Above: Dill curry tuna salad on whole wheat bread with mixed greens
I LOVE a happy work lunch! One of my favorite tricks is to make one big central component on the weekend or shop for tasty ingredients specifically for work lunch – then store and prepare everything AT work to streamline mornings at home. Sometimes my work-friends and I will spend a lunch break shopping for work food, and we know we’ll have quality options on hand for the week. Shopping and preparing food together is just as much fun as going out (maybe?).
I’m obsessed with these two posts from bon appetit. I’m inspired to hosting a cheese plate lunch at work. Everyone would bring their favorite cheese (or even some charcuterie) and some fruit or hearty crackers – all to share. How fun would that be? (I have no doubt that it would look exactly like this.)
I’m no longer packing lunch for my son (Hallelujer! due to a change of schools with a tremendous menu upgrade), but 100 Days of Real Food (I won this cookbook – which is also a great resource since it features a lunchbox section!) and Wendolonia were some of the best sites for inspiration.
How refreshing does this Sparkling Lemon Herb Tea look??? And these lunch ideas sound delish! (I helped with prop styling and sourcing on these shoots! So fun!)
I love the idea of this Citrus Boost dressing. I usually whip up a similar dressing for my salads and bowls, but this one sounds extra zingy. If you’re short on time, this trick would probably go a long way to brighten up your midday meal.
Deb from The Smitten Kitchen might hate packing lunch, but she’s fabulous at it.
Really a post about breakfast, but I still love the placemat at your desk tip.
I posted the picture above this week, and I got a love of insta-love. So I thought I’d share the recipe for this yummy Southwestern Sweet Potato Hashbrowns. I’m pretty sure it’s compliant with the major whole foods diets that are popular these days, if you’re into that kind of thing, but it’s still quite tasty, if you’re not.
1 medium sweet potato, spiralized on the smaller setting (if you don’t have a spiralizer, use a julienne peeler)
1/4 cup (approximately/to taste) red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup (approximately/to taste) sweet onion, chopped
A pinch each of chili powder and cumin*
Salt and pepper, to taste
*I used approximately a scant 1/8 teaspoon of each spice.
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Add all ingredients in a greased skillet on medium-high to high. Stir frequently and as you get a good brown on the veggies going, turn the heat down to medium and allow them to soften. Plate about 1/3 of the mixture per serving, top with your favorite style of egg (the one shown is skillet poached, technique here), salsa, and cilantro. I cannot describe how delicious this is! I got 3 weekday breakfasts out of this batch. It’s really easy to heat up on subsequent days.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a part of a vegan supper club that meets bimonthly-ish. The food is superb (even if you’re not vegan), and the conversation is always stimulating. Last night, we had a dinner for the record books. First of all, our outdoor setting and weather were PERFECT (see photo below)! Secondly, the hostess and company were amazing as always. Finally, the food was light and fresh – the kind that leaves you feeling great no matter how much you stuff yourself. And that’s exactly what we did! I put my spiralizer to good use to create a spring “pasta” salad, and everyone seemed really into it!
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Zoodle Primavera Salad
3 large zucchini, spiralized or julienned (I used this a Paderno – I got it 50% off!!!)
2 carrots, julienned and chopped in one inch pieces (I used an OXO – the spiralizer cores the veggie, and I feel like you lose too much of the carrot.)
1 cup frozen peas (or fresh, if you have it)
1/2 small white onion, chopped
Small bunch of asparagus (I used part of a grocery store bunch – about 8 large stalks, bottoms trimmed and peeled, chopped into 1-inch pieces)
I cooked everything in batches on high heat for a layered effect. It also helps if everything has space to get browned nicely, because we all know brown food tastes good! But feel free to throw everything in there or even eat some of the ingredients raw, if you prefer.
In an oiled skillet on high heat, add zucchini and cook until nicely browned and tender. Stir regularly. Remove from skillet and add to serving bowl.
Add more oil if needed/desired, then add carrots, onions, and peas – brown/tender/stir/bowl. Same story with the asparagus for the top.
Add a vinaigrette of your choice – I made a simple one with olive oil, white balsamic, salt, pepper, fresh herbs, garlic, and mustard. Keep in mind that if you cooked with oil, you might want to pare back in your dressing recipe to keep everything balanced. I love to use a mason jar to shake, shake, shake, and then pour the dressing on top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve and lightly stir to incorporate dressing while keeping layers intact. Delish!
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Other recipes pictured:
Sun-dried Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Tofu Quiche from Oh She Glows
BBQ Lentil Lettuce Wraps with Tangy Slaw from Blissful Basil
Thai Quinoa Salad from Foodie Crush (Subbed chili sauce for fish sauce to make vegan.)
Triple Chocolate Ganache Vegan Cake was from Khan’s Desserts in Nashville, Tennessee. It was BEYOND!
Here’s our NEW Pinterest board with past favorites, ideas, and our favorite blogs for inspiration.
*This post is not sponsored, just sharing my personal equipment.
I’m officially on the spiralizer train (check out my zoodles – zucchini noodles above). I got one 50% off at the Williams Sonoma outlet in GA (a Paderno) on our weekend away about a month ago, and I’ve been using it constantly. I’ve been using the blog Inspiralized as inspiration, and I’m drooling over this salad.
