Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 115 - I Love Dried Fruit

Leftover cheese pizza, broccoli, dried strawberries.

I love dried fruit.  I do.  I love fruit, and I love crunchy things.  Dried fruit is an obvious win for me!

Packed some leftover  pizza, broccoli, and dried strawberries for lunch today.  I bought them in a weak moment when I decided to go to Whole Foods and spend eleventy thousand dollars on five items.  But man were these good!  Tart, sweet, crunchy, light!  Mmmm...

Don't they look like plump little rose petals?!

In other news, I figured out a great way to pack pizza for lunch.  This was a pre-made pizza from the farmer's market that I baked at home.  I got a piece of aluminum foil and folded it so that it fit perfectly in the bottom of my largest container.  When the pizza was ready, I just used the foil as a template for how to cut the pizza perfectly for the container.  I estimated that I could get four perfect slices, plus scraps, per 12 inch pizza.  I actually just cut out two slices and split the leftover "scraps" (which were pretty big) between two people.  Two dinners and two lunches.  Oh, who am I kidding, two dinners, one lunch, and one snack!  But seriously, how cool is that? Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 114 - Wholesome and Easy Stir Fry

Veggie and Chicken Stir Fry with Ambrosia Sauce over Brown Rice, Luna Bar.
 My wonderful friend K over at Il Faut Bien Que Tout Le Monde Mange! gave me some delicious homemade goodies for Christmas this year, which I'm just now getting around to using.  She handed me a bag full of mason jars with delicious sauces, which she is great at creating while I'm only so-so.  One of them was labeled "Ambrosia Sauce," which she said was "like teriyaki."  Yeah, teriyaki wishes it was this good!  I've never heard of Ambrosia sauce, but after a quick Google quest I found that it's a thing...a very delicious thing.  I'm not sure what recipe K used, but it was delicious!  While I was tempted to just dip my finger in the jar and eat it as is, I decided to put it to better use and jazz up some veggies for stir fry!

I mostly threw things together from the refrigerator, but I've approximated a recipe below.  I served it over brown rice, and packed the container above for lunch with a Luna Bar.  Crunchy, wholesome, and delicious!

Wholesome and Easy Stir Fry

2 chicken breasts
1 cup Ambrosia or Teriyaki sauce (or whatever bottled sauce you like)
1 red bell pepper
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup sugar snap peas
2 T toasted sesame seeds
2 T sliced almonds, toasted
1 T minced garlic
1 t sesame oil
brown rice, for serving.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add in almonds.  Stirring frequently, cook until just browned and fragrant; spoon almonds into a small bowl on the side and allow to cool.  Chop chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Add oil to non-stick skillet and heat to medium high; add in chicken and allow to brown on each side.  Pour in Ambrosia sauce and bring to a simmer; continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked throughout. 

While chicken is cooking, chop bell pepper into bite sized pieces.  Add pepper, broccoli, and peas to a microwave safe bowl.  Add about 1/4 cup water to bowl and cover partially with lid or cling wrap.  Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp tender.  Once chicken is cooked, add in steamed vegetables, sesame seeds, and almonds.  Toss well and continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Serve hot over brown rice. Pin It Now!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 113 - Herb and Mushroom Pot Roast

Herb and Mushroom Pot Roast, Rice, Peas, and a Clementine

Leftovers from Sunday dinner are the best!  Yesterday for dinner I made the classic Sunday pot roast, but of course did it my own way.  Naturally, for me, that means slow cooker!  I also add mushrooms and some herbs, and it's just to die for.  I usually serve it with green peas and either rice or mashed potatoes.  I also safe the leftovers to make Pot Roast Soup, which is basically just my riff on beef vegetable  soup.  Today, though, I took a few of those leftovers to work for lunch, with some rice, peas, and a clementine.  The only thing I regret is that it didn't photograph as well as it tastes!

If you're looking for a trusty pot roast recipe, I recommend this one highly!  And don't forget to freeze your leftovers for soup!  I think I'll make some next weekend...

Herb and Mushroom Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker

2 lb beef pot roast
1 cup baby carrots
1 onion
8 oz whole fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup red wine (or beef broth)
1 package Lipton Golden Mushroom Soup
 1-2 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence

Slice onions into thick rounds.  Place them in the bottom of a lightly greased 4-6 quart crock pot.  Then  place in the carrots and raw beef roast.  Add in mushrooms, and feel free to nudge them down and around the roast.  Sprinkle soup mix and herbs over the top.  Slowly pour in the wine.  Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours (preferred), or on high for 5-6 hours.  Roast is done when the meat falls apart at a gentle fork-poke.  Serve hot with potatoes or rice to soak up all that good sauce!

