Back to school and back to lunches!

I made two separate dishes for lunches this week.  I made stew for my husband:

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I wasn’t thinking about getting the big girl camera out, so for now enjoy the photographic powers of the mighty iPhone 5, taken after daylight hours end.  Mmm, it almost looks 70’s retro with the strange hue from the above-range light!

I made this without a recipe, really.

  1. Brown stewing steak (3 lbs?)in oil in a non-stick skillet.
  2. Throw meat into big roasting pan with a lid.
  3. Sautee sliced onions (2) in the same pan with a new glug of oil – scrape up the brown bits as they’ll add flavour!
  4. Throw onions into same roasting pan.
  5. Peel and dice a bunch of potatoes.  You know how many you like.
  6. Throw in a packet of baby carrots leftover from having company over last night.
  7. Pour beef stock over dish to cover the veggies.
  8. Sprinkle your favourite flour (to accommodate people who can and cannot have gluten – I used Cup4cup, because I love it and can tolerate dairy) over… maybe 2-3 tbsp, 1/2 tbsp per cup of stock.
  9. Throw some herbs in.  I used smoked paprika, oregano, bay leaves, and Simply Organic all purpose seasoning.  I didn’t measure.  Not so great for a blog!  People like clarity.
  10. Put the cover on the roasting pan. Bake at 350′ until the kitchen smells amazing, sauce has thickened, and the veggies are cooked through.

You can put whatever vegetables you want in here – I’ve used a bunch of different root veggies, and then I’ve cooked the beef and onions for an hour then added green beans and asparagus for about 1/2 an hour to mix things up.

As for my upcoming lunches, I roasted 5 diced red peppers, 3 quartered tomatoes, and a quartered onion in olive oil in a biiiiig dish, then simmered them in stock (4ish cups)with 2 cloves of garlic, before throwing it all in the vitamix and pureeing until smooth.  The result: 8 cups of beautiful soup:

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which I poured into glass jars, which are perfect for taking to school and microwaving at lunch (lid off, of course).  I took this photo in the afternoon, so I’m hoping the colours look a little better than those in the stew!

The hubs just gets stew portioned off into containers.  Then he can add his own side dishes on each day to vary his lunch.  I plan on having my soup and packing leftover protein in a container for lunches.  Tomorrow, I have some chicken breast pieces with a mini brie cheese as a treat.

Et voila!  Lunch is now made and prepped for the next four days!  Now bring on the Netflix binge, ahem, study session.

Don’t worry – I’m still doing lunch!

It’s an interesting thing, creating content for a blog.  It’s also interesting making a new blog for ethical reasons.  And it’s incredibly curious beyond what words can express when, almost a year after creating content from my kitchen, people still keep coming to my blog.  I’m flattered.

I’m trying something new these days.  I’m experimenting with prepping lunches once a week.  This will free up time on weeknights with which to study, and get some much-needed exercising and relaxation time in.  It’s not so much a new year’s resolution as a recommitment to getting on top of the demands of daily life.  With this change comes the possibility of recreating new content for my blog and get it up and running.

I’m doing well after my celiac diagnosis a year and a half in.  My skin is no longer dry.  I have a lot more energy than I ever remember having, and my joints don’t hurt in my fingers.  I gave up playing video games partly because it was painful to operate a keyboard and mouse, and the XBOX controller just seemed far too heavy to be held.  The decision to reintroduce meat into my diet was one that seems to be working, although I am what my naturopath describes as ‘meat-lite’, as I try to explore a variety of protein options!

So, if you remember this little corner of the internet, welcome back, and I hope I don’t disappoint.  If you are new to stumbling upon my lunches, welcome!

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Hope you enjoy a fuzzy low-rez selfie taken on Christmas morning in my “Day of the Doctor” graphic tshirt 🙂

Lentils, kale salad, zoodles

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I’ve had a cheap spiralizer for a while that I got on eBay. It’s pretty fun, but for some reason, I haven’t got around to finding smallish zucchini to spiralize to make zoodles. Today, that changed! I sauteed it in olive oil with a little pink salt, and decorated it with some of the roasted tomatoes I prepped on the weekend.

I have some lentils that I mixed with marinara sauce. My plan is to heat the zoodles and lentils together for lunch tomorrow. I was going to pack some orange slices, but I found that my son has eaten them all (yay PDD and overwhelming food cravings, although he can’t be hurt by the nutritional content, so it’s good) so I put some kale salad into the container to fill up the remainder of the space. I will dress the salad with my secret work-fridge stash of balsamic reduction and olive oil tomorrow when I eat.

Tomorrow’s afternoon smoothie:

-1 scoop vanilla protein powder
-big handful baby kale/spinach
-1/2 cup frozen mango
-1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
-water
-cinnamon

Chicken (the last of the batch I made… the protein choices will change!), kale salad

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I can’t seem to get enough raw pumpkin seeds lately. They’re so good, and very good for you! I have the last of the batch of maple barbecue chicken I prepped (got a dinner and 2 lunches out of it – not too shabby!), and a big handful of kale salad mix. Pumpkin seeds adorn the salad, and dressing is in the food cup. Simple, tasty, and will get me through my afternoon.

Chicken, bacon, quinoa rice, veggies

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This lunch is for my husband. I pulled out one of my regular fridge containers, so it’s not in a cute bento box. He’ll survive. He will be enjoying a lunch from my stash of food I prepped last night: chicken, roasted tomatoes, and quinoa rice. I added some fresh cucumber for crunch, and a couple of slices of bacon that he cooked and left in the fridge. I’m sure he’ll appreciate that. He likes bacon.

Kale salad, chicken, orange

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I’m absolutely in foodie love with my current nutrition plan. It’s based on protein, veggies, and healthy fats at most meals, except the meal right after you get a workout in, where you switch the fat for a healthy carb. It’s super easy for gluten-free eating, and is pretty delicious!

I’ve got some baked chicken breast with a maple barbecue sauce, a kale salad with pumpkin seeds and dressing in the cup, and finally, some orange slices, because citrus is just so juicy and delicious right now! The chicken and salad are leftovers from dinner, and the orange was prepared fresh.

I had a chocolaty green smoothie for my after-work snack today, with chocolate protein powder and raw cacao nibs. So tasty!

Cupcake Friday!

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It’s been a busier-than-usual week, and not only have I neglected to photo and blog my lunches, I screwed up on the photography. See the shadow in the bottom of the picture? The horror!

This is a red velvet cupcake for some of the snacks provided at my social justice planning sessions in… Vancouver! The icing is a vegan cream cheese icing. Next week’s cuppies will be the gf vegan ones I made, because at least one planning member is both gf and vegan, so I made sure everyone could have a cupcake if they chose, by having some regular and some gf to choose from. Don’t worry, vegan cream cheese icing has the picky PDD seal of approval. My son said it was good, so I know if it passed his test, it’s very enjoyable for all! I got the two-tone effect by mixing half the icing with food colour, placing white and pink into separate icing bags, then placing those into one big bag with a tip and just going for it. It was messy, but works out nicely 🙂

I love mixing 2 or 3 different kinds of sprinkles. It looks so pretty every time. I have some heart sprinkles, some red sugar, and pink pearls. Pretty! Cupcake on!