This is Lisa. I have had many lunches in her presence. I used to work at Octopus Books, the lovely little bookstore that Lisa has owned for many years. It was my favourite job, ever. I actually remember Lisa having trouble deciding what to have for lunch on a fairly regular basis. Once, as I heated up some leftovers in the microwave, she said, exasperated, "You always make being a vegetarian look so easy!" Here are Lisa's needs in her own words:
"So around 11:30 every day, I start thinking about what I am going to have for lunch and wishing I had made it. I don't make it because i don't know what to make, or I feel too rushed. I don't eat any meat, am ok with cheese, kinda queasy on eggs. Prefer not to have to heat things up. Have a bunch of sore teeth which make me scared something will be too cold, or will make my tooth hurt if it's too hard. I also get worried about my weight. I was thinking about yogurt and fruit with oatmeal in it. I don' t really like processed veggie luncheon slices. And these are the reasons I tend towards croissants, chocolate bars and pizza. Not healthy i know, but if i am being honest, those things have passed by my lips!"
Since Lisa's days are sometimes chaotic and she doesn't necessarily have time to sit and eat at the same time every day, I figured I'd compile her a lunch of snacky items so she could eat quickly and easily.
Item 1: White Bean Sandwich Spread
This is something I've recommended many times before and will continue to recommend. It is easy to make, keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and is generally kid-friendly. A batch of it can easily be made on the weekend and tucked away in small containers in the fridge that are easily grab-able. It's good with crackers or vegetables and provides protein and flavour without a ton of fat.
Item 2: Spinach Chickpea Triangles
If Lisa had a bit more time for food prep prior to the work week, I'd suggest making a batch of these snacky triangles. I know, from many dinners spent at Lisa's house, that she and her family often make pizza at home for dinner. If you double a pizza dough recipe, you'll have enough dough for the pizza and a batch of triangles. The filling whips up quickly and once these are baked they can be frozen easily. I've done this before and just taken one out of the freezer in the morning to bring for lunch, and it was thawed out by the time I was hungry for lunch.
Item 3: Maple Pecan Granola
Okay, now I'm pushing it, with something else that needs to be prepared in advance. However, these are merely suggestions and this is a fantasy lunch. Why hold back? And since Lisa mentioned "yogurt and fruit with oatmeal in it" I'm suggesting this delicious homemade granola, which goes very well with whatever kind of yogurt you like. It is sweet enough to be almost a dessert, but still healthy and low-fat. I like it with soy milk and peach slices or some berries on top.
Item 4: Fruit, Fruit, Fruit. Nuts, Nuts, Nuts.
Unoriginal, sure, but so easy to throw into any lunch. No need to underestimate the simple things. A bag of almonds, cashews, or pistachios. An apple, orange, or some mango slices. These work for daytime snacks as well as lunch items.
And that's it for Lisa's lunch. I'm still trying to do two of these posts per week (last week = fail!) so hopefully I'll have another lunch post before the end of the week.