If you like to drain your pot roast of the juices before serving, I highly recommend saving these for future use in soups and sauces.  You can even freeze them and scrape off the fat that floats to the top.

If Herbs de Provence aren't your thing, feel free to replace with Italian Herbs or any other mix of your choice!  A little salt won't hurt either, but I find it unnecessary.

Serves around 6, unless you have teenage boys.  Then it could very well only serve 2.  Increase the size of your roast up to 4 lbs without adjusting the cooking time.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 112 - Ham and Asparagus Roll-ups

Ham and Asparagus Roll-ups, string cheese, orange sections, wheat thins.
I'll be honest today....this was not nearly as cool as I had intended it to be.  I made some ham and asparagus pinwheels (faux sushi, really), and they looked like a Pinterest Fail.  On the upside, they tasted a lot better than they looked!  They were roll ups of white sandwich bread, ham, asparagus, almonds, dijon mustard, and mayo.  A pretty tasty combination, but I think it would be a lot more effective with a tortilla or some sort of flat bread.  

Anyway, I added some string cheese, wheat thins, and orange sections.  Pretty tasty, even if it's not pretty attractive.

I'll give you the recipe, but really...I wouldn't repeat this exactly as I did it.  But the flavor combo is great, so feel free to experiment.

Ham and Asparagus Roll-ups

1 slice white sandwich bread
1 thin slice ham
4 stalks raw asparagus
1 T sliced almonds
1/2 t  dijon mustard
1/2 t mayonnaise

Cut crusts off of bread (or whatever you use) and flatten with a rolling pin; spread mustard and mayo over one side of bread.  Sprinkle almonds on top Lay on ham slice, cutting to fit.  Trim asparagus stalks so that they are no longer than the bread, and lay on top of ham.  Gently roll up sandwich, like a cigar, with the asparagus in the middle.  Slice into 1/2 inch sections and serve with asparagus ends facing up. Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 111 - Hash, Revisited

Potato and ham hash, baked egg, orange section.
Remember when I made hash a few days ago?  Remember how delicious it was?  Well, I made it again, and I made a lunch container picture for you!.  I replaced the sausage with chopped deli ham, and added a baked egg and some oranges on the side.

All the pertinent recipes are linked.  Not much else to say except it was so goodPin It Now!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 110 - Ham and Asparagus Quiche

Ham and Asparagus quiche, tomato wedges, orange wedges, triscuits.

Ok, friends, it's mini quiche time!  I said I would keep making them, but it's been way too long.  These are so good...they're good cold, they're good hot...just perfect.  Not exactly low fat, though, so I made sure to amp it up with lots healthy stuff.  Tomato wedges, orange sections, and triscuits rounded it out.  Nice lunch.

These were so easy - I just popped these in the oven while I made dinner, let them cool while I ate, and them boxed them up for the next day.  The recipe makes two mini quiches, which is great for a single serve.  Feel free to multiply!

Ham and Asparagus Mini Quiche

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
2 T ham, finely chopped (I used once slice of deli ham)
2 T goat chevre, crumbled
2 stalks fresh asparagus
pinch each of salt and pepper

In a very well greased muffin tin, divide the ham and goat cheese into two muffin cups (you may use a silicone liner if you prefer).  In a separate small bowl, whisk together cream, egg, salt, and pepper.  Gently pour over ham and chevre; the mixture should reach almost the top of the muffin cup.  Trim asparagus and chop into 1 inch pieces.  Place on top of your uncooked quiches - some asparagus should sink just a little, and that is fine.  Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes, or until quiches are golden and puffy.  Let cool for 10 minutes before gently removing with a spoon; expect the quiches to fall quite a bit during this time.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate overnight for lunch. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 109 - Ham Sandwich

Ham sandwich with mustard, sugar snap peas, orange sections, wheat thins with low fat cheese.

Today is just a plain ham and dijon sandwich with traditional and healthy sides - orange sections, wheat thins and little low fat cheeses, and sugar snap peas.  Nothing overly exciting, but sometimes you just have to throw together a sandwich in the morning and get to work.

