Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Bloody Monday

I did not want the weekend to end. Or, more accurately, I didn't want this week to begin. I'm already looking forward to Friday. Here's the menu for today's lunch:
  • 2 blood oranges
  • GUMBO!!
  • peaches
  • fat free vanilla yogurt with dried cranberries
My gentleman friend made a this delicious chicken and sausage gumbo last night. It was so great! The blood oranges were good too. Overall, it was a tasty lunch but it was woefully lacking in vegetables. Also, even though I keenly aware of this, I am eating way too much sugar. Even if it's in the form of fruits. I wonder if I could get hypnosis for sugar addiction. It's getting to be really horrible. Every single meal I have has some sort of sugary thing going on. Even this lunch is mainly made up of sweet components. I'm going to try to work on this.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wrapped In Snow

Not the best picture today because I was in a hurry to get out of the house. We had another massive snow dump last night and I had to trudge through 19 inches of the stuff to make to get to work this morning. But I made it! Here's what I ate:
  • ancient grains salad
  • sugar snap peas
  • 2 clementines (1 not shown)
  • fat free vanilla yogurt with a dried cranberry happy face
  • sliced turkey, low fat cheese, spinach and light mayonnaise on a whole wheat tortilla
This was a great one. Very filling and hit all the taste/texture marks. Well, maybe I could have used something with a crunch. But otherwise, great. Not much else to say about it actually. Until next time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gobble Gobble

A portion of last night's dinner made its way into my lunchbox again today. It was delicious! Plus a little makeshift dessert.
  • turkey bolognese with whole wheat rotelle pasta
  • 2 small blood oranges
  • sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt with 1 teaspoon Mexican hot cocoa mix on top
So many new (to me) items today. I went to Trader Joe's the other day and picked up some random stuff. Most of them were things I knew I would like (dried cranberries, clementines, low-fat cheddar slices). I took a chance on the blood oranges and the their frozen turkey meat sauce. I'm not a pasta fan so I usually only eat it when it's covered with meat and/or cheese. This stuff made the pasta way less yucky and was much healthier than what I could have done with it.This is not my photo. I lifted it from here.

Success! The blood oranges were sweet and juicy. As you know, I'm somewhat of a citrus snob so I'm always a little wary of buying oranges outside of my hometown. Also, even at home, blood oranges were a bit of a rarity and I didn't grow up eating them. When I tried them in the past they were sort of sour and dry. Not these babies. Juicy and filling.

The final newbie was that sprinkle of Mexican hot cocoa mix on top of my yogurt. Genius! Try it yourself.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peachy Keen

Today's lunch was pretty good. Not spectacular, but solid. The reliable details below:
  • salad with 3 oz grilled chicken (romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers)
  • balsamic vinaigrette
  • thawed frozen peaches
  • fat free vanilla yogurt
  • clementine
Am I the only one that finds salads sort of difficult to eat? I always want to get all of the the ingredients on the fork so I end up stuffing my face. Well, there are harder trials in life.

I got a new bag of frozen peaches this weekend and I broke it open for the first time today. Mmmm. I really think I will never get sick of eating these peaches. They are definitely not as satisfying as eating a fresh, perfectly ripe peach. But, they remind me of eating canned peaches. I'm sheepishly proud (is that even possible) to say that I used to love canned peaches, pears, and the ultimate in bastardization, "fruit cocktail" as a kid. I remember my sister and brother and I would fight over who got the highly prized and all too rare maraschino cherry. The worst part was the squishy grapes, which I always picked out. Anyway, it's weird how my little peach pots reminds me of such a specific time in my life. Food memories, people!

