Noodle jars went from being niche eye candy on Pinterest, to full-on food trend – and for good reason. Not only do they look fabulous, they make for a super convenient non-boring desk lunch, cut down on food waste by using up leftovers AND use environmentally friendly glass containers. Noodle jars my friends, are a win-win situation.
Reducing food waste
I’m working with Iceland #PowerofFrozen to draw your attention to simple ways we can all help to reduce food waste, so you might be surprised to learn that these pulled pork noodle jars started life as a totally different meal altogether! Yes, the marvellous world of leftovers.
The Mississippi Smoked Pulled Pork that I used for this recipe is part of Iceland’s World Famous Smokehouse range. It’s great if you don’t have a lot of freezer space because you buy the products frozen, but keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days and cook from chilled.
It was super easy to make – you just snip the bag it comes in and turn the meat and sauce into the provided foil tray and whack it in the oven for 40 mins. After that your kitchen will smell amazing as you shred the delicious meat with a couple of forks ready to serve.
Pulled Pork Brioche Bun Feast
I stuffed the glistening strands of tasty pork into soft brioche buns, topping with a dollop of creme fraiche and a spoonful of tangy Red Slaw. I served them up in a platter with salad leaves and steamed corn cobs. It’s a real feast of a meal, but so simple to put together.
The corn cobs were straight out of the freezer, plunged into boiling water and ready in 12 minutes flat. That’s what’s so great about frozen staples like this, you can just throw together an impromptu meal without too much faffing about.
As they say up here it was canny good like! I love the pops of colour from the red slaw and the cheerful yellow corn – it’s definitely got table appeal.
So there was just enough pulled pork left to make myself a rather glorious lunch for the next day… yep, my Pulled Pork Noodle Jars. This really is a winner. The saucy meat transforms the stock into a deeply tasty broth, mixed with the goodness of the veggies and the comfort of the noodles – oh my!
As you can see below there’s not a great deal of ingredients to gather… and you can adapt it to your own tastes/what you’ve got in that needs using up.
It takes little more than 5 minutes to get it ready, then you can pop it in fridge ready for when you want to eat. Perfectly portable for taking to work and showing off at your desk to all your colleagues. This is THE desk lunch to end all desk lunches!
All you’ve got to do is saunter over to the kettle and pour some hot water in, give it a mix, let it sit for a for minutes with the lid on, and they hey presto. Bish bash bosh. Your glorious lunch is served and instagram ready!
A super easy and nutritious desk lunch made using leftover pulled pork, noodles, spinach and carrot all served up in a pretty and portable jar
- 50 g dried noodles
- 1 chicken stock gel pot
- 100 g leftover pulled pork
- 1 handful spinach leaves fresh or frozen
- 1/2 carrot
- 1-2 tsp soy sauce to taste
Make up the noodles with boiling water, and then drain and rinse with cold water.
Place in the bottom of a 400ml capacity jar and press down. Add the stock pot, the leftover pulled pork and the spinach leaves. Pressing down each layer as you add it.
Slice the carrot into thin strips - I used a julienne peeler - and then finally add the strips to the jar. Press down and screw the lid firmly in place. Store the jar in the fridge until ready to use
When you're ready to serve, boil the kettle and pour 150ml of hot water into the jar, give it a good stir along with the soy sauce and then replace the lid and leave for about 3 minutes. Stir again and then eat!
Vegetarian? Use quorn pieces instead of meat
Slimming World? Use shredded chicken and it's totally syn-free!
The Feeding Boys guide to reducing food waste
I’m pretty passionate about making the most of the food we buy, so here are my top tips:
Plan your meals in advance
- Every weekend I make time to plan seven days of meals, draw up a shopping list and then get the ingredients bought and the cupboards, fridge and freezer stocked for the week ahead.
- At the end of every month I go through the food that we still have in and try and plan meals to use that stuff up.
- Meal planning saves me money because I don’t generally need to go to the shops again until the following week (apart from emergency wine supplies obvs).
- It definitely cuts down on waste because I use everything I buy for the designated meals.
- Stress is reduced because you don’t have to suddenly decide what’s for tea, it’s all there waiting to be cooked.
- As well as scratch-cooked recipes, there are always some dead easy bung-in-the-oven type meals for the extra specially busy days.
Keep your freezer well stocked and organised
- Use stackable containers and label them clearly with what’s inside and what date you put it in there so it doesn’t linger for more than a few months!
- Freezing sliced bread, rolls, bagels and crumpets means you’ve always got breakfast covered and frees up your bread bin.
- Frozen veggies like peas, sweetcorn and spinach are nutritional super heroes and can be whipped out at a moment’s notice for easy side dishes
- You’re moments away from a healthy smoothie if you keep a good stock of chopped frozen fruit on the go. I also keep bags of baby spinach and kale in the freezer, bought fresh and just slung in there. You can just take a handful every time you need it.
- Bananas going black? Chop them up and put into bags and freeze – blitz in the blender for healthy banana ice cream – yum!
Love your leftovers!
- Have plenty of storage solutions for preserving your leftovers – I have a draw full of re-usable containers of all shapes and sizes, shelves full of jars and all manner of freezer bags!
- Don’t let them linger… while leftovers often taste better the day after, you don’t want them to start gathering fuzz at the back of the fridge. I designate one of my fridge shelves especially for leftovers so I don’t forget about them.
- Get creative and make something new with them, or take them to work for lunch.
What are your favourite ways of using up leftovers? I’d love to see your comments below!
You can find out more about Iceland’s Iceland #PowerofFrozen campaign here
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I have been commissioned by Iceland to share this content with you. All views are my own. #ad