Watch this week for common ingredients - I bought deli ham, oranges, and asparagus this week.  Of course, I bought other things also, but these came in bulk and will stretch through the week.  I'll even incorporate them at night, too.  This is fairly impractical if you're cooking for a large family all week, but if you're just feeding yourself (or only concentrating on lunches), it can be good to plan a menu with lots of common ingredients.  I usually buy what's on sale to increase my savings and streamlining even more! Pin It Now!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 108 - Restaurant Leftovers

Roasted Chicken, Couscous Salad, Oranges, Sugar Snap Peas

My mom came to town, which means one very important thing:  shopping and eating out!

Ok, that's two important things, and my mom visiting is obviously more important than just that.  Like bonding, and Kodak moments, and fond memories...but we mostly establish those through shopping and eating out.  We were on a serious mission for shoes, which succeeded, and a serious mission for tasty/healthy food, which also succeeded...except when we found french fries.

But anyway, other than the french fries, we did ok in health terms.  We went to Houston's, which is on of my favorite restaurants from when I was little.  We went twice, time with the aforementioned french fries, and then a second time when I got roasted chicken and a delicious couscous salad!  It had tomatoes, spinach, almonds...and I'm not sure what all else, but it was good.

And so, the leftovers became my lunch today!  I added some orange segments and sugar snap peas  to round it out, and ate the whole thing cold. It was delicious.  Thanks, mom! Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 107 - Refrigerator Oatmeal

Refrigerator Oatmeal with Strawberries, Almonds, and Honey
I've been reading a lot on other blogs and websites about oatmeal "cooked" in the refrigerator and served cold.  I love oatmeal, and since it's been unseasonably warm this week (like, in the 70s, which is ridiculous), I decided to try it.

It. Was.  Delicious. 

It was so creamy and fluffy and filling, I just didn't know what to do with myself.  And it is so healthy!  It uses a variety of whole grains and fruit, including chia seeds which are all the rage right now for health reasons.  I jut like the way they plump up with the milk, to be honest.

This is a must try.  I will say, the recipe below made what looked like one serving, but I couldn't get all the way through it in one sitting.  I'd recommend splitting it in half.  I kept mine in the fridge for well over 48 hours and it never got overly mushy, so this would be a great thing to make for a few days worth of breakfasts or healthy snacking!

Feel free to replace the honey and berries with whatever you like.  The almonds, too.  The milk to oatmeal/granola ratio is what's really important here, but feel free to experiement with the toppings and let me know how you feel!

Refrigerator Oatmeal

1 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup steel cut instant (5 minute) oats (or, you may also use non-instant rolled oats)
1/4 cup low fat granola, without raisins (or with, if you really like them!)
2 T chopped almonds
1 T chia seeds
1 t honey
strawberries, however many you like, for topping

Combine all ingredients, except strawberries, in a 16 oz container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake until well combined.  Place in refrigerator over night, at least 8 hours.  When ready to eat, remove lid and top with strawberries and extra honey as needed.  Serve cold and enjoy!

Look, it even has a top!
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 106 - Lighter Bean Chimichangas

Bean Chimichangas, Guacamole, Blue Corn Chips, Mandarin Oranges

I guess I'm still on my Southwestern kick from last week.

Today's lunch included mini chimichangas, a Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie pack, blue corn chips, and a cup of mandarin oranges.  Yes, I got one of my chimichangas a little too crispy, but I like it that way!  To make the chimichangas, which are really just deep fried burritos, I used up rice from last week, leftover refried beans, and the last of the pinto beans from yesterday's lunch.  You may fill yours with whatever you want - chicken, beef, pork, black beans, peppers, even scrambled eggs - as long as the filling is something that heats well.  I'd save the guacamole and lettuce for toppings.

These are easy, hot, and will fill you up quickly!  I call them "lighter" because they are sauteed in a pan rather than deep fried, as is traditional.  I also didn't cover them in cheese, which is my favorite way to eat them when I'm at a restaurant.  You can make them as healthy or as indulgent as you wish, depending on what you fill and top them with.  I pictured one of them upside down so you could see how I folded it, in case you're curious!  The recipe makes two, but feel free to expand to as many as you want.

