Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Brat Ta Tat Tat

Today's lunch was barely eaten as I was still recovering from Puke Fest 2010. I had the intention of having a full on BRAT diet meal, but I couldn't do it in the end. This was as close as I could get. The low fiber and bland details below:
  • low sodium chicken broth
  • light rye Wasa crackers
  • light mini Babybel cheese
  • dried cranberries
I only ate the crackers and chicken broth. The cheese and the cranberries seemed a little risky. However, I think it's safe to say my appetite is back and in full effect because I just polished off about 4 oz. of steak and a lovely glass of Pinot. The way I figure it: go hard or go home. My ole' iron guts feel fine so I guess I'm back on the horse. Yippee!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Man Down!

I'm hit! After a spending Thanksgiving weekend in Texas with my sick 2 year old nephew, who got my sister sick, who then got her husband sick and finally got the brand new baby sick, I thought I escaped unscathed by the diarrhea and vomiting epidemic that was sweeping the household. But shortly after midnight (the night before my flight home) I started puking my brains out, and then some. I barely made it on the plane. However, I did get a seat upgrade by telling the flight crew that I had morning sickness. Yes, I know, it's wicked. But, when you're lucky enough to have a fine pot belly like mine, a gold ring that can easily be switched to your wedding finger, and a tendency to throw up every hour on the hour, not to mention the fear of being kicked off of a flight for being a biohazard...you do what you gotta do!

So, no lunch today because I was lying as still as possible in my bed. I did manage to get on a scale and saw that I've lost 4 pounds. If only it were real!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flight Plan

I’m posting this early today because I’m off to visit my sister and her family for Thanksgiving. The office closes at 2:30 and I’ll be on a plane by 4:30 but I won’t be stuck with an overpriced and unhealthy airport meal. The fresh in-flight details below:
  • big salad: lettuce, carrots, beets, peppers (I’m going to eat this while I’m still at work)
  • grapefruit cocktail (recipe below)
  • smoked salmon, lettuce, light harvati cheese, peppers on a whole wheat tortilla
  • cinnamon raisin Gnu bar
Although I am a citrus snob (growing up California spoiled me) I didn’t start loving grapefruit until I moved here. That’s mostly because I discovered ginger juice and learned how to supreme citrus. But, you don’t need to watch countless how to videos to do this. There are just three ingredients.

Grapefruit, honey, ginger (juice or fresh chunks).

Dang! I’m getting hungry already. This is going to be a great flight. Maybe if I focus on my lunch I can stop worrying about the TSA workers seeing me naked or feeling me up. Happy Thanksgiving y’all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Little Spicy Side

Still reveling in the big salads. The box had a bit of a kick today with some of last night's dinner
and my version of a fruit salad. The sizzling details below:
  • salad: CSA lettuce, carrots, beets and orange bell peppers
  • salad dressing
  • chicken andouille sausage with braised kale
  • frozen peaches and pineapples
I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy food so I could only handle 3 or 4 slices of sausage and I added plenty of kale to try to neutralize the heat. Oh, the kale was delicious, btw. I had braised greens at a restaurant this weekend and I really wanted to try to do it myself. It was so easy. Here's a makeshift recipe:

Braised Kale
2 teaspoons olive
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
3 cups kale (washed & chopped)
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or chicken or beef or even water)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for a couple of minutes. Throw in the kale and turn it around in the pan so that it's coated with oil and yummy onions and garlic for a another 3 or 4 minutes. Pour the vegetable broth all over the whole thing and keep turning the kale around in the pan. Does that make sense? When I say "turn it around" I mean swish it around with a spoon or tongs or whatever. It takes about 15 minutes to make. If you like your greens particularly soft and floppy maybe, 20 minutes.

Here is a picture of me that I'm posting purely because I think I look cute.

This was on Sunday at the Big Apple Tweed Ride. I think next time I'm going to pack a real picnic basket and spread a blanket out in the park with my friends. In fact, I've already bullied my friends into having a bicycling picnic this spring. I can't wait to really create a Packable Springtime Feast!

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Food!

