lundi 13 mars 2006

A bevy of lunches.

I haven't abandoned my project to bring lunch to school more often. I swear. Even though daily I am tempted by french fries and pretzel dogs (and okay, sometimes I succumb - but have you had pretzel dogs before? Mmmmm. Yummy), I've usually been good, generally because I don't even have freaking time to run to the food areas to indulge my penchant for fast food.

(Plus, no fast food during the week means that I don't feel as guilty when I make those 3am junk food runs after having had a wee too much to drink. Such as on Friday. Oh, and maybe Saturday as well. But I decided to not give you another story of oh, wait, how I went out drinking and met guys that I can pillory on this website. Unless that's what you want. Then I'll give it to you.)

Anyhow. Some of my lunch experiments have been more successful than others. Since I've been running around this quarter like a chicken with its head cut off, I've brought it down to my making one large salad on Sunday night, when then I eat for the three days a week I have to eat at school. It sounds rather boring, and I would love to make a brand-new-and-sparking lunch every day, but I just can't.

I've largely been inspired by what I find at the farmers' market, which is nice, because then it adds that whole buying locally and supporting small farmers bit, which I would like to do more often but sometimes it just doesn't work out. But at least for my lunches, it does.

So, from left-to-right, top-to-bottom, you have:
  • Carottes rapées (or, shredded carrots), garbanzo beans, and cucumbers, tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. While this was a nice and fresh salad, it was appetizing for the first day and a half, and then I started feeling like I was eating rabbit food. Which I was. Not to mention, do you know how long it took me to hand-grate all those damn carrots?

  • Lentilles du Puy with roasted carrots and beets. This was one of those failed lunches. I love lentils, but this one ended up being just too sweet in a cloying way. I added some feta to it to cut down on the overwhelming sweetness, but it didn't work. I have penchant for salt, not for sweet.

  • Hot marinated cauliflower (which was also good cold) from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook. I love this cookbook - it's a vegetarian one, and even though I'm a staunch meat eater, this cookbook has all sorts of tempting ideas, all hand-written and hand-illustrated. I was a big fan of this particular dish, even though I think it would have done well with some more spices to add more life to it.

  • Roasted beets, corn, haricots vert, chèvre, and pistachios. No dressing - the beets lightly flavoured everything, and this was one of my favourites because I got to pick at my food, eating each ingredient one at a time, which keeps me occupied during class.

  • Seared mushrooms with tiny cubes of tofu, from This Can't be Tofu! I checked this book out from the library on a whim, and came across some lovely oyster and crimini mushrooms at the farmers' market yesterday, so I just had to make this. You can use this recipe to make tortellini, which was really tempting, but I instead tossed it with some elbow macaroni to give it more substance and to make it more packable for school.

  • Roasted yellow beets, edamame, fresh mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes, tossed with whatever dressing I decided I wanted from my fridge. Another failed lunch - the yellow beets were just too sweet (I think I'm done with beets now), and combined with the edamame - my stomach wasn't used to all this green roughage and I couldn't take it. I think I had to supplement this lunch with a pretzel dog.

  • Penne, crispy tofu, and green bean salad. I was left largely unexcited by this dish, except for the fried tofu. The seasoning was rather blah, and the pasta overwhelmed everything else.
I have the seared mushrooms with tiny cubes of tofu (yes, that is the entire name of the recipe, I'm not making it up) for lunch today, and I have to say, I'm really excited for it. I might have had some yesterday while I was cooking it (I can never pass up warm mushrooms), and know how good it is. Especially because it will keep me entertained during my meetings, and I won't be craving pretzel dogs or chips afterwards. I hope.