Lighter Bean Chimichangas

2 fajita sized flour tortillas
3/4 cup southwestern or Mexican food leftovers (I used 1/4 cup refried beans, 1/4 cup pinto beans, and 1/4 cup rice)
1 T shredded monterray jack cheese
1 t corn oil

Heat oil in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Mix your leftovers and cheese well in a small bowl; divide evenly between tortillas, and roll up like a burrito, with no filling exposed.  Holding your bundle of goodness together carefully, gently place seam side down in your skillet.  Be quick with pulling away your hands, the oil might sputter at you!  Cook until brown and crispy, about 2-5 minutes.  Flip and cook until other side is just as brown and crispy.  Allow to cool for a few minutes or completely before serving! Pin It Now!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 105 - Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

Corn, stewed onions and ham, slow cooker pinto beans, green beans, and corn bread.

I told you last post that I would have all vegetables and fruit for this lunch, and I got...close?

Growing up, my mom would go to the farmer's market in the summers and just get whatever was fresh.  Beans, squash, tomatoes, whatever.  She'd cook them as simply as possible, and we'd just have a vegetable plate, with maybe some ham or sausage on the side.  I do that in the summers now, but every once in a while I want it in the winter, too.  It's not as good, but I find that even frozen vegetables taste great when I'm just ready for some veggies and vitamins.

So, for today we have last night's leftovers - frozen corn, stewed pearl onions and ham, slow cooker pinto beans, green beans that I had made in the summer and frozen, and some corn bread.  I'm going to tell you all about the pinto beans, because they are ridiculously easy, ridiculously cheap, and pretty tasty too!  Great source of protein, and if you have leftovers you can make refried beans!

Just for your general reference, I buy a whole ham or ham cubes whenever they come on sale and keep them in the fridge for bean and soup cooking - I highly recommend this practice!  A ham bone is even better, but when you're doing small batches like the one below, just a little ham or bacon will be fine.

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

1/2 cup dried pinto beans (no need to soak)
1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup ham, chopped
1/2 poblano pepper, seeded
2 T chicken bouillion
1 T salt (or less...if you're sensitive to salt, start with one teaspoon and work your way up)

Place all ingredients, in order, in a 2 quart crock pot.  Fill the crock with water until about an inch from the top (if you're using a bigger crock pot, then add at least four cups of water).  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Drain and serve hot.

If you're making refried beans later, be sure to save the liquid! Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 104 - Chili Lime Chicken

Chili Lime Chicken, Sauteed Peppers and Onions, Rice, Blue Corn Chips, Wholly Guacamole, and Strawberries.
So, if it hasn't been apparent thus far, I've been in a mood for spicy food lately.  And today, I seemed to cram in as much pre-packaged stuff as possible...because it's just the end of the week and sometimes that's how that goes.  Last night I had chicken breasts baked with Chili Lime Fresh Takes, which is one of the pre-packaged foods I truly love, and a baked potato.  I cooked one extra chicken breast, so for lunch today I had chicken, leftover sauteed vegetables from fajita night, Uncle Ben's Spanish Rice, Wholly Guacamole 100 Calorie packs of guacamole, blue corn chips, and strawberries.

I ended up slicing up the chicken and peppers and eating it over the rice.  It was delightful!  Not as healthy as I would have liked, though.  I should have left out the rice, but it was so good.  Next lunch will be full of vegetables and fruit, promise!   Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Days 102 & 103 - Skirt Steak Fajitas and Burritos

Two lunches made from fajita leftovers!
Alright, friends, another day of two lunches from one set of ingredients!  Last night I made skirt steak fajitas for dinner, so I had the leftovers for lunch today and then made burritos for lunch tomorrow.  Obviously, I'm craving a little spice in my culinary life this week.  Both of these lunches can be made from one list:  marinated skirt steak, frozen fajita veggies, black beans, tortillas, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and Uncle Ben's Spanish rice.

Skirt steak fajitas, tortillas, rice, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.

The first lunch, Day 102, includes skirt steak and pepper fajitas, tortillas (wrapped in foil), lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and  Spanish Rice.  I intended to microwave this but ran out of time, so I ate it cold and it was still really great.

Two mini steak and black bean burritos, sauteed peppers and onions, sour cream.

The second day I had just a little bit of leftover beef and rice, so I chopped up the beef and mixed it with the rice, cheese, and some canned black beans.  I wrapped it up two fajita sized tortillas and had leftover pepper and onions on the side, and some sour cream.  Because sour cream makes everything better.  I microwaved this one so that the cheese got all melty and delicious.  Which reminds me of chimichangas...mmmmmm...Anyway, these burritos would be great with leftovers from restaurant fajitas, as well.

