Even though I’d been holding down a job for a few months, I had never quite gotten the hang of lunches. There were a lot of mornings where I just grabbed an armful of whatever I had in the cabinet on my way out, only to be unsatisfied come noon, which inevitably led to spending far too much money on a New York City-priced lunch. It just couldn’t go on!
One weekend, my inner Pinterester was awakened, and I knew what I had to do. It involved one of the essential items from the Pinterest toolkit: Mason Jars! I made up some food, and packed it up equally into four separate jars, so that I could take those extra lunch-making minutes in the morning to keep sleeping instead.
(I make four jars-full so that on Fridays I can take myself out. I’ve found that it makes for a nice countdown to the end of the week, and Friday can be all the more exciting.)
The trick to making these lunches feel fancy is having a separate smaller jar for colder items to use as a topping. The mix of cold and hot foods is one of the luxuries that restaurants afford you, but you can do it yourself with a little extra planning.
This week, I made beans and rice (the hot) with cilantro-lime sauce (the cold). Last week I made a lentil dal. As long as there is a combo of carbs, protein, and greenery, you’re all set. The only downside is that if you make your lunch, you’re in danger of never leaving your desk. I make sure I still leave the office, just to get some fresh (snowy) air, and maybe a coffee.
Mason Jar Rice Bowls with Cilantro Lime Sauce
4 16 ounce mason jars with lids
1 cup rice (uncooked)
2 cups water
1 (or 2) cans beans
1 large avocado
1 bunch cilantro
First, cook your rice, by boiling the water and adding in your uncooked rice. Cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
While that is happening, wash your cilantro and put a few generous handfuls into a food processor, along with your avocado (chopped, with the outside bit and the seed removed), and the juice of one lime. Pulse until it’s a bright green paste. Scoop that up into a container and put in the fridge.
When the rice is done, distribute it equally into the mason jars. Drain your beans, and spoon them equally over the rice. Top with shredded or diced cheese (be generous). Throw into your bag in the morning and enjoy at your desk!
Post, Photos, and Recipe by Molly Johanson.