016 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.