Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Laptop Lunches #226

Lobster ravioli in a homemade white wine butter sauce, blackberries, spinach/tomato/cucumber salad, yogurt ranch, and croutons for topping the salad.

The white wine butter sauce went beautifully with the lobster ravioli--delicate, and not overpowering the lobster. I'm not really a big lobster person in general, but this was really good!

'Tis the season for lots of time off, so we'll be on hiatus until Monday here at Food for Dissertating. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Laptop Lunches #225

A pork tamale, cherry tomatoes, sour cream mixed with salsa verde, bananas tossed with blackberries, baby carrots, and sugar snap peas.

You can take the girl out of the Southwest, but not the Southwest out of the girl; this is tamale season, people!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Laptop Lunches #224

Shrimp gyoza with a few bottles of soy sauce, apple slices, vegetable fried rice, dried mango snacks, and half a Marzipan bar from lyktabento.

I really should have only packed one bottle of soy sauce--I didn't need that much! But the bottles seemed so tiny, and I also couldn't decide between the frog and the chick. (Part of me denies being drawn in by the cutesy nature of such things, but I have to admit, anything that makes me smile as I am blearily pulling lunch together in the morning or when I open the box at lunchtime seems worth it, even if it's silly.)

The Marzipan bar, as its name suggests, was filled with almond paste. It wasn't too sweet, and I liked it. Another Swedish success!

I also tried the canned fish balls she sent. You won't be seeing a photo of those. The flavor was nice, but (I think because they were canned) the texture was a little strange, very soft. I like the idea of fish balls in dill sauce, and I wonder if I could make something more appealing if I started with a recipe instead of a can. I'm really glad I got to try them, though!

In any case, it wasn't something I was inclined to bring as leftovers for lunch, so I just made the leftover rice and vegetables I had made to go with the fish balls into fried rice and pulled some gyoza out of the freezer to serve alongside it.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pack-a-snack #22

Goat cheese with blueberry jam and crackers, and some Swedish candies from lyktabento.

Although I loved the one in the orange package (the mjuk gräddkola), as I did the last time I had it, the candy in the brown package (mjuk chokladkola) was a little weird. It is supposed to be chocolate flavored, I think. The texture was crumbly, and I generally liked it, I probably wouldn't go looking for it. The best way to describe it is like a crumbly Tootsie Roll.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Laptop Lunches #223

Some version of scallion-cheddar supper bread, a hard boiled egg tucked in with silicone leaves to keep it from sliding around (as I had no cherry tomatoes), a halved tangerine, and maple sausage links.

Scallion-cheddar supper bread should be thick and fluffy like a biscuit; I didn't have enough Bisquick for the recipe, though, and tried to adjust it, with results that were decidedly more like pizza. It tasted good with maple sausage links, though, and I still didn't have to go to the store.

Merry Christmas, all! Look for a snack post this weekend, but expect quiet tomorrow and Friday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Laptop Lunches #222

In my ongoing quest to avoid the grocery store during Christmas season, I have had to get a little inventive with my meals. Here we have rice leftover from last night, with last night's meatballs in doctored up alfredo sauce (added sautéed onions and multicolored bell peppers), Ballerina cookies from lyktabento, sliced apples, and baby cut carrots.

It worked! I found the meatball-doctored alfredo-rice combo to be surprisingly good.

The cookies cracked a little in their journey from Sweden, but the still held together. They're very similar to something Keebler would make--a chocolate cookie with some kind of chocolate filling and a vanilla cookie on top. I liked them a lot.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Laptop Lunches #221

Slices of Jazz apple, a hard boiled egg, spicy hummus in the panda cup, pita chips, and grape tomatoes and sugar snap peas with a bit of yogurt ranch for dipping.

Someone who saw me eating this said it looked quite small as a lunch. Maybe. I feel sort of over-filled with Christmas party food right now, though, so it was fine for me.

The panda cup, among other things, was a Christmas present to myself. It didn't work out for what I initially bought it for (a new lunch box), but it does perk up the usual Laptop Lunches box a little.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pack-a-Snack #21

A mini brie wheel with fig jam, grapes, mini multigrain crackers, and slices of a small apple, packed with two silicone cups in a Rubbermaid container.
I ended up not eating this as planned because someone at work gave me a large chocolate chip cookie and it appealed to me more in the moment...what can I say? It was all soft and gooey and screaming, "eat me!" So I did. But I have had all of these things together before and I can vouch for them making a terrific snack.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Laptop Lunches #220

This may well be a first on Food for Dissertating: a sandwich!