Ahh! What a weekend and what a lunch to start this short week! It highlights the fact that we got our first winter share from the CSA.
  • CSA salad: lettuce, carrots, beets and peppers
  • Kashi Go Lean cereal
  • apple
This is what we got:
I've got a pretty good idea of what to do with most of the items. But there are a few things are throwing me for a loop. Can you guess which ones:
  • kale
  • bok choy
  • tatsoi
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • scallions
  • carrots
  • celery root
  • beets
  • yellow onions
  • fingerling potatoes
  • butternut squash
  • Crispin apples
  • apple cider
Yep, that's right, BEETS! I thought they were radishes and I put them in my salad this morning because they weren't bloody at all. They weren't that tasty, but I sliced them very thinly and ate them with the delicious carrots and they were kind of masked. I wonder if this is some form of bloodless beet that will change my life. They do taste like dirt though. Are they worth roasting? I'm scared the blood will start to flow once they're heated. Will cooking them intensify the dirt taste? Jeez, beets are the bane of my existence! Also:
You see that green spiny ball of dirt hiding behind the red balls of dirt? That's a celery root. Now what the hell am I supposed to do with that?!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Like It Like That

Not much of a change today, but I keep forgetting to mention that I really, really enjoy eating this soup.
  • butternut squash and lentil soup
  • yogurt with mini chocolate chips spreading the love
  • sugar snap peas
It's Thursday and the week has been kind of hectic. When I get home I'm so tired that I just kind of flop on the couch and do this:
Don't judge us because of the clutter. We're going for a "lived in" look. Anyway, I wonder if there is something in my lunch that's making me so sluggish. I kind of doubt it though, because that's my most healthy meal of the day. Should I start packing (and thus posting) my breakfasts as well. I find that by merely knowing that I'm going to post my meal, I'm compelled to make it as tasty and healthy as possible. Should I go back to the veggie omelets? Maybe something more sumptuous? Or should I stick with simple and easy to pack? Are those breakfasts somehow draining my energy? A little help.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sammy Saves The Day

A new player in the lunch game rescued me from early onset tedium. The heroic details below:
  • butternut squash and lentil soup
  • turkey bologna, light harvarti cheese and spinach on a fancy sandwich flat thingy
  • clementine
  • apple
I was so thrilled to have a little bit of meat in my lunch today. Although, turkey bologna is kind of odd. It tastes just like regular bologna but it's apparently better for you, or, should I say, less terrible for you. I mean, bologna is essentially swept of pig parts from the slaughterhouse floor, right? I guess if it's turkey parts it's less fattening. Dang, I hope didn't gross everyone out. I actually really love bologna but I get that it is not the most elegantly made food.

Anylenny, Melanie gave me some great advice about some jazzy side dishes so I'm scouring the cooking blogs for good grain salad recipes. Thanks, Mel!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Simple Tuesday

Today's lunch was kind of basic and a little restrictive. The barely there details below:
  • butternut squash and lentil soup
  • clementine
  • apple
I don't know why I didn't learn my lesson with the lasagna, but now I'm really in the soup this week. I think it's going to be soup and a sandwich tomorrow. Why did I make make a bottomless pot of this stuff?

Anyway, I'm also feeling totally uninspired and lost when it comes to my "side" dishes. Don't get me wrong, I love apples, clementines, and pita chips, but I've got to come up with something else. It might not happen this week because there's not much in the house this week and I only go food shopping on Sunday. BUT, this Saturday we get our first share of the winter CSA so I'm super excited to see what's in the box. Please, God, let there be carrots and lettuce! The lettuce in a bag that I bought from the grocery store this weekend was so sucky compared to what I was we got from the CSA.

Yikes, this post sort of became a bit ranty. Sorry folks, it's been a long day. I promise to be more cheery tomorrow. Maybe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dawn of a New Era

I'm back! There's a spring in my step and a frog in my throat so I guess I'm on the mend from my lingering cold/flu thing. Lunch today was decidedly different from last week. The lasagna-less details below:
  • salad with carrots
  • mini fuji apple
  • pita chips (I got these "Reduced Guilt" ones from TJ's)
  • butternut squash and lentil soup
Prepare for another week with a lot of repeats because I made like 10 gallons of this soup:

Adzuki Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon (ground) coriander

1-2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle pepper

2 medium-large onions, minced

6 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

5 cups vegetable stock or filtered water

1 large or 2 medium red bell peppers, diced

2 teaspoons sea salt

4 cups cooked or canned adzuki beans, rinsed

A few sprigs fresh cilantro or cilantro drizzle (finely mince a handful of cilantro and pour just enough olive oil over to cover - plus a couple pinches of salt)

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, coriander, and chipotle and saute for about 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the onions and saute for another 8 minutes, until translucent (add a splash of water to prevent sticking if needed). Add the garlic and squash, stir, and then pour in stock or water.

