Laptop Lunches #56

I'm back! And not quite in the groove yet. Sort of semi-groovy.

Lemony carrot salad (a recipe from this book, which I checked out of the public library), dried figs, leftover spiral macaroni and cheese, and a Hebrew National low-fat frank, cut up. (You see how I avoided saying I ate a hot dog cut into chunks, in toddler fashion? Very easy to do if you use fancy words.)

The dried figs are evidence of the lingering presence of my out of town food. I went a little nuts in the dried fruit section, and now have just about every dried fruit known to humankind, it seems.I have learned things out there, in mini fridge land. It is not easy, but I did avoid fast food altogether, more or less, so that was a success. I think I overdid the trail mix, but I did find out that there are some fantastic instant noodle bowls out there, for the "just add boiling water" crowd. (No microwave, but I did take my hot pot.) If you get noodle bowls involving rice noodles, this is best, because one generally cooks rice noodles by soaking them in hot water anyway, so it's not cutting corners so much. I like Thai Kitchen and Annie Chun's All Natural, but you may find other things. Avoid your Easy Macs, even if you have a microwave.

Also, if you are driving somewhere, you can stop at a grocery store and go by the salad bar and deli and spend a lot less than if you went to a restaurant, or marginally less (or the same) as if you went to a fast food place. Grocery stores don't put huge billboards on the highway, but they are easy to find with a GPS, or just when you arrive at what appears to be a semi-densely populated place. I had a nice lunch of veggies, ham salad, and crackers one day that way, with a small bottle of milk. But you can also bring food along with you--dried fruit, granola bars, small cups of applesauce, pretzels, etc. You just have to think outside the box.

I'm slowly getting back into buying groceries and cooking like normal people, so next week's meals should look a little less "from the bunker." Or at least that's what I'm hoping to achieve.


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