Of a sort, anyway. I had a leftover cheeseburger slider from one of my many events this week, and there was no grocery shopping, and it fit in my lunchbox, so here you go: grapes, orange slices, cherry tomatoes, yogurt ranch for dipping, a cheeseburger slider, some breaded dill pickle chips in a silicone cup (also known as "pickle-o"s--don't knock 'em 'till you've tried 'em), and lentil crisps.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pack-a-Snack #20

Blackberries, pineapple, and mini edamame rice crackers in the two small containers of my Lunchopolis set. Kind of weird as a combo, but it did the job.

There was no packed lunch to show you today; I had yet another work-related party to attend. I would love it if we could spread these parties out more--hey, everybody, January and February are dark and depressing, too! Let's try having parties then!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lunchopolis #10

Lime flavored popcorn, some orange slices, tomatoes, baby carrots, yellow bell pepper strips, sugar snap peas, yogurt ranch dressing, and chocolate-covered ginger.

This is super light, but that was because I had to go to the office Christmas party in the afternoon, where I knew there would be various foods I would be expected to eat. But how do people at 2:00 when lunch was just a few hours before? Hence, popcorn. This particular popcorn, with lime and salt, is quite good--kind of takes some getting used to, but it works.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Laptop Lunches #219

Leftover cheese ravioli with bacon alfredo sauce, pear slices, carrot sticks, yellow bell pepper strips, sugar snap peas, spicy hummus (for the veggies), and cherries.

Bacon alfredo sauce is new. It does taste of bacon, but I'm not sure what to make of that. There is such a thing as too much bacon.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Laptop Lunches #218

"Greek-ish" salad, cranberry pistachio cookies, slices of starfruit with grapes, and pinwheels made of tortillas, spicy garlic hummus, cucumber, and orange bell pepper.

Everything you'll see this week will be the result of efforts to eat what I already have around without going to the store, because I have so many Christmas parties going on that I don't really cook at home, anyway (unless you count the preparation of "Greek-ish" salads and hummus pinwheels).

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pack-a-Snack #19

Melba toast, slices of Manchego cheese, and quince paste in a Rubbermaid container.

This would have been fine as it was--I have had this before. But someone offered me a croissant from the bakery and I had that with the cheese and quince paste instead--and it was more than fine, it was heavenly! I need to eat more croissants.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Laptop Lunches #217

Mini chicken-cilantro wontons, a dipping sauce, grapes, orange slices, a cherry, and slices of Persian cucumber tossed with rice vinegar and sesame seeds.

I love the mini wontons so much that I wonder why I do not eat them more often--they're so easy to prepare!

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Laptop Lunches #216

Banana chips with a tiny cup of caramel hazelnut spread for dipping, half a tangerine with the seeds removed, cherry tomato halves tossed with fresh mozzarella (I debated doing a basil vinaigrette over this, but decided I didn't have time), half a small pear, olive tapenade, rolls of ham, and cheddar flavored rice-almond crackers.
I have rarely been able to eat raw pears, but this one was really nice--not too soft. I'm glad I braved it. Plus it had a nice color contrast going on, no?

I think the ham, olive tapenade, and crackers were too salty overall to be had together; I needed something plainer. But it still tasted good.

An aside, in mini-rant form: Why do tangerines have so many seeds? You couldn't possibly just cut this into wedges the way I typically do with oranges--you'd get a seed in every bite that way, maybe two or three. I realize my oranges are bred for that, but still. You'd think each tangerine tree wanted to reproduce itself thousands of times over every year. Relax, tangerine tree, relax!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Laptop Lunches #215

Uttapam, aloo gobi (cauliflower and potato curry), half a tangerine with the seeds removed, some red grapes, coconut chutney (for the uttapam), and a few squares of chocolate.

This came very close to being vegan as well as gluten free; the chocolate squares, however, have dairy. But since you can get vegan chocolate, I've tagged this vegan, too.

Uttapam is a kind of Indian pizza-like thing with a rice crust. This one had onion and cilantro on top, and went with the coconut chutney really well.

This was my second time making aloo gobi. It still isn't as good as my Indian friend's, but I'm making progress! I think I put in way too much spicy curry powder this time, on top of jalapeno. It wasn't so spicy that I couldn't eat it, but one definitely noticed. (And I was told that the smell of it was kind of strong in the break room, so maybe I shouldn't be taking such things to work.)