Can I please be a professional grocery shopper (a la #6)? I love grocery shopping. I even “window shop” at grocery stores. I recently had a off and spent most of it perusing Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s with a friend buying cool products that I can’t get at Kroger. I’m a total sucker for great packaging. Grocery shopping fulfills the “retail therapy” need for me just like buying shoes does for other women. I hope my husband is thankful for this. Also, you all just found out I’m weird. Oops.
I need to make homemade marshmallows STAT! I’m not sure I can do the whole candy thermometer thing though. So much pressure! How cute is that mold though? It might be a must-have! (Please note the people in the comments asking what to do with leftovers – hello, eat them!)
Oh man…you know I love a good tamale.
I loved this post on arranging super market flowers. I could probably do a whole post of my own since this is one of my favorite weekly rituals (getting them on sale from the discount bin!). Until then, Cup of Jo has a great guide!
I loved this post about summer sympathy meals (a great follow up to my series on the topic). I recently prepped this vegan lentil tacos from Oh She Glows for a great friend in her final months of an intensive post-grad program. I did the lentil filling, peppers and onions, and the lettuce wraps, and it was an easy way to pull off a meal (easy to prepare and easy to transport).
Have a great week!
I made this cake a few weeks ago. It’s vegan and gluten free, and it’s freaking delicious! The cake is a mix from Pamela’s made with chia (in place of the eggs) – topped with coconut whip, maple toffee shards, and toasted coconut. I’m making a second version for a gathering tonight in Girl Scout Samoa-style with this “caramel,” toasted coconut, and shaved chocolate. (Photo by @adrianhitt // Look inspired by @andybowdy and @katherine_sabbath)
Here are a few of the tasty things I’ve run across lately and can’t wait to make:
Need some Asian-inspired carb loading? I’ve got you covered, just don’t forget to invite me over…
Japanese Garlic Noodles
Soy Sauce Noodles
Vegetable Lo Mein
I make simple sushi at home regularly (mainly veggie without raw fish – I need to level up for that one), and I knew when I saw this tofu with spicy mayo roll – I had to make it at once. I made it this week, and it was PHENOMENAL!
Make your own hot pockets…yes, please.
Seriously simple salad…I could eat this thing with every meal!
This post on hacking bakery cakes is genius…and don’t miss this one linked within it.
Feeding a child is so simple yet so complicated. I really get into these “what my toddler ate” posts. I’m curious…what’s your food philosophy, what struggles do you face, what does your kid like, how much thought and effort do you put into the whole thing, etc. etc. I’ll go first…
There’s a big continuum out there and a lot of judgement. I think we’re all just doing the best we can…I know that’s my motto for myself and my son – “make the best choice.” To me, that means choosing whole foods as much as possible and limiting added sugar and salt.
As E has gotten older (he’s 2+ now), his tastes have changed, obviously. My meal planning for him has changed dramatically since his first bite of solids (avocado at a little more than 6 months old – as seen above). He keeps me on my toes because he’s lactose intolerant, and I pack his lunch every day even though they serve two meals and a snack. I fall into habits of prepping one thing for the week, and he likes more variety than that.
So far, he’s been a great eater. I try to encourage a broad palate with spices, worldly flavors, and even new-to-mom/me foods (I bought a papaya for the first time the other day, and it was GROSSLY out of season and disgusting). That doesn’t mean he doesn’t ever eat processed food, too many “bready” things when I’d prefer more fruits and veggies, and pasta + marinara sauce like it’s going out of style (it’s the lactose intolerant kid’s mac and cheese #sorrynotsorry).
Like any other kid, his appetite varies wildly…sometimes eating 3 dinners and sometimes picking like a bird. He’s definitely a grazer by nature, but so am I. He inherited hangry or LBSCBDO from both sides, poor kid. Snacks are always close by.
A topic for another day is that I ALWAYS have a kitchen helper by my side, and I try in many ways to make him independent with food prep. For example, he has a couple of older cousins, and one day the oldest said, “Nana, you forgot to take the sticks off of the grapes.” And she replied, “If Everett can do it at 2 years old, you can do it at 5.” Ha!
Here’s a brief run down of some of our basics:
Breakfasts for school (made in bulk and frozen)
Whole grain berry waffles
Baked oatmeal (with frozen fruit or pumpkin)
Baked egg cups with veggies
Whole grain berry muffins
Breakfast burritos (eggs, black beans, salsa)
Cook egg in micro in ramekin + whole wheat English muffin (plus spinach)
Scrambled eggs and toast
Lunch + Fruit/Veg
Pasta + marinara + peas
He doesn’t love deli meat, but we’re experimenting with mixing it in.
Snack + Fruit
Fig bars (we need stock in this company – bonus: they seem pretty cool)
Hummus or PB roll-ups (on small tortillas)
Hummus with carrots
Soy nut butter on DF animal crackers/whole wheat bread or crackers
Trail mix of cereal, cookies, raisins, etc.
Treats (in moderation)
Annie’s Mixed Bunnies
Multi mini marshmallows
Blueberries (prefers over fresh)
Here are some posts that inspired this one:
This Is What School Lunches Look Like Around The World via Distractify
Rise and Shine: What kids around the world eat for breakfast via NYT
Family-Friendly Recipe: Veggie-Packed Macaroni & Cheese via Fearless Homemaker for childrenswishingwell.org (a website by Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt)
These posts from hand & the heart: What Ben Ate, What Ben Ate: Volume 2, Meal Ideas for Your Toddler
Ok you’re up…