Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #90

Orange slices, cucumber slices, blackberries, chopped tomatoes, sesame melba toast, and avocado topped with salt and pepper.

This was kind of like a Lunchables lunch--mash the avocado, spread on toast, top with tomatoes and/or cucumber, eat; have fruit for dessert.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Lunchbots Quad #5

Mini stroopwafels, apple slices; a wrap made of apple, peanut butter,granola, and dried cranberries in a tortilla; celery sticks, baby carrots, and a cup of yogurt ranch.

I would not normally put the same food in two places at lunch (apple slices and apple wrap) but I was too weary to bother with variety this time.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Laptop Lunches #274

Raid-the-fridge salad (romaine, mushrooms, yellow tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion), chocolate-almond bark, a cup of yogurt ranch, leftover linguine topped with Parmesan, and berries.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Pack-a-Snack #77

Brioche toast, almond butter mixed with mashed banana (to spread on the toast), and a clementine.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #89

Bell pepper strips, cucumber half moons, mixed olives, yellow and red tomatoes, brioche toast, and ranch-flavored hummus.

I had this great intent to make my own hummus, and I have a few times, but then there are these hummus sales, and I cave. I'm amazed at how much ranch flavor is in this hummus, despite it not having any dairy in it. (I mean, ranch flavor is basically just buttermilk.) Go figure.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #22

Fruit salad (cantaloupe, honeydew melon, strawberries, grapes, blackberries, and blueberries), tzatziki, an improvisational cucumber salad (red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and pinch of sugar), and pita wedges.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #59

Melon (honeydew and cantaloupe), ketchup-glazed bell pepper strips, shrimp marinated in a mustard sauce, sesame broccoli, and carrot rice.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

3-Tier Bottle Bento #34

Yogurt with lots of toppings (coconut, mini chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows), applesauce, and granola.

I think I went overboard with the yogurt toppings this morning. However, it did taste good!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Insulated Jar & Sides #23

Mini latkes (not to be confused with tater tots--more on this below); a scramble of egg, Italian sausage, red peppers, and onions; and spinach sauteed with mushrooms and tomatoes.

The mini latkes are a whole lot like tater tots, but they have onions in them, too, so they seem slightly more sophisticated. They go really well with breakfast foods, which you can, of course, eat for lunch.

The only way this could have been a better lunch would have been if this was all rolled up into a burrito.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pack-a-Snack #76

Crackers and more of the white bean hummus you saw on Monday. I think this works even better as a spread for crackers than with pasta, and a few extra pine nuts are good for more than just a cutesy garnish. I love pine nuts, don't you?

Friday, December 2, 2016

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #50

Seafood dumplings, orange slices, blackberries, cucumbers tossed with rice vinegar and sesame seeds, and a cup of dipping sauce for the dumplings.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

3-Tier Bottle Bento #33

Vanilla yogurt topped with pumpkin spice chips (those exist) and mini marshmallows, granola, and mixed raspberries and blackberries.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #21

Mixed raspberries and blackberries, guacamole chips, bean and cheese burritos, and tomatillo salsa.

A word on the Happy Jackson boxes: Although I have followed the instructions to the letter--hand washed, delicately, and all--the words on the bottom of the containers have been totally rubbed off, and the lids have this weird, wavy thing going on. These are cheaply made and I don't recommend them, which is too bad because they were so cute. But I'm going to continue using them because they are still functional, and you guys never see all the problems.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Laptop Lunches #272

Pasta with tomatoes and white bean pesto sauce (still working that one out--but in the meantime, try this if you want some sense of what goes into it), a stuffed egg, applesauce with cinnamon sugar, and shredded carrots in a lemon-walnut vinaigrette.

I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving! Between a bout with some sort of gastrointestinal bug, holiday luncheons, the holiday itself, and rebellion against packing lunch (yes, that happens, even to me!), I know I've been away for a while, and I've missed you guys. Don't worry--you've got a full week of lunches coming up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sakura 3-Tier Bento #58

Orange wedges, cucumbers tossed with rice vinegar and sesame seeds, a little bottle of soy sauce and rice vinegar, ketchup-glazed pepper stir fry, and mini chicken wontons.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Insulated Jar & Sides #22

Half an apple, homemade onion soup, a little cup of parmesan cheese, and cheesy croutons.

I was thinking that I had all these onions, and 'tis soup season, and 'tis the season for root veggies, and all. And onion soup is easy. All of that is true.

But it took me three hours to get the onions to cook and they still didn't quite caramelize.