Oh, well.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Laptop Lunches #214

Granny Smith apple and cheddar chunks, fresh cherries, hash browns made of purple potato with orange and green peppers and onions, scallion omelet, deli ham rolls, and halved cherry tomatoes.

Purple potatoes taste more or less like regular old white potatoes. Sometimes, though, they can be quite striking. I liked the way the hash browns looked with them. They did lose a little of their bright purple color when cooked, but not much.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Laptop Lunches #213

Bratwurst, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, Granny Smith apple slices, tiny cups of mustard (for the bratwurst) and almond butter (for the apples), and pickled beets.

Want to know something funny? Growing up, I hated mustard. Okay, more like hated mustard. But now, on bratwurst...and in lots of other things, actually...mustard is fantastic.

But I still hate it on sandwiches and hot dogs, which may be the only way it was presented to me growing up. I will never forget the moment (I must have been 5 years old) that someone offered me mayo on a hot dog. (Internal dialogue: I can have mayo on a hot dog!? Why has nobody ever given me this before!?) This was when I fell in love with hot dogs. It was a similar kind of thinking when I first had bratwurst with mustard. Why has nobody ever given me this before!?

Maybe it's just me.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Pack-a-Snack #18

Orange chunks, jalapeno-stuffed olives, squares of cheddar, Persian cucumber slices, cheddar-flavored mini pretzel thins (redundant, but what can you do?), and a mini caramel-chocolate cup.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Pack-a-Snack #17

No lunch today--work lunch meeting instead--so I'm showing you a pretty simple snack instead.

Chocolate chickpeas and Greek yogurt-covered Craisins, in a Lunchopolis small container.

Chocolate chickpeas, it turns out, are vile. So vile they are irredeemable. I did not eat more than two of these, and I threw away the package when I got home.

Greek yogurt-covered Craisins, on the other hand, are really good. So it worked out.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lunchopolis #9

Chinese pork buns, orange slices, and Spicy Cucumber Salad #2 made with Persian cucumber slices instead of the larger, quartered version.

Chinese pork buns are good, but surprisingly bready. Also, quite bulky--so I needed the big container from the Lunchopolis set. I might have been able to fit a single bun into the Laptop Lunches box, had I had something to put with it, but sometimes you just grab what you see and go with it. If I had it to do again, I would have brought along a dipping sauce, at least.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Laptop Lunches #212

Orange slices, leftover kugel, Persian cucumber slices, squares of cheddar, lentil crisps, and pickled beets with a dollop of sour cream.

Kugel (a Jewish dish made from noodles; this one was sweet and had pineapple in it) is good, but I felt like this one was too greasy somehow. I don't know what it had in it, and I'm certainly no expert on kugel, but maybe someone else can explain whether pineapple kugel should be greasy and how one might make a not-greasy version. I do know you have to have something in there to make the noodles stick to each other, though, so maybe it does have to be greasy?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Laptop Lunches #211

Baby carrots, Persian cucumber slices, and red bell pepper strips with the last of the tzatziki hummus; mango chunks; pumpkin-flavored yogurt; and some cranberry-pistachio biscotti.

This seemed like too much yogurt. I've mentioned before that I am not really a whole-carton-of-yogurt-at-once person. Well, let me say it again: I am not really a whole-carton-of-yogurt-at-once person. But I powered through. I should have added something to encourage me to eat it more; instead I dipped my biscotti in it, and like a good girl, I finished my yogurt. But next time I'll add a topping of some sort to make it easier.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Laptop Lunches #210

How is it December already!?

Unsweetened applesauce with a dash of cinnamon and sugar (an oxymoron, maybe), avocado and cherry tomato chunks with salt and pepper, an omelet rolled with spinach and swiss cheese, and a Swedish delicatoboll (chocolate ball) from lyktabento.

All in all, a great lunch. I love applesauce. The avocado was the most beautiful one I've eaten since I was last in Texas some years ago--don't know how I managed to get such a nice one here! The omelet cooperated with me very well. The Swedish treat was super yummy--it had soft chocolate and coconut and maybe some other things, and it made me envy the Swedes, who could eat this every day if they wanted. In terms of texture, it reminded me a little of those no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, but I'm not sure how else I can describe it. Thanks again, lyktabento!

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