These both require a recipe for Skirt Steak Fajitas, which is below.  It is important that when you cook the skirt steak, you cut it against the grain.  What in the heck does that mean, you ask?  Check out the pic below.

Skirt Steak, in the skillet

Obviously, the first thing you notice is the cut  in the middle of the steak that I made with my knife.  If you look closer, though, you'll see natural stripes and grooves in the meat that goes against the line of the knife cut.  Those lines are the grain of the meat, and my cut is going against it.  In other words, cut it like that, in thin strips.  This will give you a more tender taste from a pretty tough meat.

Skirt Steak Fajitas

24 oz package of pre-marinated skirt steak (found in refrigerated meat section of the grocery - or, come up with your own marinade!)
2 cups frozen fajita vegetables (bell pepper and onions)
1 T olive oil

In a cast iron  skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Take beef out of packaging; mine was rolled up, so I basically had to unroll it like wrapping paper and cut it into smaller strips to all fit flat in the skillet.  Once you've done that, if necessary, place steak in skillet; you should immediately hear it sizzle.  Cook on both sides for about 3-5 minutes each to get a medium rare steak.  Remove steak and place on a cutting board.  Add vegetables in the skillet and stir to coat with remaining oil.  Reduce heat to low and allow  to saute until tender, stirring occasionally.  While veggies cook, thinly slice steak against the grain.  Add back into skillet, mix with vegetables, and serve immediately in heated tortillas.  And ejoy! Pin It Now!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 101 - Healthier Hash and Eggs

Healthier Hash and Egg

I had lots of leftovers in my fridge and freezer, and so after some Googling and pondering, I  decided that all added up to eggs and hash for brunch today!  Hash is not something I grew up eating, but I love the combination of potatoes, veggies, and meat.  Of course, hash of any sort is usually terrible for you - all that sausage, butter, bacon, and cheese.  Delicious, but fattening.

Now, I would not claim that this recipe for hash is "healthy," but it is certainly a lightened version of the traditional.  I served it with fruit and whole wheat English muffins, and felt very little guilt.  I'll also pack some for lunch tomorrow - I'll include the potato mixture, some eggs cooked in muffin tins, and fruit. Knowing my day tomorrow, though, I'll likely not have time to snap a what you see above is what you get!

The below recipe is pretty spicy in order to make up for the lack of salt and fat.  You're welcome to make it as spicy or non-spicy as you want, according to your tastes.  Adding a little extra salt probably won't kill you, either. :)

Healthier Hash and Eggs

20 oz refridgerated shredded hash browns
1/2 lb turkey kielbasa, chopped or sliced into bite sized pieces
6 medium eggs
2 cups frozen fajita veggies (bell pepper and onion; feel free to use fresh as well, it's just  more work to chop!)
1-3 T Louisiana Hot Sauce (or whatever brand you like; start with 1 T and add to taste)
1 t garlic
Cooking Spray

 Spray a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray; place on stove over medium heat and add kielbasa.  Cook, stirring frequently, until kielbasa has browned.  While kielbasa is cooking, chop peppers and onions into smaller, confetti sized pieces.  Remove kielbasa and set aside.  There should be some fat rendered and left in the pan; to be really healthy, discard.  To be as flavorful as possible, leave in pan.

Use any cooking spray necessary and add fajita veggies and garlic.  Stir until wilted, and then add potatoes.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, flipping to make sure all sides are browned.  Stir in kielbasa and hot sauce and continue to cook until potatoes are the desired level of crispiness, for as long as 20 more minutes.

When ready to serve, turn heat to low.  In a seperate pan, cook eggs any style (I'd recommend sunny side up or poached - I love those oozing yolks!).  Divide hash onto 6 separate serving dishes and top with one egg each.  Serve immediately!

If you're not serving 6 at a time, the hash keeps well in the fridge to be reheated on the stove throughout the week.  Pin It Now!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 100 - Shrimp Pasta for Two

Shrimp Pasta, cookies, apples & grapes.


Ahem.  Yes, I am excited.  Lunch #100  is finally here!  And to celebrate, we have an Operation: Lunch Box first packed for today:  Oreos!  Ok, not really oreos...the generic brand, fat free cookie that looks like Oreos.  But seriously, cookies for lunch!  And, you know, some fruit.