However, the soup was great and this method of packing made the traditional bread-and-cheese soup portable, so I won for lunch, if not for dinner. Which I ate at 9:30 PM. Live and learn.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Temari Rabbit Bento Bowl #17

Only one tier this time for the bento bowl: baked tofu and bok choy sauteed in peanut sauce over rice with extra peanuts and scallions on top.

All of the lunches you've seen this week were pre-election lunches. I was really involved in this election cycle, since weekend volunteering began over the summer. My brain wasn't really focused on colorful food, but I managed to feed myself. I thought about not showing them to you at all, but maybe it's good to show the imperfection sometimes.

Sometimes my food is brown with a little green for color.

Sometimes I don't manage to hit all the groups I'm going for, and there is no fruit, or no veggie, or something.

But I cook my food and I eat it and I do my best. And this tasted pretty awesome anyway.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Insulated Jar & Sides #21

Red velvet herbal tea, a little cup of soy creamer, oatmeal topped with peanut butter and strawberry jam, and applesauce.

This morning I was running very late. There wasn't time for me to have a different breakfast and lunch, so I just doubled up on my breakfast. I did do something different with the oatmeal I had for breakfast, though--it was sprinkled with slivered almonds and dried cranberries.

The jar kept the oatmeal hot even though I forgot to warm it first, and the peanut butter and jelly had melted into it beautifully.

One reason I used soy creamer is that any kind of dairy will curdle in this tea. I have recently fallen in love with soy creamer--I can even put it in citrus teas! And I do like creamy things.

This may not be attractive, but it kept me to my budget and is reasonably healthy. I just had to have extra veggies with dinner.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #88

Have you voted, Americans?

Make sure you do that.

Cucumber slices, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, hummus, grape tomatoes, some brioche toast, a mini wheel of brie, and blackberries.

Not exactly elaborate, but I've got stuff to do.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Lunchopolis #31

Sorry about the delay! There is so much going on, so this lunch is from a while ago.

Simple raid-the-fridge salad: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, Swiss cheese, and yogurt-ranch dressing; blackberries; garlic crackers; mixed chocolate and regular candy corn; a little cup of Bac'n pieces; and hummus topped with scallions.

If you have never had chocolate candy corn--which I hadn't before this year--it is absolutely worth a try. Truly amazing stuff.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

ToGoWare 2-Tier Tiffin #6

Salad of romaine, tomato, carrot, red onion, mushrooms, cucumbers, and black olives; yogurt ranch dressing; Bac'n bits; cheese croutons; and a fruit salad-like thing made from raspberries, mango, and kiwi.

I'm taking a long weekend, so that's it for this week. See you again soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lunchbots Quad #4

Raspberries and mango chunks, cucumber slices with a bottle of rice vinegar, pork and vegetable patties, and steamed rice topped with bonito flake furikake.

I had to do the bottle of rice vinegar rather than my usual prepared cucumber salad-thing because I was using the Lunchbots box, and I didn't want rice vinegar on my fruit. It worked out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #87

Cucumber slices, chunks of blood and regular oranges, celery sticks, and vegetable lo mein with tofu (from the Students Go Vegan Cookbook).

I love lo mein, but I'd never made it myself before. It was great as leftovers, because it gave the pasta a chance to soak up the oils and the soy sauce. Altogether, a much better day-after lunch than it was my dinner.

Monday, October 24, 2016

3-Tier Bottle Bento #32

Lemon yogurt, granola, and raspberries. The light in my kitchen this morning did interesting things, don't you think?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #20

Orange slices, dark chocolate with ginger, more of the same dipping sauce as yesterday (for the scallion "pie"), edamame-corn salad (from Veganomicon), and scallion "pie."

The scallion thing--which I would think of a pancake, except that it's square--was something I bought from an Asian market. It's a Taiwanese dish that seems pretty much like scallion pancake, albeit square and flatter.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

KOSOX 2-Tier Sushi Box #17

Orange slices, chocolate covered blueberries, celery sticks, crab shumai, and a homemade dipping sauce (soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, and chopped scallion tops).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #49

Southwestern quinoa salad (from Plant Power), some cake I'd made to bring to a neighbor last night, dark chocolate covered blueberries, and chunks of cantaloupe.

This was a really good salad, even though I completely forgot to add the cumin. It uses pink beans, which I don't know if I've ever eaten before. They're reminiscent of pinto beans to me and worked well with these flavors. My one complaint is that I made the full recipe and it was entirely too much for me to eat, even over the course of a few days, and beans typically come in larger packaging than I need for these kinds of recipes if I want to cut them down. I need to learn to freeze beans, I guess.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lunchopolis #30

A simple salad with a homemade orange juice vinaigrette (romaine lettuce, carrots, red onion, and almonds), avocado hummus, peach slices, more of yesterday's fruit dip, and "sunflower" crackers.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Laptop Lunches #271

Cantaloupe, a makeshift fruit dip, cucumbers tossed with grape tomatoes, cauliflower mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, and an attempt to make this recipe for chicken-style tofu.

