This is Elizabeth (with grandaughter, Cameron). Elizabeth has known me since I was nine years old because she is my friend Kat's mom. I don't see her very often since she lives way out in BC, but we get together whenever we're in the same city and get caught up. Elizabeth is a busy university professor and she defined her lunch needs as follows:
My needs are that it be portable, energy providing, and give me some badly needed veg servings. I would even tote a green shake, etc. I like tofu, btw. If it is something I could prepare in bulk so I could take it several times for lunch, even better. I like all vegetables. I usually eat at my desk.
Lunch Item 1: Green Smoothie
Elizabeth did the work for me for the first item by suggesting it herself. What I'm bringing to the table is a kitchen hack. Did you know that most blender bases will screw into a standard mason jar? It's true, look!
You can throw all your smoothie ingredients in a jar, attach the blender base, put it in place, and blend away. This makes for super easy portable smoothie preparation. No liquid to transfer to another container, no blender to wash. Just screw a lid on your jar and go. Glass keeps things colder than plastic does and is much nicer to drink out of. If you need a recipe for a green smoothie, my basic one for a spinach-berry smoothie is here. Mason jars also have the added benefit of not leaking if you throw them in your purse. (Unless you don't put the lid on properly, then it's a trip to Slime City. )
Lunch Item 2: Kale Salad
I posted this recipe a little while ago and it has stood the test of time. Kale salads are great because you can dress them and leave them in the fridge and the greens don't wilt like boring old lettuce would. Kale is also a real over-achiever in the vegetable department, so it's a good choice for lunchers who want to reap the benefits of increased vegetable consumption.
There's also no need to heat this up, so it can be eaten quickly as a pre or post-lunch snack. I also chose this because Elizabeth wanted foods to give her energy and I know that raw food, especially raw greens, always boosts my energy.
Lunch Item 3: Roasted Vegetables with Tofu
(I'm assuming that Elizabeth has the means to heat up some of her lunch, since this is food that is not very good when eaten cold) This is an dish that can be prepared in bulk on the weekend and brought along for lunch through the week. The ingredients are in season right now and it's great with any variation of root vegetables and herbs. It can be served with some brown rice and some kind of healthy gravy-type sauce (I like this super healthy recipe) but I also enjoy it all on its own. The squash and apples keep the end product from being too dry. A little bit of this goes a long way as far as keeping me full for a while after lunch. My basic recipe is here.
Plus, it will make your house smell all wonderful on Sunday when you're making it.
Lunch Item 4: Dark Chocolate
As I said before, I always feel like a bit of a treat after lunch. A few squares of dark chocolate is always welcome and it doesn't weigh you down like sugary baked goods would. My favourite right now is the Cocoa Camino raspberry dark chocolate bar. Yum.
That's all for this one! More lunch talk tomorrow.