I think we all know that the easiest to-go lunch is a container of prepackaged, “just add water” noodles.
College students and time-starved adults alike turn to processed ramen noodles in a bind when looking for a quick and easy meal.
Is it delicious? No.
Is it healthy? Absolutely not.
But is it easy? Yeah it is. Those instant noodle cups are super duper convenient for days on the go.
But you know what else is super convenient? Mason jar lunches. And this late-rising girl loves being able to grab a mason jar out of the fridge in the morning and then having a delicious meal a few hours later.
And apparently, so do you all, because the most popular recipe on my blog by far is the one for my mason jar burrito bowl salads!
So here we are again, with a healthy mason jar work lunch, this time that’s gluten-free and paleo!
We’re making mason jar instant chicken ramen
noodles zoodles, and, let me tell you, they are SOOO OH GOOD.
We’re going to stuff our mason jars with layers of super healthy, tasty veggies that will cook gently in hot water, making them tender, delicious, and still retain almost all of their nutritional value!
We’ll also add some protein-rich, low-fat chicken breast and an easy, homemade chicken bouillon powder to our ramen zoodle cups, so that by the time we “just add water,” we’ve got an incredible, flavorful instant ramen noodle meal that’ll makes you wonder why you ever settled for that packaged stuff back in the day.
These “instant noodles” are my new favorite mason jar work lunch, and I think they’ll be yours too!
I love that something so easy and tasty can also be so healthy!
Note: Are you or is someone in your house vegan? Just omit the chicken, or substitute it with tofu! Everything else in these instant zucchini noodle mason jars is vegan-safe!
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 8 ounces of mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
- 2 large zucchini
- 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced (as thinly sliced as you possibly can)
- 2 cups greens, thinly sliced (I used red chard, you could also use spinach, kale, etc.)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons powdered garlic
- 1 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- a pinch of powdered ginger
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts evenly with the 1 tablespoon of sea salt and place them in a baking dish. Place the dish in the oven and bake the chicken for 20 minutes, or until fully cooked. Let cool and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
- In a large saucepan, heat the tablespoon of ghee or oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms until browning and softened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Peel the zucchini (peeling is optional), slice off both ends, and then cut the zucchini in half crosswise. Load the halves onto your spiralizer, and spiralize the zucchini using the smallest blade. Set the noodles aside.
- Add all of the ingredients for the "chicken" bouillon to a medium sized bowl. With a fork or whisk, combine the ingredients until evenly distributed. (Note: You will have more than enough bouillon for this recipe. Use the rest in future instant noodle cups, soups, or as seasoning for meat or veggies.)
- Divide the chicken cubes evenly among 6 pint-sized, wide-mouth mason jars. (They do need to be wide-mouth or you won't be able to get your soup out!) Then add equal amounts of red cabbage to each mason jar, followed by equal amounts of sliced greens and sautéed mushrooms. Top the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of bouillon powder in each jar. Stuff the rest of the space in the jar with zucchini noodles. (These ramen zoodle cups will keep for one week in the fridge.)
- When you're ready for a meal, boil one cup of water in a water heater, on the stove, or in the microwave. When the water is very hot, pour it over the contents of your mason jar and seal tightly.
- Let the sealed jar sit for no less than 5 minutes, then empty the ramen soup into a bowl. Enjoy!
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I’m linking this post up to the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.