Increase the heat to bring to a boil, and once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 6 minutes, until the squash begins to soften.

Once the squash has softened, use a potato masher and start breaking up the squash a bit. Add red peppers and salt, and cook for 6 minutes more before adding the beans and cooking for 5 minutes more, until hot. Serve garnished (or drizzled) with the cilantro.

Serves about 8

I substituted lentils because I didn't have adzuki beans in the house. The big surprise is that I used the same butternut squash that we got in our CSA haul from October 26! Actually, the even bigger surprise is that I have absolutely no problem eating this. I'm talking mushed up squash here! Who woulda thunk it! But this is actually the second time I've made this soup and I still love it. I can't explain why the texture/color of the squash doesn't even phase me in this form, but roasted or pureed is a total deal breaker. Go figure.

Speaking the inexplicableness of food aversions. I DRANK BEET JUICE TONIGHT! Yes, after ranting about the evils of beets, I actually consumed the vile root in its essence. My Weight Watcher buddy (and wise yogi), Corinna, invited me over to her apartment tonight for a juice cocktail party. Well, it was just me and her and her very funny boyfriend, but we made it a party. Anyway, she has this badass juicer that strangles every last drop of liquid from fruits and veggies without even a shred of pulp or grit getting into the glass. We made a cocktail of pear, apple, carrot, orange, mango, kiwi and yes, beet juices. Corinna was so nice, she even cut the beet and hid it until the very last second because she knew I couldn't stand the sight of the blood. I'm pleased to report it was actually really tasty! Delicious, in fact! Thanks Corinna! Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Still Going

I packed the exact same lunch as yesterday minus the PB&J. The reduced details below:
  • Endless Veggie Lasagna
  • withering sugar snap peas
  • clementine
  • empty box
Work really did a number on me today. I was swamped! So much so that I didn't eat ANY of my lunch!! That's right, I didn't even crack open my box. I packed a big breakfast egg burrito thingy (sorry no picture) and had that around 11:00; proceeded to wash it down with about a gallon of coffee. Then it was head down and work, work, work until way too late. I was supposed to go on a lovely autumn walk with some of my favorite fitness friends and then I got stuck with some last minute biz just as I was tiptoeing out the door. Rats!

BTW, if you're sick of seeing veggie lasagna with snap peas and a clementine then skip this blog tomorrow, because that's what you're going to get! But just know that as sick as you are of seeing it this week, I'm 10 times more sick of eating, or rather PACKING it and not even getting to eat it. I wish I could afford or had the patience to make a completely different lunch every day. BAH! I'm so annoyed with everything right now . . . I'm Googling "primal scream therapy" as I write this.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Wow! A big Sunday dinner can really stretch throughout the week. The lingering details below.
  • The Everlasting Veggie Lasagna
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • clementine
  • sugar snap peas
I was at a complete and total loss as to what to put in the yellow section of my box today. After turning around and around in the kitchen looking for something crunchy, or even snackable, I decided to make a PB&J sandwich. Needless to say it was way too much food. Obviously, I gobbled up the sandwich first and then went straight for the cheesy lasagna. By the time I was finished with those two I totally forgot about the healthy stuff. Oh well, I guess I'll just be thankful that tomorrow's lunch is halfway packed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Similar to yesterday, but somehow even more yummy.
  • Veggie lasagna
  • pita chips
  • clementine
  • fat free vanilla yogurt
I just had a great evening out with another one of my best friend's so I'm a bit too tired for a full recap of today's lunch. Tomorrow's lunch might look very similar because there is still a lot of lasagna left.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just Another Meatless Monday

Leftovers from a great dinner helped me start my week off on the right foot. The go-get-em details below:
  • lasagna (zucchini, portobellos, swiss chard, spinach, CSA onions and homemade roasted CSA tomato sauce)
  • sugar snap peas
  • popcorn
  • a clementine
I busted my butt to make that lasagna last night and it was totally worth it. Not that it was the best lasagna I've ever made, but I got to share it with one of my best friends (and frequent commenter on this here blog). We laughed and talked and managed to drain an entire bottle of wine. It was a perfect Sunday night cold weather dinner.

