Tag Archives: Lunches

A different kind of packed lunch

If you’ve peeked through the food posts in the archives, you probably noticed the bento-inspired lunches I’d posted back in 2008.

I fell out of making this kind of lunch after I started living with T. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think a large part of it is that when I lived alone, I had no shortage of room (or containers to store multiple batches of leftovers). But now that I’m living with someone who has a rather different view on meals than I do? We’ve got to compromise on what we buy and keep… and make for dinner.

Dinner’s the only meal we share everyday, both in the sense of “eating the same food” and “eating at the same time”; this is due to our different work schedules, meal preferences, and nutritional requirements. So, it’s usually a bit of a compromise. He makes an effort to include more veggies when it’s his turn to make dinner. (Even though half the time it’s just bagged salad greens. But it’s the thought that counts!) Me, I’ll try to include some meat, even if it’s just a small amount.

This means if I want to keep eating vegetarian meals regularly, I need to have them for lunch more often than not. So I’ve started making big batches of some sort of vegetarian meal on Sundays, and eating the leftovers throughout the week.

Last week, it was a batch of quinoa salad (which is actually vegan!). The week before that, it was spicy tofu and rice. This week, I’m going to try making a vegetarian cottage pie – we’ll see how that turns out. Recipes to come after a bit more tweaking!

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Beefsteak and green beans and more!

Been awhile since I've posted….

Generally speaking, every lunch I pack is at least half leftovers. Friday's was no exception:

Thursday night's dinner was Filipino beefsteak and rice, with a large helping of green beans. I'd cooked the green beans with soy sauce and mirin, which was delicious, but it probably wasn't the smartest move in the world because, well, talk about a soy sauce-heavy meal! (The beefsteak also uses soy sauce.)

So, I wanted a lunch that was slightly more varied in flavor.

I packed leftover steak, green beans, and rice in the evening. Then, on Friday morning I made zucchini and chickpea flour pancakes. Shredding the zucchini takes a bit of time, so I normally wouldn't make these pancakes in the morning before work, but I'd woken up earlier than usual. I sliced one pancake for my lunch and the other for a snack.

Finally, I added some sweet cherries.

The final meal was still a bit heavy with the soy sauce (and thus with sodium), but the pancakes and cherries lightened the meal up overall. All in all, this was a tasty and filling lunch. Yay, success!

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Sanshoku donburi, green beans, bell peppers and onions.

I packed both lunch and dinner today, since I didn't have much time to pick up or cook something before Comic-Con's Preview Night.

Dinner was pretty simple:

The main dish is one of my favorite meals, sanshoku donburi – literally, three-color rice bowl. The version in this lunch consists of beef soboro, iri tamago, and blanched chopped spinach on top of white rice.

This is a bit high in sodium thanks to heavy use of soy sauce, but it's not horrible if you only use a little meat (very doable, as it's strongly flavored).

Veggie sides are green beans roasted with garlic and shallots and pepper and onion confit. If I manage to post other Comic-Con meals, you'll probably see the confit in all of them, as I made a huge batch and won't have time to cook much else.

I actually didn't have time to eat the whole dinner in one sitting. I was eating while in line and couldn't hold both tiers of my bento box, and I only had time to finish the sanshoku donburi before entering the exhibit hall. Which was filling enough on its own, but I would've preferred eating it with the veggies – the contrasts would've made my tastebuds happier. Oh well. At least the veggies kept just fine until I got home. (Although I wouldn't have eaten them if I'd gotten home a half hour later – I'm not totally comfortable with room-temp food after a certain amount of time.)

Anyway, I call this one a success!

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Tofu nuggets and mashed potatoes

Hmm. I should start posting more recipe notes. I've got a fairly good memory for things that need tweaking, but it would be nice to have it in writing somewhere, just in case.

In the meantime, another lunch.

I eat vegetarian meals at least a couple of times a week. This particular one was filling, but not a total success taste-wise.

The tofu nuggets were supposed to be spicy, but I failed miserably on that front. I'll have to tweak this quite a bit. At least these plainer ones go well with sauces. (I packed tonkatsu sauce today, but forgot to include the container in the photo… oh well.)

Next to the tofu is sauteed zucchini, followed by Rainier cherries.

Finally, there are mashed potatoes with garlic, oregano, and parmesan. No gravy as I like these plain, although I didn't add quite enough garlic. Oh well, next time. Luckily it's an easy fix.

Packing this lunch was super easy, as the tofu and potatoes were both leftover from last night – I just packed portions straight into my bento box while cleaning up. And the zucchini took all of five minutes in the morning.

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Spicy shredded chicken with brown rice

I haven't really done anything all that special for meals this week. I liked today's lunch well enough, but I think I'm falling into a bit of a rut.

My mom makes awesome chicken enchiladas, and part of the (long but well worth it) process involves boiling and shredding chicken, then simmering in tomato sauce and onions and spicy goodness. The filling is delicious, but far too much work for me, so yesterday I decided I'd try to adapt it for crockpot cooking. The results were decent, but not perfect, so I'll have to keep working on that.

Anyway. In addition to shredded chicken, I had roasted asparagus and sweet pepper and onion confit – nothing you haven't seen before. I've been doing an awful lot of roasting lately, and believe it or not, I don't always use asparagus, but it had been on sale and I love it, so… yeah.

Finally, brown rice. I actually really like short grain brown rice as long as it's not overly dry. Basically this means I end up cooking it on the stove, as I haven't quite figured out how to make it with my rice cooker (my cooker's several years old and not particularly fancy, so no special brown rice settings).

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