Monday, April 29, 2013

Day 165 - Takeout Dumplings

Leftover dumplings, soy sauce, honeydew melon, dried pineapple, yogurt covered raisins.

I had leftover dumplings from takeout last night, so guess what I had for lunch today!  You guessed it, dumplings!  They were so good...little bits of shrimp and pork and vegetables and happiness!  I added in some honeydew melon, dried pineapple, and yogurt covered raisins, and I was one happy lunch-eater.

I promise to be more creative later in the week.  But today is Monday, and I'm proud of myself for even packing a lunch to begin with. :) Pin It Now!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 164 - The Laziest Lunch Ever

Pancakes, Syrup, Strawberries

This is the laziest lunch I've ever made.  Seriously.  Why?  Because I was too tired last night to pay attention, and too busy this morning to make up anything more creative.  Some Fridays are just like that!  So, I quickly microwaved some Eggo pancakes - not even real pancakes, just frozen ones.  Then I threw in whole strawberries - not even cut up - and some maple syrup.  And by the way today is shaping up, I'll probably eat this lunch with my left hand while I type with my right.  Oh, Fridays!

Here's hoping your Friday and your weekend are much more relaxing and peaceful! Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 163 - Breakfast Leftovers

Watermelon, Baked Egg, Hash.

I made breakfast for dinner last night.  Or, as I like to call it, brinner!  I had a little bit of hash leftover for lunch today, and I decided to bake an egg.  But I couldn't decide what else to include...until I remembered how much I love watermelon, and how much of it I had in the refrigerator!  Yay!  So, I had mostly watermelon for lunch.  No, I'm not was awesome!

 Animated Gif on Giphy

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 162 - Pork Sliders

Pork Tenderloin Sliders, Teriyaki Sauce, Watermelon, Dried Green Beans
Remember when I said yesterday that I had some leftover pork to use up?  I made my Cranberry Dijon Pork Tenderloin on Sunday, and so today I had pork tenderloin sliders for lunch!  I put them on little homemade country white rolls with some teriyaki  on the side for dipping.  I put some watermelon (which is getting fresh again, YAY!), and TJ's dried green beans on the side.  Pin It Now!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 161 - Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry and Spinach Salad, Chicken Salad, and Pretzels
Alright, friends and loved ones, this is going to be a week of very simple lunches?  Why?  Because I'm just tired this week, and that's ok!  That's why the universe offers us things like leftovers and pre-cut fruit! 

Today's lunch includes a spinach and strawberry salad with a little bit of feta cheese and raspberry vinaigrette.  Yum!  Added some chicken salad for a little more protein and pretzels for crunch - in fact, I crumbled up most of the pretzels and used them as modified croutons for the salad.

I made pork loin and wilted spinach last night, so I made sure to save just enough fresh spinach for this salad.  Tomorrow I'll be using up the pork leftovers! Pin It Now!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Day 160 - Chicken Pies with Homemade Stock

Chicken Pie, Strawberries, Edamame

Our last rotisserie chicken recipe today is a repeat - but not really.  For dinner last night I made Moravian Chicken Pies, which I've made before.  The only thing that I did differently was actually cut out the pie dough into rounds, which I think makes a much prettier pie.  I threw in some edamame and strawberries for lunch today, and it was a great little meal!

Now, you can go back and look at my recipe for these pies anytime.  What I want to share with you today, however, is how to make homemade chicken stock from a rotisserie chicken.  The chicken pie recipe calls for both chopped chicken as well as chicken broth or stock, both of which I got from this week's chicken.  Making your own stock is extremely easy, and it freezes beautifully!  Speaking of freezing, I'll sometimes freeze the chicken bones and make stock out of them later, if I'm pressed for time.  Trust me, making your own stock will make all the difference in the world!

Chicken Stock from Rotisserie Chicken

1 four pound (or smaller) rotisserie chicken, meat and skin removed (some meat and bones remaining)
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 t black pepper
1 t kosher salt
3 quarts water

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot.  Feel free to throw the carrots and celery in whole, leaves and all included.  You may chop vegetables to better  fit your pot.  Bring pot to a boil and then reduce to a quick simmer; simmer for at least one hour.  If liquid looks like it's getting too low, then just add more water.  When stock is a rich golden color, remove from heat.  Strain liquid, removing all solids.  Let cool and keep either in refrigerator or freezer.  Use for soups or any other recipe that needs chicken broth!