But, of course dear readers, I included a recipe for you as well.  Remember my thing about single servings and leftovers yesterday?  Well today, I'm using those same leftovers (cooked pasta, asparagus, feta cheese, and whatever I find in the pantry), but I'm making a different recipe...and this time, it makes TWO servings.  Yeah, you heard me right.  Two servings.  That way you can have a friend over, or just eat one serving for dinner and pack the other for lunch.   Enjoy!

Shrimp Pasta for Two

2 cups cooked pasta (I used a combination of spaghetti and vermicelli)
1 cup frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled
1/2 cup asparagus
1/2  cup feta cheese
2 T white wine (or broth)
2 T oil
1 T butter

1 T minced garlic

Heat oil and butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add wine and garlic; bring to a simmer.  Place shrimp and skillet and cook until pink on both sides, about 2-5 minutes.  Toss in asparagus (raw or previously cooked) and cook for about 1 minute; stir in pasta and cook until heated through.  If pasta is still hot, then just toss to coat and serve; if your pasta has been in the refrigerator, then reduce heat to slow and stir constantly until heated through, about 3 minutes  Add in feta, toss, and serve hot.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 99 - Mediterranean Pasta Toss for One!

Mediterranean Pasta, Grilled Chicken, Apple Slices

If you cook for yourself a lot, as I do, you find that you have lots of leftovers and a LOT of desire to revamp those leftovers for variety's sake.

Or, maybe you're always cooking for yourself and you dream of being able to cook that one, perfect meal by yourself.

But, of course, there are no recipes for one.  Ok, there are plenty, but not as many out there in the universe as I'd like, so I'm adding one more!  I had tilapia and a side of pasta and asparagus last night.  I had lots of leftover pasta, asparagus, and feta cheese, and so I made a couple of dishes for the remaining week.  For today, I made a single serving of a Mediterranean Pasta Toss, made of my leftovers and some random items I found in my fridge.  I put some leftover chicken from a few days ago on the side (which I mixed into the pasta while eating) as well as some apple slices.  It was good, fresh, and filling.

Tune in tomorrow for what I did with the rest of my leftovers. :)

Mediterranean Pasta Toss for One

1 cup cooked pasta (I used a combination of spaghetti and vermicelli)
1/2 cup fresh tomato, chopped (go ahead and use canned if that's all you've got)
1/2 cup fresh (or recently cooked) asparagus, chopped into one inch pieces
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 T olive oil
1 T dry white wine (or broth)
2 t capers
1 t minced garlic (I use the bottled kind)

In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add wine, garlic, tomato, and capers.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to brown.  Stir in asparagus - if it is raw, cook for 3-5 minutes until tender; if it has already been cooked, then immediately proceed to the next step.  Stir in your pasta.  If pasta is still hot, then just toss to coat and serve; if your pasta has been in the refrigerator, then reduce heat to low and stir constantly until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Sprinkle in feta cheese and serve immediately.

Reheats well in the microwave.

I highly recommend a green salad and a good, crusty bread on the side! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On Another Note...

Hey friends, check out this fun post about my site from the Easy Lunch Box makers!  It's almost like I'm famous!  Yeah, I know, not really.  Let a girl dream. :)

Even if you don't read about me, you should check out the site - lots of good lunch ideas, and a product I've really enjoyed. Pin It Now!

Day 98 - Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Started off 2013 with a big delicious salad yesterday, and packed the leftovers for lunch today!  Salad greens (yeah, I know they're not dark green, but they were on sale for a dollar.  A DOLLAR), carrots, radishes, red bell pepper, tomato, almonds, and feta cheese are all mixed together in the main compartment, accompanied by two medium sized boiled eggs and Nut-Thins.

Have you had Nut-Thins?  They're basically rice crackers with a little nut flour, and they come in a variety of flavors.  They're not flaking or crumbly like flour crackers, and they're super crunchy...almost like a compact rice cake.  Not too much healthier than a cracker, but they pack a lot more flavor and have a little more protein.

What made the salad today was just a little bit of homemade dressing.  This one is an old faithful for me, and you probably have all of the ingredients at home!

Dijon Vinaigrette

4 T Olive Oil
2 T Dijon Mustard
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 t dried parsley
1/2 t sugar

Blend all ingredients together with an immersion blender.  If you don't have one, then just whisk or shake the ingredients together in a jar with a closed lid.  The blender makes it look creamy, as above, but it tastes just as good whisked or shaken!  Makes about 1/3 cup of dressing. 

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