Packing Healthy Portable Meals
October 20, 2017
One of our tried-and-true hacks for eating well is to plan ahead and pack your meals, to control portion size as well as ingredients. But it does require a bit of effort and foresight, so we’ve gathered our favorite tips for smarter prepping and packing.
Invest in a Mason JarThere’s a reason Mason jar meals have become so ubiquitous: the vertical depth allows for many different ingredients to sit on top of each other without losing their texture. If you’re packing a meal with many different components (like salads), your best bet is to layer them in a Mason jar, then mix them together at mealtime. Shorter, squatter food containers don’t quite cut it here. Here’s how we like to order the ingredients:
- • Sauces and dressings on the bottom, keeping the jar upright.
- • Then, layer in firmer vegetables that stand up well to sauces, like beets, potatoes, and cucumbers.
- • Third, pop in any grains or beans like rice, pasta, or chickpeas, followed by protein (tuna, hard-boiled egg, chicken, etc.).
- • Softer vegetables like tomatoes and avocado go in next, followed by any seeds or nuts (or super-absorbent grains, like quinoa or couscous).
- • Finish it off with torn salad greens or crispy items like Asian noodles before you screw on the lid. Then all that’s left to do is give it a good shake before you eat!
Put Your Muffin Trays to Good UseAnother useful tool for an on-the-go breakfast is your muffin tray. The possibilities are endless:
- • Bake mini-omelets with any combination of veggies, seasonings, and eggs.
- • Try a lightened-up recipe for breakfast muffins with whole-grain flour, oats, and seasonal fruits.
- • Get a portion-appropriate serving of protein with a mini-meatloaf made in your muffin tin. They’re baked in far less time than a traditional meatloaf, and pair with a Mason jar salad perfectly.
- • Freeze soups, then pack a couple of frozen cubes to take to work (far less chance of spillage before you get to the microwave).