Tip:  if you're freezing stock, try freezing it in your ice tray.  When frozen, pop all the cubes into a large bag - each cube is about 2 Tablespoons of liquid, so you can just throw as little or as much as you need into your recipes for the next few months!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 159 - Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas, Strawberries, Blueberries, Carrots, Celery.

 I made chicken enchiladas last night!  This is one of my favorite recipes that I learned in college, and it's turned out to be a great, quick meal for busy nights.  I often bring it, or something like it, to my friends after they've had babies or non-stomach-sensitizing surgery.  Last night, however, I made it all for me!  I packed the leftovers today with strawberries, blueberries, carrots, and celery.  Pictured is actually one enchilada cut in half.  The recipe only makes six enchiladas, but I promise that just one is enough to fill up most people.

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite ways to make use of a rotisserie chicken!


Chicken Enchiladas

6 burrito sized flour tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups cheese (I use queso quesadilla or a mexican blend), divided
8 oz can green chilies
10 oz red (or green) enchilada sauce

In a large bowl, mix together chicken, chilies, and 1 3/4 cup cheese.  Put just under a cup of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla, rolling up and making sure that the filling is tucked well into the ends.  Place each enchilada into the bottom of a well greased 9x13 baking pan.  Cover with enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Serve with sour cream, rice, and a good salad!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day 158 - Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks, dried apricots, cashews, rice cakes, strawberries & blueberries.

When you buy a rotisserie chicken, do you have a hard time not just tugging off the legs and eating them right there at the kitchen counter?


Ok, me either....

Ahem, but I do love those little drumsticks.  So, I made a lunch for today with chicken drumsticks, cashews, dried apricots, mini rice cakes, strawberries, and blueberries.  So good, fun to snack on during the day, and super fast to throw together in the morning!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 157 - Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini, broccoli, strawberries

The first recipe I made from my rotisserie chicken this week was Chicken Tetrazzini.  This is one of those old-school recipes that I remember my grandmother making...or something like it.  My recipe is taken from a Southern Living version, but I cut mine in half and add some ingredients.

This is a really rich dish, so even an 8x8 casserole will feed several people.  Serve it with a giant green salad to balance things out.  For lunch, I had it with broccoli and strawberries.

Chicken Tetrazzini

1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
1 c. white wine
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 oz jar pimento
6 oz can mushrooms, drained
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1 T chicken bouillon
1 t black pepper
8 oz spaghetti, cooked
1 1/2 cups cooked and chopped chicken

Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Whisk in flour until smooth, and then gently whisk in milk and wine.  When mixture begins to thicken, add in 1/2 cup of cheese cheese, all pimento, mushrooms, almonds, bouillon, and black pepper.  Cook until heated through.  Fold in cooked pasta and chicken.   Pour into a well greased 8x8 casserole dish.  Sprinkle cheese on top, and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

One Rotisserie Chicken, Four Lunches

You know those rotisserie chickens that most big box grocery stores sell?  The ones that can be a killer bargain, and most households buy multiple times a week?  Well, I bought one on Sunday, and made four lunches and three dinners out of it.  So, that's what I'll be showing you this week.  One chicken, four lunches...three of those lunches from dinner leftovers!.

Now, the details.  I bought a four pound bird, took the skin off, and removed all of the meat and chopped it into bite sized pieces.  I ended up with about 5 cups of chicken, which I kept in a large container in the refrigerator all week.  All the chicken required in the recipes this week comes from those five cups.  I also saved the chicken bones to make stock...more on that on Friday.

If you're a thrifty shopper, keep in mind that most grocery stores discount their rotisserie chickens by a least $2 after a certain point in the evening.  In my Kroger, they knock off $2 at 7pm, and another $2 at 9pm; in short, two birds after 9pm is cheaper than one before 7pm.