The dip was like this one, which I've made before, except I used whipped aquafaba (bean water) I had on hand from a can of chickpeas. (Waste not, want not, and all that.) I'd never tried this whipped chickpea water thing before, but it really does work. And if you mix it with mayo, it will hold the whip a little longer than otherwise (it tends to separate if you leave it alone for a few hours otherwise).

I've been trying to find non-Asian ways to make tofu, and this was a good start, perhaps, but for some reason it was extremely salty.

The cauliflower mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy were lovely.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Insulated Jar & Sides #19

Cantaloupe, chicken chili with a scallion garnish, and multigrain chips.

It's Friday, I'm beat, and I had canned chili calling my name. It wasn't because it was good--which it was not particularly--but more because it was there. So I ate it. The chips were a definite improvement on the overall experience.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

KOSOX 2-Tier Sushi Box #16

File this under: It seemed like a good idea and tasted fine but was a ridiculous mess.

I made banana sushi with a mixture of chocolate almond spread and almond butter rather than peanut butter this time, which was too thin and smeary and got all over the place. Then I made a salad with spring mix, tomatoes, carrots, a cup of Bac'n Pieces, and yogurt ranch, which looks silly in this box because of how I had to arrange the little cups.

But I ate lunch and I didn't have to buy it, so there we are.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Lunchopolis #29

Cantaloupe slices, cherry tomatoes (from my kitchen vine), cucumber slices, chickpea salad on a bed of spring mix (from the Oh, She Glows cookbook), and those mysterious "sunflower" crackers that contain no sunflower anything.

Chickpea salad is really nice, by the way.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #48

Kung pao cauliflower, asparagus spears, peppers sauteed in ketchup, cucumber slices with rice vinegar and sesame seeds, blood orange slices, and steamed white rice.

I was inspired by this recipe, though I could tell just reading it that it would be way too spicy for me. So I dialed it down a lot, and perhaps slightly too much, but it was really very nice, and a good way to use up that head of cauliflower I bought for a dollar on clearance because it had bruised a little. (Have love for the bruised veggies; cut off the bruises and nobody will ever know.) I doubled the peanuts so this could be a main dish, too, and I wonder if I put in too many peanuts.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Temari Rabbit Bento Bowl #16

Orzo with shrimp, lemon, and arugula; kiwi slices; baby carrots; and a little cup of yogurt ranch.

I made this orzo salad because I had some arugula getting sad in the fridge, plus I had the other ingredients on hand. I loved the spices on the shrimp, and day two was, just as the author said, even better than day one.

Friday, September 30, 2016

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #47

Scallion pancake and ham wrap (held in place with little veggie picks), blood orange slices, chocolate covered blueberries, and a thrown together salad of arugula, tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion with a homemade vinaigrette.

This represents one of those Friday mornings when I was really too tired to think, and if I didn't have a stocked fridge and lots of experience packing lunch, there is no way I could have done this. Habits can be practiced on autopilot, though. So if you're aiming to pack your lunch every day but think you couldn't, take courage. It gets easier. This is actually, now that I am blogging it, something I see as pretty good in spite of it all. It hits nutritional high points, has good colors, etc. We do what we can and it sometimes even works.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

KOSOX 2-Tier Sushi Box #15

Silver dollar pancakes, maple syrup, a few chunks of blood orange, and a scramble of eggs, tomato, spinach, and mushrooms.

These mushrooms were very brown and made my eggs dingy, but I otherwise had no complaints here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #19

Double-fruit glazed tofu (recipe below--you have to try this), tomato-baby corn salad (recipe coming soon, because it appears to have disappeared from the internet), a Korean vegetable bun with some soy sauce and rice vinegar in little bottles, and peach chunks.

This isn't the best I've ever done at presentation, but it was an excellent meal (and also vegan). The tofu recipe was a revelation--so pretty, and so great! I adapted the recipe from Plant Power by Nava Atlas.

Double Fruit-Glazed Tofu
Serves: 3-4

1 tub extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup gingered marmalade (I used a mixed-fruit and ginger marmalade--note you can also use 1/4 cup of regular marmalade or apricot or peach preserves, as Plant Power suggests, plus add 2 teaspoons of fresh, frozen, or jarred ginger)
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or hoisin sauce

For toppings:
Thinly sliced scallions
Black sesame seeds (you could use white, but it's not so pretty and doesn't have as much iron)

1. Drain the tofu and blot well with paper towels or a clean dish towel. Cut as you would like; either cut it into 12 squares, or, as I did, into 1-inch cubes.