Monday, January 24, 2011


It was 6 degrees when I left for work this morning. SIX! I really almost called in "cold" to work. Anyway, I put on a million layers of clothing and headed out the door. It's days like this that I'm glad I don't have to leave the office to scavenge for food at lunch.
  • 1 cup grapefruit cocktail (fresh grapefruit, ginger juice, honey)
  • turkey sandwich (light whole-wheat bread, fat free mayonnaise, 3 slices deli turkey)
  • 3/4 sugar snap peas
  • 3/4 ancient grains salad
  • clementine
The new addition today was this ancient grains salad. It's made up of wheatberries, kamut, black barley, pearled barley, bell pepper, waterchestnuts, carrots, carrot juice, tofu, onion, sesame seeds, mirin, rice wine vinegar, tamari, agave nectar, ginger, and dijon mustard. I picked it up at Whole Foods this weekend solely for health reasons. I've never had a desire to eat something like this before. Mainly because...well...KAMUT! I don't even know what that is. I don't know what most of these "ancient" grains are.

As you know, I'm not very adventurous with food, so I figured getting this salad was a baby step. I have almost no aversions to the things in this salad. Except for maybe waterchestnuts. In my head, a waterchestnut is a nut, so I don't like the idea of it being wet. Anyway, I picked it out. Overall, I'm not in love with the ancient grain salad. I only ate about a third of it. I'll try again tomorrow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Freezing Friday

I wanted to pack a hot lunch today because it's snowy and cold outside. I made it half way:
  • 1 cup homemade chili (kidney beans, veggies, shredded chicken)
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 3/4 cup frozen peaches
  • 3/4 fat free vanilla yogurt
So the lunch was hot and cold. Hot chili and hot veggies (after nuking them for a minute). I spaced out the meal and had the yogurt around 4:00.

I got a comment asking for the recipe for the vegan pumpkin apple muffins that I had last week. It was adapted from this recipe. But here is how I ended up making it:

Vegan Pumpkin Apple Muffins

16 ounces pumpkin puree (I roasted a small pumpkin and pureed it)
3/4 cup applesauce (I boiled 3 apples and blended it until smooth)
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour (1 cup white whole wheat + 1 cup unbleached all purpose)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 large apple, peeled and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put paper muffin cups in your muffin tin. In a large bowl mix wet ingredients and spices and salt.

2. Stir the flour and baking soda into the wet and mix with a spoon. Fold in the peeled and chopped apple.

3. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Obviously, if you don't have the threat of rotting apples and pumpkin looming over you there is no reason to make the pumpkin puree and applesauce. Just buy it from the store.

Anyway, it's Friday and I'm really looking forward to the weekend. Who cares if it's going to be 20 degrees!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Measurable Difference

I'm cleaning out the fridge, one lunchbox at a time. The tidy details below:
  • 3 oz. grilled wild salmon
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup pigeon peas
  • clementine
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
This was a pretty good one. Similar to what I've been eating for the past couple of weeks, but still, filling and satisfying. I think I need to add more vegetables to my lunches next week. I just have to get off my keister and go to the grocery store this weekend.

You may have noticed my new penchant for weights and measurements lately. I'm trying to get a more accurate understanding of how much I'm actually eating with my lunches (and my other meals too). Anyway, my great friend Marcie got me these cute little measuring cups that look like Russian nesting dolls.
They are so cute and fit perfectly in my lunch packing station. Speaking of which, does anyone want to my set up? I get the feeling that most people read this blog solely for the box shots. Let me know if you want to see anything else.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nothing Special

Today's lunch was another dinner leftover. Not so fancy. The mediocre details below:
  • brown rice with pidgeon peas
  • roasted chicken breast
  • seedless clementines
This lunch was kind of awkward to eat actually because I didn't cut up the chicken. So, I ended up taking a bite from the huge hunk and then putting a forkful of rice and peas in my mouth so I could chew it all up together. Sheesh! That's probably way too much information right? Anyway, the clementines were fantastic as usual.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Make Do And Lunch

We had the day off yesterday. Thanks, Dr. King! So I luxuriated in the long weekend a bit too much and didn't really bother to do any grocery shopping. No problem, we have lots of stuff in the fridge from last week. I made it work:
Not much to say today. I realized that I forgot my lunchbox at work while I was riding home on the train tonight. Oh well, I have 2 other ones, but that was the big one. Also, seedless clementines are THE BEST thing to happen to me this winter. I eat at least 3 or 4 of these a day now. So perfect for snacking.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dinner Lunch

