Laptop Lunches #118

Granny Smith apple chunks, sliced Love Beets (sweetfire), a fresh date, a slice of star fruit, a mini white spinach lasagna, mixed color mini tomatoes, a cup of yogurt-ranch dressing, and baby carrots.

Lesson #1: Fresh dates are very boring. They're a bit like plums in texture, but have very little flavor. If you want to use them for something, they're probably better for cooking. On the other hand, if you are looking for mild, boring things for sensitive palates, they are a good choice. But fresh dates will only be available for a month or two, so act quickly!

Lesson #2: Mini lasagna is a whole lot easier than it seems. I made a few mini-loaf sized lasagnas as directed by America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2011, and employed a similar technique with a few square silicone baking cups while I was at it. The square baking cups should be pretty easy to find; I bought them from the local Michael's but you can find them online, too. I wouldn't recommend trying it with other shapes, but I can't stop you!

Basically, you either break up no-boil lasagna noodles into smaller pieces (as I did here) or you cut regular lasagna noodles after you boil them (which is too much trouble but probably slightly neater). If you score the no-boil noodles with a knife first, though, you have better control over breaking them. Make the tiny lasagna just as you would the larger kind. Don't worry if your noodles have to overlap ever so slightly or if you leave tiny gaps--just get the basic idea--but don't have them overlap too much.

It's pretty simple and keeps together well in a lunch box.

Meanwhile, in the continuing saga of the mysterious anaphylaxis, I have been prodded and pricked and had a great many vials of blood drawn for testing. The verdict is that I am not actually allergic to anything, but have a strangely functioning immune system that sometimes goes into overdrive in response to a virus. I've been going to the doctor a lot and you've not seen so many lunches from me lately, but I'm hoping to be posting more now.

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