But this is a lunch blog, so let's move on. I rarely pack my box the night before because I like to be somewhat spontaneous in the morning. However, spontaneity is one thing and making important food decisions at 7 a.m. is quite another. So I'm going to try to start packing at least some of my lunch the night before. I did this last night and it came back to bite me a little because the popcorn was stale by the time I got to it this afternoon. But, you know me, I still ate it.

Speaking of popcorn, I've been having a bit of a crunchy moment recently. Pita chips, popcorn, etc. I've been trying to get something crunchy in my box every day. I have a feeling it's my way of substituting for the insanely delicious and crunchy carrots I was getting from the CSA. I crave those bad boys like nobody's business. So sweet, cold, crunchy and satisfying. We signed up for a winter share with the CSA so I'm praying that those dreamy carrots will show up in the box when we pick it up in a couple of weeks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Little Razzle Dazzle

I tried to put some of the magic back into my lunch today. The mystical details below:
  • smoked salmon, light havarti cheese, arugula and cucumber in a whole wheat tortilla
  • French tomato lentil soup (left over from Monday & bought here)
  • sugar snap peas
  • oatmeal muffin (with cranberries and cough chocolate chips cough)
So, you know when you have a whole bunch of oatmeal and cranberries in your cupboard and unsweetened applesauce in the fridge and you figure you'll make something virtuous like reasonably sized muffins and then somehow a half cup of mini chocolate chips fall into mixing bowl? Jeez, I hate it when that happens. Moving on...

Everything was great about today's lunch except my broken tortilla. But, it didn't stop me from gobbling up the whole thing in just a few minutes. Also, it should be noted that I used to buy a similar lox wrap from this swanky Swedish coffee bar by my job. It cost $12!! My wrap cost maybe $2. So there!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm Not Going To Use The Phrase "Hump Day" But...

Yesterday was a sick day. Today I tried to muster some energy with a healthy lunch. It sort of worked too! The Revival Story below:
  • salad (red leaf lettuce, arugula, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, roasted chicken)
  • salad dressing
  • frozen peaches
  • pita chips
I feel a lot better today. For some reason, I thought if I added chicken to my salad it would be better for me (protein, and all). Well, I ended up picking it out because I didn't like the texture of the soft cold chicken with the crisp crunchy veggies. And, the rest of the lunch was ok. I feel like my lunches have lacked in creativity and pizazz lately. Now that I'm feeling better, hopefully I can change that.

Moving on to things probably no one cares about, here is how I manage to keep crisp food crisp and wet food wet.
Lids! My big salad gets a lid and my peaches do too. So the pita chips are crunchy when I'm ready for them.
Oh, I started carrying my lunch box in my purse. It fits perfectly and helps me not look like a Major Nerd.
I had my personal photographer take a picture of me actually holding my purse, but I came out looking like a 5'2 weasel on her way to work. So, here's a snap of my handbag with my lunch box. Trust me, this leather bag looks a lot better than my mug at 8:00 a.m.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Salad Days

It just feels right to start my week with a salad after a weekend filled with Halloween candy and rum spiked hot cocoa. The green leafy details below:
  • salad (red romaine lettuce, arugula, yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots)
  • salad dressing
  • kiwis
  • popcorn
I've still got this stupid flu thing! I think that's what moved me to buy a cup of soup from the lunch spot by my office to go along with this tasty homemade lunch. I was supposed to make this delicious adzuki bean and butter squash soup over the weekend but I was asleep most of Saturday and Sunday. But, I have some of my impulse buy soup left over so I'll be sure to put in my lunch tomorrow. Now, I'm off to put my pajamas on and wait for the train to Sleepytown. Yes, it's only 6:30 p.m. Don't judge me, I'm sick!