I bought mine later at night.  For less than $7, I had chicken for all week.  I made three dinners, after which I brought leftovers to lunch, and made one lunch just from the drumsticks.  Thrifty menu planning and its best!  Stay tuned... Pin It Now!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Meaningful Lunches

You wouldn't necessarily know this about me just from reading my recipes, but I'm a person who is very passionate about justice, equality, dignity, loving-your-neighbor-as-yourself issues.  So, this post about Easy Lunch Boxes helping people with special and particular needs makes me feel super warm and fuzzy inside, and makes me feel lucky to be a tiny part of a food blogging community that makes getting meals in the lunch box or on the table easier - because after all, sharing meals together is so often what makes us connected and whole.  There's a reason that heaven is often described as a great big dinner party.

I hope you are all having a beautiful day, and you're all enjoying those things which help make your piece of the world more wonderful!  Pin It Now!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 156 - Fruit and Veggie Box with Green Salad

Cucumber, Grape Tomatoes, Green Salad, Grapes, Mini Wheat Pita

Delicious lunch today!  Cucumbers, grapes, tomatoes, mini pitas, and a green salad with julienned vegetables.  I whipped up that bagged salad for dinner last night, so I just popped the already dressed salad in with my other delicious healthy treats.  I wish I had included a little more protein, but I certainly got an energizing burst of vitamins with this lunch!

Next week I'll be using one rotisserie chicken for all of my lunches; in the meantime, you can check out my Pinterest Board of Lunch Ideas for inspiration.  Happy Weekend! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 155 - Fruit and Veggie Box with Goat Cheese

Whole wheat pita, cucumber, grape tomatoes, edamame, marinated goat cheese, green grapes.

Today's special treat is some goat chevre drizzled with a little olive oil and honey, which I let soften before lunch and spread all over some whole wheat pita.  Yum.  Packed it with some grapes (yum!), tomatoes (ok, I'm getting a little tired of these), cucumbers, and edamame.  Since goat chevre is a pretty low fat cheese, as cheeses go, I felt really good about the health factor in this meal. 

In other news, if you're looking for good lunch box ideas that also use the Easy Lunchbox system, try checking out Kelly Lester's Easy Lunchbox Facebook page.  She's the creator of these ingenious little devices, and features lots of great bloggers on her page! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 154 - Fruit and Veggie Box with Ravioli Salad

Grape Tomatoes, Mandarin Oranges, Ravioli Salad, Green Grapes, Cucumber Slices

Alright, friends, same drill as yesterday, except today we have Ravioli Salad!  It's just one package of cheese ravioli tossed with 4 oz of pimentos, julienned veggies stolen from my bagged salad, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and a little salt.  Not even worth writing out a recipe, but so delicious!  I added in grapes and mandarin oranges for sweetness, as well as more tomatoes and cucumber.  Yum! Pin It Now!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 153 - Fruit and Veggie Box with Palmetto Cheese

Whole Wheat Pita, Cucumber Slices, Mandarin Orange Sections, Green Grapes, Grape Tomatoes, Pimento Cheese

Here's the thing.  I feel the need to get a lot of fruits and veggies in my system this week, but that doesn't mean that I can't have a little something indulgent, right?  Gotta get protein somewhere, and as far as I'm concerned, that might as well come from cheese!

Seriously, I have no problem with a box full of healthy and a little something fatty and proteiny (yeah, I just made that word up) on the side.  And for whatever reason, sometimes I just wanna go vegetarian, so lean meats are out.

Anyway, today my indulgence is pimento cheese...more specifically, Palmetto Cheese!  Palmetto Cheese is one of those things I discovered while living in South Carolina, which I was so glad to find in stores in Atlanta!  It's essentially a pre-packaged pimento cheese (some varieties with jalepenos!  and bacon!) that tastes just about as good as homemade.  A pricey and caloric treat, for sure, but delicious anyway.

Ok, pimento cheese aside, I also included mini whole wheat pitas, cucumber slices, mandarin orange sections, grape tomatoes, and green grapes.  Not going to lie, I'm pretty sure everyone at the table was jealous of my colorful, healthy meal.  It's true! Pin It Now!