Today's lunch was sponsored by last night's dinner.
  • CSA popcorn
  • vegan pumpkin apple muffin
  • braised greens on a bed of mashed potatoes (all from our last CSA haul)
  • thawed frozen peaches
  • turkey burger
The man of the house made most of this dinner/lunch. His mashed potatoes were delicious and my braised greens on top made it even better! (If I do say so myself.) The turkey burger was a little to Man Sized for me, though. I only ate about 1/4 of it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fruity Fish

I'm proud of myself for making such a healthy lunch today. It's low in fat and full of fiber and protein. I think this is what they call "clean eating." The immaculate details below:
  • salad (romaine lettuce, spring mixed greens, CSA carrots, red bell pepper)
  • 3.5 oz. wild coho salmon
  • peaches (thawed)
  • vegan pumpkin apple muffin
  • CSA apple
Today was one of those days. I didn't get a chance to eat lunch until almost 3:00. Luckily, I had my apple around 11:30.

Oh! I think I'm getting an allergy to apples. Whenever I eat them my lips feel tingly and puffy. My throat gets scratchy too. I started popping Benadryl after I eat one, but it makes me so sleepy. This is just another one of tasty things that I have to put on my "Night Fruits" list. Those are fruits that I know I'm more or less allergic to, but I eat them anyway because I refuse to give them up. The list is pretty long and, apparently, growing longer. So far it includes cherries, plums, grapes, pears and now apples. I can only eat them at night when the drowsiness from the Benadryl is not such a problem.

Sheesh! With all my food aversions and allergies it's a miracle I can manage to stay alive. Right, you know, because I so desperately underweight and waiflike. Don't worry about me...I shall go on!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day Lunch

As I trudged through the fresh snow this morning I was happy that I packed a warm and cozy lunch. The hot and hearty details below:
  • homemade chili (kidney beans, veggies, shredded chicken)
  • thawed frozen pineapples
  • vegan pumpkin apple muffin
  • bell pepper strips
  • balsamic vinaigrette dipper
Sometimes there's nothing better than a hot meal on a blustery, snowy day. Actually, the highlight of this lunch was the crunchy bell peppers dipped in tangy salad dressing. I also threw in an apple for a mid-morning snack but I didn't put it in the picture. Anyway, I'll try to switch it up tomorrow, but I can't make any promises. I'm a creature of habit.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snack Attack

I bulked up my lunch today with 2 snacks and brought back a old friend that is not quite the same as it used to be. The jam packed details below:
  • CSA apple (not sure if it's Golden Delicious, Macintosh, or Empire)
  • CSA popcorn
  • frozen peaches (thawed)
  • vegan pumpkin apple muffin (made with CSA pumpkins and apples)
  • spring mix salad with bell pepper and CSA carrots
  • homemade chili (kidney beans, veggies, shredded chicken)
I love lunches like this because is goes way beyond lunchtime. Yesterday's lunch was great, but I was hungry at 4:00 and then again a 6:00 when I was running errands after work. Today, I threw in an apple for the zillion that we got in the CSA and also some popcorn from these weird dried up cobs of corn we got from the CSA.
We got about 6 of these in this month's haul and we had another 5 or 6 from last month's box. I picked off all the kernels from those little ears on Saturday afternoon. I swear I thought my thumbs were going to fall off. But, it was worth it to have fresh popcorn. Now we have a go to snack.
Again, I'm sort of surprised about the origins of foods that I like (or dislike, in the case of pumpkin). I've never even mildly considered that popcorn comes from EARS OF CORN. I mean, I knew it was corn. Duh! But that it is grown on a corn stalk and then you have to take the kernels off. Revolutionary!