2. Whisk marmalade, juice, and soy sauce, as well as ginger if you're using it, in a small bowl.

3. Heat a medium skillet and add sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, then arrange tofu in the pan in a single layer. Turn the heat up to medium high. Cook 5 minutes, then flip the tofu. Cook another 5 minutes or until the tofu is well glazed and much of the liquid has been absorbed.

4. When serving or packing, sprinkle the tofu with scallions and black sesame seeds.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lunchopolis #28

A cranberry-almond-spinach salad I found online with my homemade banana bread and Brummel & Brown spread.

This is the salad, which actually looks a lot more appetizing when dressed. And I probably should have made it bigger, but the banana bread is filling enough for that not to be tragic or anything.

It was an interesting combination of protein sources in this lunch: almonds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, walnuts (in the bread), and yogurt (in the spread). Poppy seeds are pretty good for you, but I hardly ever use them. That needs to change! I love them, I just forget they exist.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Lunchopolis #27

There are some new things here! Plus a recipe! But more on that below. So: Multigrain chips, avocado salsa (recipe below), and rancheros-style refried pinto beans. Believe it or not, this hits all the high points nutritionally I usually go for: grains, vegetables, fruit (avocado counts), and protein. (Nobody has paid me for the effusiveness I display below.)

These chips are Utz brand, and I've never tried them before, but they taste really good! They're scoop-style, so they hold a lot of beans and salsa. They also have a bunch of different stuff in them, including the obvious (corn) and not so obvious (flax seeds).

The beans are Goya, and they were amazing. Canned refried beans usually aren't up to muster for me without some serious doctoring, but these are already doctored, I guess, with tomatoes and spices, plus they're vegan. This also makes an amazing bean burrito!

The salsa is homemade, and that's the recipe I'm going to give you. This is adapted from Dip It! by Rick Rodgers. If you're still swimming in CSA tomatoes like me, here's one option for getting through them.

Avocado-Tomato Salsa
Serves: About 2

1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (I used frozen cubes)
1/2 avocado, finely diced

1. Toss the tomato quarters with a bit of salt in a colander. Let drain for the amount of time it takes you to prep all the rest of the ingredients (save the avocado for later, though), about 20 minutes if you're like me and a very meticulous chopper.
2. Finely chop the garlic, then sprinkle with salt and continue to chop and smear the garlic on your cutting board until it forms a paste.
3. Mix all ingredients other than the avocado in a bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for a bit if you're going to serve it right away (maybe 20 minutes). If not, just pop in the fridge until you're ready to add the avocado.
4. Just before serving or packing, stir the avocado into the salsa.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pack-a-Snack #75

Hard boiled egg, scallion pancakes, and a little cup of soy sauce in one of my Happy Jackson snack boxes.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #18

Scallion pancakes, three little bottles of soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar, sliced pork loin, cucumber slices, sweet pepper stir fried with ketchup glaze, pineapple chunks, and chocolate covered blueberries.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #86

Baby carrots, avocado hummus with a roasted red pepper garnish, yellow bell pepper strips, cucumber spears, brioche toast, and mashed banana mixed with peanut butter (to spread on the toast).

Brioche is not vegan, but you could easily do this with Melba toast, which is, so I've tagged this vegan. The banana spread works really well, by the way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ECO Lunchbox Three-in-One #46

Pinwheels of tortilla, hummus, and veggies; pineapple; and arugula salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion and a side of an improvisational homemade lemony dressing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Laptop Lunches #270

Pineapple slices, baby carrots, and my "Starving Student Cuban Black Beans & Rice."

This time, I forgot that I usually dump the beans out and swish the water around in the can to get all the bean juice out. And I think it might have worked out better this way!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Temari Rabbit 2-Tier Bento #85

The interminable roasted veggie/eggplant spread, kiwi, blueberries, brioche toast, smoked trout, and some cream cheese mixed with red onion and chives.

The chives in my window are sickly, somehow. A lot of the leaves turn yellow or brown and shrivel up, but they don't seem to need water. They also seem to be able to continue to live and produce new leaves, so I won't worry. And I'll put them in my cream cheese.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pack-a-Snack #74

Potato salad in my little fish cup. This is the same potato salad you saw a few days ago, but you can get a better view of the different colors of potato here.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Lunchopolis #26

Fruit salad made from bananas, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries,and oranges; crackers; an improvisational tomato salad; cheddar-jalapeno peanuts; and caramel-coconut macaroons.

This was, of course, more CSA tomato.

I knew this was a lower calorie lunch than usual, so the fruit salad was pretty big. I had a hard time actually eating all this, but I wasn't overly full afterward.