Mason Jar Meal or Gift

As we're getting to the Fall and Winter season, I always find myself wanting to have something on hand to give for quick gifts or to drop off to sick friends to lend a hand.  Meals in Jars are a great go-to item, but I'm pretty sure everyone on my 'list' has already received my favorite offering--an Organic Minestrone Soup recipe in a jar from Prep Ahead and Dine In.  (I have gotten so many compliments on this recipe and everyone has really loved it--so it's a great one to add to your repertoire--thank you Jaime!)

I thought I'd branch out a bit and take advantage of the fantastic bulk foods section of my local Winco Grocery Store to come up with my own recipe to share with you and with my friends and family.

This recipe make about 6-8 servings and only requires a few additional ingredients.  In a pint sized mason jar, carefully layer the following ingredients:

1/4 c yellow split peas
1/4 c green split peas (if you can't find yellow, 1/2 c of green will do just fine)
1/4 c vegetable soup mix (contains dehydrated carrots, onions, and lots of herbs and spices)
1/4 c chicken bouillon or vegetable bouillon powder

You will still have about half the jar space remaining.  You will now line the remaining space with a small sandwich bag (the kind without the zipper will give you more space for tortellinis!) and fill the rest up with dried tortellini.  Secure the lid and voila!  Ready to give (or save for a night when you don't feel like prepping dinner)

Be sure to include cooking instructions:

You will need:  1-2 carrots, 1 small onion, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1 package sausages (optional)

To prepare, dice the fresh carrots, onion and garlic.  Saute with a small amount of olive oil until softened and aromatic.  Remove tortellini from jar and add remaining contents to the pot with 6-8 cups of water and the vegetables.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the peas are beginning to soften.  Meanwhile, slice one package of sausage (I love this with Chicken and Apple Sausage) and crisp the slices in a pan.  Fifteen minutes before dinner, add the tortellini and continue to simmer until the peas and tortellini and fully cooked.  Add the sausage slices and enjoy!

As a side note, this would also be tasty with a can of diced or crushed tomatoes.  I haven't tried it that way yet, but I think it would be fantastic!  And all of the add-in ingredients are optional--it would taste great without any additions.  I just like the heartiness of the extra vegetables and protein.


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