Category Archives: Weekdays

Bring It. (your lunch, that is)

Greek Chicken Salad

During most of my commutes, I plug into my phone and listen to streaming music via Spotify, but on the rare occasions when I want to tap into my surroundings (or if I simply forget my headphones), I often end up eavesdropping on conversations. Sure, I know I am not really supposed to do this, but when people talk loudly and without much regard for the other commuters around them, I don’t feel bad about listening to what they have to say. Usually, it isn’t much, but sometimes, like during a recent morning commute, a dialogue will spark some kind of reaction from me.

In this particular case, the conversation was between two young professional men, probably in their late 20s. I started listening to them at first because their communication was so riddled with the word “like” that I had trouble deciding if they were actually saying anything to one another. Soon, though, they got onto the topic of lunch. Namely, they started discussing how pathetic it is when their colleagues make their own lunches and bring them to work. They described a  co-worker’s homemade sandwich as, “the saddest lunch in the world.” In their opinion, it is far better to go to a local café or fast food restaurant and buy something every day, in spite of the high cost of doing so. In fact, one of them averred that he, in fact, had earned the right to buy lunch every day and should never be bothered to do otherwise.

Needless to say, this conversation made me sad. I will admit that I’ve been remiss in bringing homemade lunches to work over the past few months; I could give you any number of excuses for this, but none of them are valid. Simply put, I think it’s time for us to reclaim the homemade lunch. This will not only save us money over time, but will inevitably end up being a much healthier alternative to the high-fat, high-sodium options in and around your office building (and mine).

Some ideas I’ve been knocking around:
–      Legume-based salads (lentils, beans, etc.)
–      Innovative sandwiches using high-fiber breads
–      Vegetable-heavy snacks and entrees
–      Anything that can be made in a big batch for several lunches
–      Dishes that take advantage of the growing season

This post is more to get the creative thoughts flowing than to provide any real instruction (at least for now). Post your ideas in the comments section and we’ll show everybody that a homemade lunch is not only cost-effective, but beautiful and nutritious!


Food Enthusiast!

Sometimes, just when you feel like your day can’t get any worse, someone comes along to turn it around completely.  That happened to me last week at my local grocery store.  The woman behind me in the checkout line (who looked like the love child of Edith Head and Ina Garten) stood there kind of looking incredulous, so I immediately thought that I was doing something wrong – some breach of checkout etiquette.  Instead, I soon found out that she was actually just in awe of how tasty the yogurt she just ate was and asked me if I’d tried them (I have – they are the fat-free Chobani varities).  We had a brief coo-fest over the delicious and (presumably) healthy little cups before she glanced at the contents of my shopping basket and asked, “do you cook a lot?”  I told her that I cook pretty much every day.  Here’s how the conversation continued:

Edith Garten: You like to cook?
Me: I do.
EG: You like sun-dried tomatoes?
Me: I do.
EG: Well they sell a brand here that you’ve GOT to try.
Me: Oh, really?
EG: Dude, they’re off the chain!

She proceeded to tell me the brand and all the different applications in which she uses them and all I could think of while she was talking is, “this 40-something woman just called me ‘dude’ and told me, very sincerely, that sun-dried tomatoes are ‘off the chain.'” Of course, I couldn’t stop grinning.

I’m not exactly sure what pleased me so much about the situation, but it is surely a combination of her enthusiasm for food (and cooking), along with her awkward, but albeit very effective, manner of communicating her passion for food to me. Like I wouldn’t get it if she said it any differently. And maybe, in some way, she was right. I don’t really even like sun-dried tomatoes that much, but if someone tells me they’re off the chain, I am buyin’ ’em.

Cocktail Hour: Apples to Apples

I admit that I’ve tried a few “apple-tinis.”
You know, those unnaturally green cocktails made with artificially flavored sour apple schnapps and vodka, garnished with a maraschino cherry?  Any time I’ve tried one, I’ve always thought, “why am I not just eating a sour apple Jolly Rancher candy instead?”  I didn’t set out to make a better, more natural version of this cocktail, but I think I ended up doing so. Continue reading