Now Lunch At Your Desk is clearly not part of my series of travel posts but I thought we needed some more lunchspo to keep us on track! We will resume normal programming in the next post.
Im going to go out on a limb here and say that I think my number one problem that often prevents me from bringing my own healthier lunch to work is Time.
Or lack thereof.
Is this true for you too?
Well, if it is the case and you don’t fancy the weird deliciousness of the last minute apple and peanut butter sandwich that I shared with you last time (and I can only partly blame you for that because it does sound weird – but delicious! I promise!) then perhaps this little lunch might be your saviour.
I introduce, The Bitsa Lunch. Im not sure if the term ‘bitsa’ is used widely elsewhere but in Australia it’s often used to describe a dog that has no discernable breed. Its a ‘bitsa’ you know, bits of this and bits of that…
And that is that way that I would describe this simple and tasty lunch. Its a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a whole lot of stuff-I-found-at-the-back-of-my-fridge. It comes in many different variations, but the beauty of this lunch is that with a few pantry staples, you can pick and mix everything you have in your kitchen to make a filling and nutritious lunch.
First we begin with a base, something bready and filling like:
bread (thick slices of sourdough are the best if you still have some left over)
Then we add some veggies like:
raw carrot sticks (much maligned as being only a vehicle for dip – I could eat whole carrots every day just by themselves)
leftover veggies from dinner last night e.g. steamed asparagus, green beans, broccoli
marinated olives (my fridge is never without a tub of marinated olives. Im in an Italian house now. I would die.)
Then we have some extra tasty things like:
chunks of cheddar cheese (strong and bitey is how I like mine! It counterpoints the soft or sweet veggies and bread + cheese = food from the gods)
Spreadable cheeses like the ubiquitous laughing cow cheese
Dip – homemade or otherwise
I always keep a plate in my desk drawer at work as well as a knife, fork and spoon in the mug that I use to store my pens and pencils. That way I can bring a bunch of small tupperware containers or snaplocks with each part of my lunch and then just lay them out on the plate for some leisurely eating. It is hands down the quickest fresh lunch that you can prepare and will make you the envy of all your coworkers with their greasy takeaway. It also has the added bonus of making you calm down, slow down and enjoy your food. What better way to begin the second half of the day?
So peeps, what pantry staples would you include in your bitsa lunch? Leave a comment for me below!
Ok peeps, if you’re following this series via the instagram hashtag #lunchatyourdesk you could be forgiven for thinking that all my lunches now are magically hearty and healthy salads and gourmet sandwiches. Hah! Its all smoke and mirrors! Well, not quite. I have been quite proud of having brought at least a semblance of a healthy lunch to work every day this term (except for the one day that I just couldn’t get my act together and had to run down the street for takeaway. It was awful.). But I have definitely taken some shortcuts. The biggest one being this kinda healthy but also kinda not but definitely unconventional sandwich.
I love apples and generally pack one for recess or lunch most days each week. When I was under the pump and the cupboards were bare of ingredients for a decent sandwich, I thought ‘screw it’ and packed a couple of slices of bread to see where the day would take me.
It took me to a delicious place of sweet apple slices, salty peanut butter and soft, white bread. I know it probably seems weird but if you’re a fan of the sweet/salty combo and you’re pressed for time one day, just go with it. The result is a sandwich of contrasting textures with the soft bread and juicy and crispy apple slices. I had a tangelo too which are in season at the moment and beautifully sweet and juicy (and super easy to peel too!). So, although this one was a bit of a weird lunch at your desk, it did the trick!
Whats the weirdest sandwich combination you’ve had at work or in life in general?
Just when you thought i’d fallen off the healthy lunch wagon, here I am with another edition of Lunch At Your Desk.
Today I bring you the Leftovers Salad with New York Steak!
(apologies for the shadow cast by my arm – i’m definitely getting better with the whole ‘good lighting makes good pictures’ thing but clearly have a way to go!)
The leftovers salad is my go-to lunch when there weren’t enough leftovers from dinner to just have that meal for lunch again the next day. I find that there are generally some odds and ends of roast vegetables that are left in the pan and often a lonesome little bit of meat. It’s not too difficult to fluff it up with some raw vegetables and a simple dressing the next morning to turn it into a substantial lunch.
The night before hubs and I had made some delicious New York cut steak and roast vegetables. Hubs ate all his steak but I only managed about half of my huge piece. So I wrapped the rest in foil and left it in the fridge for the next day. In the morning I sliced the remaining meat up and left the gristly fatty bits behind. I added some raw carrots, lettuce, sweet corn and radish to bulk up the few remaining roast veggies.
and bam! Healthy lunch that travels pretty well too
For a dressing I just drizzled the salad with olive oil, a twist of salt from the grinder that I keep in my desk drawer and squeezed some lemon on top. There may have even been some pepitas sprinkled on top for good measure! So here is another healthy lunch dish that requires barely any prep and makes the most of the odds and ends that might otherwise go to waste a the end of a meal.
So lovelies, what did you all have for lunch this week?
And it’s time for another edition of Lunch at Your Desk! Hooray! This week i’m sharing a sneaky and super easy way to use leftover bolognese and sweetening the deal by throwing in a delicious snack to keep the munchies at bay. Enjoy, my lovelies!
I have been thinking about this snack for so long it’s genuinely ridiculous. When I was amping up for my European Holiday I was starting to think seriously about all the delicious German food that I was going to eat right at the beginning when I was in Berlin. Naturally, pretzels were number one on the list. Well, actually strudel was but thats not really related to this post so we will just ignore that. I picked up a fairly substantial packet of pretzels from the supermarket for $1 then spent weeks and weeks trying to think of the perfect dip to pack it with. Ultimately the answer was super easy and staring me in the face. Who could resist the siren call of the salty sweetness that comes with peanut butter and nutella? And those salt encrusted pretzels!
One scoop Nutella + one scoop peanut butter + a handful of pretzels = salty sweet heaven in your mouth
Try it. Seriously.
And on to the main event!
This lunch is really all thanks to my super dooper mother in law who kindly stocked our fridge (amongst doing many many other things to make our apartment liveable again) with delicious home cooked food for us to eat when we were too jetlagged to go to the shops. One of those dishes was a tub of bolognese sauce beefed up with mushrooms. Im still adjusting to the whole cooking-for-two malarky so I always underestimate how much pasta to cook to feed hubs and I. The few scattered pasta shells you see above are the only ones left from dinner the night before. It seems super efficient but unfortunately there is almost always a fair amount of sauce left over.
In the morning fog of tired eyes and lethargic limbs, I definitely couldn’t sum up the energy (or the mental capacity) to boil some more pasta so I called on that other carb staple, the good old crusty bread loaf to help me out. A few slices slathered with salty butter was the perfect vehicle to get the bolognese from the container into my mouth. It was a godsend on that awful cold and rainy week that welcomed us back to Sydney. You know, that week when it snowed in places that it has definitely never snowed before?
So, what have you been having for lunch this week? And do you have any other sneaky tips for what to do with leftover pasta sauce?