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Work Lunch Ideas: Put it in a Jar!

A whole meal, in a jar? Yup, you read right. And no, we have not lost the plot! When getting ready in the morning for work, food for the workday is often the last thing on your mind. That’s why we have created a list of simple and healthy lunch options that are easy to prepare the night before and pop in the fridge ready for you to take to work the next day.

First up: Breakfast

You can prep your breakfast the night before work and make a delicious overnight oats or Bircher muesli jar topped with fresh fruits and your favourite nut butter to give you that nutritional boost to start the day. Here’s a recipe to get your creative juices flowing:

Overnight Oats Jar

Ingredients:
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup organic rolled oats
  • 1-2 cups nut milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nut butter of choice
  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)
Method:
  • Mash the banana, cinnamon, chia seeds and nut butter together in a bowl.
  • Add the oats and cinnamon and mix well.
  • Add the nut milk and mix until you have an even consistency, then transfer the mix into a jar to leave sealed overnight in the fridge.
  • In a separate container, add your choice of fresh fruits. It can really be anything you desire! Berries work really well, and help you get your boost of antioxidants in for the day.

Salad Jars

The options truly are endless with this one. Layer your salad in a mason jar for easy transportation to and from work. When building your salad, make sure to include the following elements:

Choose your base:
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes
Pick your protein:
  • Steamed chicken
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, butter beans)
  • Tuna
Layer with the good stuff:
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • cucumber
  • nuts
  • sweet corn
  • beetroot
  • sunflower seeds

Finish it off with your preferred salad dressing and some A Vogel Herbamare. We recommend olive oil and balsamic reduction, or a homemade honey and mustard dressing.

Instant Noodle Jars

Like a salad jar, all you need to do is layer your ingredients, and add hot water. Sounds too good to be true? Let us show you…

Choose your flavour base

Pick anything from miso paste to curry paste to add flavour to your noodles. You’ll need roughly 1-3 teaspoons of your desired paste, depending on your taste (and bravery, if it’s curry paste). Don’t be shy to add a bit of extra soy sauce, coconut milk and a squeeze of lime to round off your noodle jar and elevate its flavour profile.

What’s a noodle jar without noodles!

You really can use any sort of noodles you’d like. Even leftover spaghetti from the night before! A quick and easy option is rice or ramen noodles as they need little cooking time and will cook as you add in the hot water. 1 cup of noodles should be sufficient.

Time to add some substance

Along with your chosen noodles, you can get as creative as you’d like with filling up the jar to add those extra proteins and nutrients. Choose anything from frozen mixed vegetables, leftover chicken or beef from the night before, mushrooms or tofu. If you really want to go the extra mile, add in a soft-boiled egg for a true ramen experience.

For the final touches

Add in some fresh coriander, mint, bean sprouts and chopped spring onion for that final flavour balance. It will help elevate your noodle jar and give it that extra fresh component.

If you’re feeling creative, take a snap of your lunch or breakfast jar and don’t forget to tag us on social media using the handle @livingnaturally.co.za.