Food in jars is convenient and helps control portion size

Perhaps because I live alone, I find myself not making proper meals. I graze, and at the end of the day I wonder what I actually ate.

These situations provide just one example of the many benefits of having food in jars. Aside from the obvious that it is ready to eat, it also controls portion size and jars are not plastic. Gradually, we can reduce our reliance on plastic food storage.

Breakfast, snacks, packed lunch and dessert can be made ahead.

  • 6 – 1 c. canning jarswith lids 250 mL
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • carrots
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. plainGreek yogurt 60 mL
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 avocado cut in half,pit removed and scooped out of the skin
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, add mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, lime juice, avocado and salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth and creamy.

Spoon the dip equally among the six jars.

Add a variety of sliced vegetables to each jar and screw the lid on. Will keep in the fridge for four days.

Caprese and olive snack-time jar

  • 1/4 c. halved cherry tomatoes 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. mini mozzarella balls 60 mL
  • 1 tbsp. high quality balsamic vinegar 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. high quality extra virgin olive oil 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. basil pesto 5 mL
  • 4 green olives, pitted
  • sea salt

Layer mozzarella balls, tomatoes, basil leaves and olives in a jar. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt. Keep refrigerated for up to three days.

Sausage, spinach and pepper omelette in a jar

  • 1 c. chopped sweet peppers 250 mL
  • 1 c. cheddar 250 mL
  • 1 c. mushrooms sliced 250 mL
  • 1 c. spinach chopped 250 mL
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt 125 mL
  • 2 sausage patties chopped
  • 1 tsp. olive oil 5 mL
  • 4 – 8 oz. canning jars with lids 250 mL

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Add olive oil to hot skillet and sauté peppers and mushrooms. Add sausage and cook until everything is cooked through.

Add spinach and turn off the heat. Mix the spinach around until it’s wilted.

In a bowl, whisk eggs and yogurt. Then add half of the cheese. Fold in the pepper mixture until well combined.

Coat the inside of the jars with cooking spray and add egg mixture. Make sure to leave 1 1/2 to two inches (3.7-5 centimetres) headspace because they will rise. Top each of the jars with the remaining cheese.

Place jars on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is firm.

These may be eaten right away or let cool, lid and store in the refrigerator.

Smoothie bowl

If you don’t have a blender or don’t want to pull it out and create dirty dishes, make a smoothie bowl instead of a smoothie.

  • 1/4 c. plain yogurt 60 mL
  • 3 tbsp. orange juice, fresh squeezed or store bought 45 mL
  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented
  • 1/4 c. berries, fresh or frozen 60 mL
  • 1 tbsp. nuts, coarsely chopped 15 mL

Stir orange juice into yogurt until mixture has the texture of a thick smoothie. Add orange segments and berries, and then sprinkle chopped nuts on top.

Burritos in a jar

This is also great when you add coarsely chopped or shredded left-over beef roast or chicken with the beans or instead of the beans. Cooked quinoa or lentils may also be added.

Wide mouth jars are easier to use if eating straight from the jar.

  • 1 1/2 c. salsa, no sugar added 375 mL
  • 1 19 fl. oz. can black beans, drained 540 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded 375 mL
  • 3/4 c. Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 6 – 1 c. canning jars with lids 250 mL
  • 6 whole wheat small tortillas, optional

Evenly divide each ingredient into six canning jars. Layer the ingredients starting with 1/4 cup (60 mL) salsa, 1/4 heaping cup (60 mL) black beans, 1/4 cup (60 mL) cheese and two tablespoons (30 mL) yogurt or sour cream.

Put a lid on each jar. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Eat straight from the jar or add to a whole wheat tortilla and wrap into a burrito. Makes six servings.

Vanilla panna cotta with blueberry lemon sauce

These mini vanilla-bean panna cottas are just the right size for party desserts or pack them up for lunch.

  • 1 pkg. powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 c. warm water 60 mL
  • 1 c. whole milk yogurt 250 mL
  • 1 c. whipping cream 250 mL
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c. sugar 125 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or
  • 1/2 a vanilla bean 5 mL
  • 1 c. blueberries 250 mL
  • 1/4 c. sugar 60 mL
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 7 mL
  • zest of lemon

Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let soften five minutes.

Warm cream gently and add sugar and salt until it almost boils, about five to seven minutes.

Add gelatin to warm cream. Stir to dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Whisk cream into yogurt. Add vanilla bean paste. And finally, whisk in the gelatin mixture.

Place jars on baking sheet. Pour in cream mixture, cover and refrigerate overnight.

To make the sauce, combine sugar, blueberries and lemon juice, cook until softened. Bring to boil and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until thickened.
Cool to room temperature and serve over panna cotta with fresh lemon zest.

Sarah Galvin is a home economist, teacher and farmers’ market vendor at Swift Current, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. She writes a blog at Contact:

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