One List, Four Healthy Lunches

I have two things going on this week:  I am super busy, and I've been eating badly over the last week.  So, I wanted some lunches this week that were healthy but quick, with lots of fruits and veggies.  So, I made up one list and used the ingredients over and over again this week.  I'll be showing you each lunch on each day, but here you can see how they all relate.

 My ingredients are all pictured above, with one exception.  On my shopping list for lunches this week was:

Mini Whole Wheat Pitas
Green Grapes
Mandarin Oranges
Bagged Lettuce with Julienned Vegetables
Grape Tomatoes
A Cucumber
Goat Chevre
Pimento Cheese
Four Cheese Ravioli

Not pictured is a bag of frozen edamame, as well as kitchen staples like oil and vinegar.  

For lunch this week, I'll be having:

Fruits and Veggies with Pimento Cheese
Fruits and Veggies with a Green Salad
Fruits and Veggies with Goat Cheese
Fruits and Veggies with Ravioli Salad

Keep checking in, and enjoy! Pin It Now!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 152 - Leftover Ribs

Barbeque Ribs, cole slaw, strawberries
Went out and had ribs last night!  So, guess who had leftover ribs for lunch today?  This girl!  Ribs, cole slaw, and fresh strawberries.  That's about all I have to say about this lunch, except that it was delicious! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 151 - Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff, Red Grapes, Clementine
These leftovers are a total splurge, and so worth it!  Last night I made Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff - cheap, easy, sinful, delicious.  This recipe is very similar to the beef tips that I shared with you a few months ago, but honest - this is way more delicious.  Not the prettiest picture I've ever taken, but trust me...delicious!  I added grapes and a clementine to try to keep it a little healthier for lunch today, which I just kept on the lid of the container while I was microwaving the stroganoff over egg noodles!

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs beef stew meat
2 cans cream of golden mushroom soup
16 oz sour cream (I use 8 oz fat free, 8 oz low fat...full fat would be tastier, though)

Combine beef and soup in the slow cooker; cook on low for 10-12 hours.  Stir in sour cream and cook until heated through, about 15-30 minutes.  Take the time the sour cream is heating to cook up some egg noodles and a nice green salad! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 150 - Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback potato, chicken drumstick, steamed broccoli, clementine.
Leftovers from last night!  I baked chicken drumsticks in hot wing sauce, steamed broccoli, and made Hasselback Potatoes.  Have you seen these things?  They are all over Pinterest.  There are different versions, but they all consist of cutting thin, partial slices through a baking potato, adding butter or oil, and baking them.  Honestly, I've made these twice....and I'd rather have a baked potato.  They're ok, they're certainly pretty, but they just taste like plain potatoes to me.  However, everyone else raves about them, so maybe give them a try.  Here's a good recipe.  If you discover any secrets to super flavorful versions of this recipe, let me know! Pin It Now!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 149 - Open Face Breakfast Sandwich

Open Face Breakfast Sandwich, Red Grapes, Clementine
Aaaaand, we're back!  From a wonderful, relaxing, taco and margarita filled vacation!  I already miss my dear friend who was sharing her time and couch with me, but I think we had a great time.  I hope you all had a good week, as well!

Of course, the downside of traveling is...well, the traveling part.  Flying through an airport-which-must-not-be-named, I was naturally delayed by about four hours due to...well, this airport just generally being inept.  Sorry, but they always mess something up.  Anyway, trials of this particular airport aside, I got home well past my bedtime last night, and so did not have time to grocery shop or prepare lunch.  What's a lunch blogger to do?!  Well, I multitasked!  As I was making breakfast this morning (toast, boiled egg, fruit), I decided to throw together a breakfast sandwich for lunch.  I had a multigrain piece of toast which I topped with goat chevre, two strips of crisp bacon, and one egg cooked over hard (I would have made it over easy had I not been taking it to work).  Not the prettiest sandwich, but very tasty!  I added grapes and a clementine on the side, and I was good to go!

There will be some cooking tonight, so we'll see what more interesting things I'm able to concoct! Pin It Now!