Tag Archives: mason jar meal

Squash and Mushroom Pilaf



As Amy mentioned this weekend was a gorgeous fall weekend- warm sunny days, vibrant leaves, and cool crisp nights. The weather that makes me crave all things fall. This recipe fills that craving butternut squash and hearty comfort food. Yet it was quick and easy to allow for plenty of time to soak up the gorgeous weather!

Serves 4

  • 1.5 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1.5 cups winter squash, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small green or red pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups cooked wild rice
  • 0.5 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup mixture of fresh sage and thyme, chopped
  • 1/8-1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a large sauce pan, saute the mushrooms, squash, onions, and green pepper in oil until crisp tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute more. Stir in the rice, broth, tamari sauce, and fresh herbs. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Divide between ball jars and top with almonds. Makes 4 pint size ball jar servings.

Adapted from tasteofhome.com.

The fall colors


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Lentil Spinach Stew


I rode my bike over sixty miles in two days and ate tacos Thursday, Friday (x2 since I had leftovers for breakfast), and Sunday. And the weather was amazing. So, basically this weekend couldn’t have been much better. Joe and I also checked out the Rumsy St. ArtPrize installations, ventured to Harmony Hall, and met Margs for an entertaining round of drinks amidst some of the most interesting soccer fans I’ve ever encountered. Understandably, a hearty, comfort-like food was the only option for my jars this week. Cheers to fall!

Serves 4

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 Serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Coriander to taste (I just added a few shakes)
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup lentils (I used green, but red would also work)
  • 5 ounces spinach

Heat the oil on medium high head in a large pot or Dutch oven. Sauté the onions until soft (about five minutes). Add the garlic, ginger, Serrano, cumin, garam masala, and coriander. Cook until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid has reduced, about five minutes. Add the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, stir in the lentils, and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until the lentils are tender, 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in the spinach and cook another three to four minutes. I served it over brown rice, but there are lots of options! Quinoa would be great.

Adapted from this recipe.

Biking made me like my city just a little more!


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Spaghetti Squash and Tomato Sauce


The past couple of weeks have been a reminder that life is all-too fragile and does not always quite go as planned. My parents had planned this fabulous trip to Europe; unfortunately my mom’s body had a different agenda. My mom experienced a couple of bouts of chest pain. This led to a flurry of activity: a stress test, a heart catheterization, and ultimately a stent to open a 90% blockage in one of the main arteries of her heart. Although they were disappointed to miss their grand adventure, gratitude that the blockage was fixed before damage was done was the prevailing emotion of the weekend. Since they weren’t on their trip my parents (who live about 3 hours away) decided to visit.

I was also experiencing disappointment of my own. After spraining my ankle during a training run I was sidelined from running today’s Chicago Half Marathon. Rather than wallowing in our disappointment, we had a fun weekend enjoying the warm fall weather!

After making dinner last night and a big lunch today for my family my creativity and energy for making lunches was at an all-time low. I needed something easy, which this recipe is!

Serves 4

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 6.5 oz jar of artichokes
  • 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes (I used Italian style, slightly drained)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top and bottom off the spaghetti squash. Cut in half lengthwise then clean out the seed and guts. Rub olive oil over the inside of each half. Place on baking sheet flesh side down. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Take a fork to to the flesh to string out the squash.

Tomato Sauce: Place olive oil and garlic in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook until garlic is fragrant. Add artichokes, cherry tomatoes, basil, and canned tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until tomatoes are tender.

Divide tomatoes mixture evenly between 4 jars. Place 1-2 basil fresh basil leaves over tomato mixture in the jar. Divide spaghetti squash between four jars over the tomato mixture



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Roasted Caulifower and Chickpeas

  • 1 Tbsp ground coriancer
  • 1 Tbsp ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 (14 oz ) can chickpeas drained
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toast the coriander, turmeric, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and cayenne in a dry skillet over high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the oil in to a large mixing bowl, and then add the toasted spices. Add the giner, cauliflower, chickpeas and onions and toss to evenly coat. Place on a sheet tray and season with salt and pepepr. Roast in the oven until browned and the cauliflower is tender, 30-35 minutes. Serve with cilantro sprigs and a sqeeze of fresh lime juice.

from foodnetwork.com

I omitted the ginger, cilantro and lime juice and it was still a delicious lunch.

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Slow Cooker Veggie Soup

  • Minced Garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery,chopped
  • 28 oz tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (14 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups broth
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/3 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low 10-12 hours.

A great lunch soup!

Adapted from food.com

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Kale-Cabbage Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 head of organic kale washed, de-stemmed, and torn into bite size pieces.
  • 1 small head of red cabbage
  • 4 carrots grated
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • avocado for garnish (optional)


  • 4 tablespoons raw tahini
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 4 tablespoons grade B maple syrup (maple syrup is not a raw food) you can substitute raw agave, date paste or sweetener of choice.
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste

I doubled (almost) everything from the original to make four salads for jar lunches for the week. I put the onion on the bottom with the dressing then added the cabbage, carrots, and kale. Was quite good! Not my favorite tahini dressing, but still really good! Serves four.


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