To understand what this “meal in a jar” craze is all about, I checked out Tanya Linton’s new book 150 Best Meals in a Jar (affiliate link). The idea is that you do a little bit of prep, layer everything in a jar, then dump it into a bowl whenever you’re ready to eat. Meals in jars are portable if you need to take breakfast or lunch to school or the office and they are perfect for road trips too.
I decided to try the Breakfast Burrito in a Jar first. (I had it for lunch.) I wasn’t sure I was going to like a cold scrambled egg, but it worked. I loved the creaminess of the avocado, the crunch of the red pepper, and the heat of the salsa. I tweaked the recipe you see below a bit to make it more diabetic-friendly:
- I reduced the amount of olive oil. I used 1 tablespoon for the tortilla and 1/2 tablespoon for cooking the egg, for a total of 1-1/2 tablespoons instead of 2.
- I used a 6-inch corn tortilla instead of an 8-inch flour tortilla. This reduces some calories, carbs, and sodium and also makes the recipe gluten-free.
- I skipped the chorizo, which makes the recipe vegetarian and cuts out a whole lot of calories, fat, and sodium.
- I used unsweetened almond milk instead of whole milk. This wasn’t for a particular nutritional reason, I just happened to have almond milk on hand.
|Original||865||68g / 18g||35g||2,267mg||4g||33g|
|DF version||487||39g / 9g||23g||646mg||7g||14g|
If you’d like to improve this recipe’s nutritional profile even more, you could try the following in addition to the changes listed above:
- Reduce the amount of olive oil even more. If you use a nonstick pan to cook the egg, you won’t need as much oil and that will reduce the fat.
- Skip the tortilla entirely. The baked strips got a little bit chewy after refrigeration anyway. That will save carbs and calories. Plus you won’t need that tablespoon of olive oil and you’ll reduce the fat too.
- To cut even more fat, use an egg substitute or egg whites only and/or use less avocado and cheese. (Personally, I’d still use the whole egg, all of the avocado, and skip or reduce the cheese.)
- To reduce the sodium, look for a low-sodium salsa (or make your own) and cut back on the cheese.
I like the meal in a jar concept, especially if you like to prepare meals ahead of time or want to skip the fast food joints and eat healthier when you’re on a road trip. The book includes recipes for breakfasts, snacks, soups, salads, rice bowls, hearty meals, dressings, and desserts. I think I’ll try the Asian Vegetable and Tofu Soup next.
Breakfast Burrito in a Jar
- 1 pint/500 mL wide-mouth mason jar
- 1 8-inch flour tortilla 20 cm
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 30 mL
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon 15 mL milk
- 1/4 cup salsa 60 mL
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper 60 mL
- 1/4 cup chopped avocado (see Tip) 60 mL
- 1/4 cup diced dry-cured chorizo 60 mL
- 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 60 mL
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with foil.
Roll flour tortilla into a cylinder and cut into thin strips. In a small bowl, toss tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil until coated. Arrange strips in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely in pan.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk egg and milk until blended.
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture, tilting the pan to cover the bottom with a thin layer of egg. Cook for about 3 minutes or until almost set. Turn egg over and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, roll egg into a cylinder and cut into thin strips.
Add salsa to jar, wiping down any splashes from the side of the jar. Layer egg strips, bell pepper, avocado, chorizo, cheese and tortilla strips on top. Seal jar and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Enjoy straight out of the jar.
When chopping avocados to add to a mason jar, squeeze a bit of lemon or lime juice over them to prevent them from browning. In place of the avocado, you could use guacamole with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Disclosure: Robert Rose Inc provided me with a free copy of 150 Best Meals in a Jar by Tanya Linton for review purposes. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click one of them and make a purchase, I will receive a tiny fee. Please see my disclosures page for more information.