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21 March, 2011

Feed me, now!

Posted in : Fixins, Lunch on a Plate on by : Lauri

Here’s the pattern:  I get up between 7 and 8 in the morning and eat something, have some coffee, and sit down to work at the computer.  Several hours later, usually around 1 or 2, I’ve been working steadily and start getting jittery because I’ve either not eaten enough, had too much caffeine, or both.  Today is a prime example — I’m famished.

The answer? A lunch that takes less time to prepare than this post:

  • Grab a handfull of salad greens and put them in a large bowl.
  • Slice fruit over the top.
  • Throw in a small handful of trail mix or whatever nuts you have around.
  • Pile cottage cheese along the side.
  • Add whole-grain crackers or toast for filling fiber and crunch.  (Who needs fatty croutons?)
  • Drizzle with a fruit-friendly dressing.
  • Find a fork.  Eat quickly, but remember to chew!

Today’s version: Green leaf lettuce with blood orange and strawberry slices, pepitas, cashews cranberries and chopped dates, served with topped with lowfar cottage cheese and multi-grain Wasa crackers.  The dressing:  Ken’s Steakhouse Fat Free Raspberry-Pecan vinaigrette.

 

Variations

  • Trail mix is something I always have in the house (and in my purse) to stave off binges and unnecessary fast food runs.  But you can use any sort of nut or seed here.  (In truth, the pepitas I used here are actually seeds:  shelled pumpkin seeds.  Love ’em!)  Sliced almonds would be especially good.
  • Whole wheat pita bread or any wheat cracker would be great with this.  I like Wasa because it’s so satisfying to eat, and can stand up to wet foods like cottage cheese without wilting.  Try to find a whole-grain bread that has a lot of flavor.  What this meal needs is heft, not wimpy French bread or another white-flour fluffy variety that will leave you wanting to eat half the loaf (with butter, of course).  Go for substance!
  • The cheese is optional here, but if you choose to omit it, try to replace it with another form of protein:  goat cheese might be an alternative, or you could spread fat free ricotta on the crackers.  But this is also a good place for a hard-boiled egg, if the other ingredients are OK with that.
  • Not feeling fruity?  Use veggies and change the dressing for more familiar fare.  There’s almost no way to get this wrong!
  • This is also easy to do for an in-office lunch:  just put then ingredients in separate containers and assemble on your favorite plate.  (Remember, plates matter!)   The separate containers will keep things crisp, and will only take about two extra minutes in the morning.  (Great excuse for a bento box!)  Your colleagues will be leafy green with envy.

The Stats

Prep/cooking time: 4 minutes

Calories: About 450

Cost: Less than $4

Cleanup: One knife, one fork, one bowl

 


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