Also, I finally broke down and bought lettuce! I've been missing all of the fresh and delicious lettuce we got over the summer and fall in the CSA haul. This salad definitely wasn't as good as the farm fresh stuff, but it did the trick.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Muffin Mania

What a way to start the week. Homemade treats and fresh veggies. The jumpstarting detail below:
  • whitefish and egg salad sandwich on light whole wheat bread
  • froze pineapple chunks
  • vegan pumpkin apple spice muffin
  • CSA carrots
  • TLC pomegranate & walnut fruit and grain bar
I roasted, pureed, and baked my brains out yesterday. I know I should be eating all of the gourd vegetables in their whole form, but I just can't do it. The texture is just too...yuck! So I decided to use them for good instead of evil and turn them into desserts for my lunch. We got a small pumpkin and an acorn squash in last CSA box (over a month ago!) and they were threatening to go bad if I didn't do something with them. So I made muffins. I even used one of the apples we got from our most recent CSA. I thought that maybe I could get over my cooked fruit aversion if I made it myself.
I ended up picking out all of the apples. Eh, I'm a work in progress.

I adapted the recipe from this one. I used 2 cups of unbleached white whole wheat flour and only 1 cup of all purpose flour. I also didn't use any oil because I didn't think it really needed. Plus, I had more than 16 oz. of pumpkin puree so I didn't think moisture would be an issue. Oh! Something I found interesting was that roasted pureed pumpkin really doesn't look the way we think of it (dark orangey/brown) until you add all those spices. It was a yellow/orange color before that. Anyway, you live. You learn.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

CSA Food Is Here

I picked up our CSA box this afternoon. Lots of goodies and, as usual, some intimidating stuff. Here is the official item list from the farm:
  • a handful of onions
  • a winter squash
  • a bag of potatoes (‘Yukon Gold’ or ‘All Blue’ or ‘Red Norland’)
  • a bag of greens (‘Tatsoi’, ‘Red Russian’ kale, ‘Red Komatsuna’ and chard or spinach)
  • a bag of popcorn
  • a bag of apples (‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Macintosh’ or ‘Empire’)
  • a bag containing carrots, roasting beets and a small red cabbage
Now, I've got some recipe research to do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Howdy Partner

After today, I really feel like I'm back in the saddle again. Work has returned to the same chaotic pace it was before my vacation and thank goodness I have my lunchbox to help me keep up. Today's details below:
  • homemade chili (kidney beans, veggies, shredded chicken)
  • thawed frozen pineapple
  • tortilla chips
  • tangerine
The Mr. stayed up late Monday night making this chili and then the slow cooker did it's magic overnight. When we woke up the entire house smelled like heavenly chili. It was great for lunch too. The pot is big so I'm be finishing out the week with it, but we get our CSA box on Saturday. Yay!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lunch Blast

What can I say? I've been on my Christmas vacation and packed lunches have been few and far between. I went home to California and ate my weight in citrus fruit. I also packed a couple of lunches for my mom to take to work. I got her a Laptop Lunch for her birthday last year and my dad has been using it to pack her lunch ever since.

Her lunch below is partly leftovers from a Basque restaurant we dined at the night before. The protein component of this lunch is totally gross to me, but she asked me to pack it so I did. The yucky details below:
  • pickled tongue
  • kiwi and orange salad
  • plain yogurt with walnuts and fresh blueberries
  • roasted brussel sprouts
I begged her to have the left over roast chicken or broiled tri-tip instead, but she insisted on having the tongue. Packing that lunch was a test of my love for my mother.

Anyway, here are the rest of the lunches I took pictures of in the past two weeks.
Above is another lunch I made for my mom.
  • chicken tamale (Christmas in my hometown means tamales!)
  • orange and kiwi
  • macaroni and cheese
  • plain brussel sprouts
  • 2 special hometown candies
  • plain yogurt with walnuts and fresh blueberries
This is one of the final (pitiful) lunches I took to work before my vacation.
  • roasted chicken
  • brown rice
  • steamed broccoli
  • frozen (thawed) peaches
This one had a bit more pizazz. It was my second or third time taking grilled cheese.
  • grilled low fat colby/jack cheese on light whole wheat bread
  • Amy's Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup-Light in Sodium
  • tangerine
  • steamed broccoli
  • chocolate chip oatmeal cookie
So, there you have it. I'm back to the grind now so that means midday salvation in a box. Lunches!!

Happy new year!