Showing posts with label Lunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lunch. Show all posts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lunch Lately

Brown Rice, Shiitake, Kimchi Pancakes with Kale, Kale Stalks

There is only so much cafeteria food you can eat before you start to feel like they want to ruin your day and I think I reached that point quite a while ago. Add to that the fact that it is finally starting to get warmer here so that I can spend lunch outside and I don't see any reason to spend my money on those always cheese-heavy lunches.
Couscous, Chickpea Tagine, Broccoli

So I have made an effort to try to bring my own lunch with me on those days of the week that I am in Zurich. Sometimes I just bring leftovers, but I really want to put a little more thought into lunch than that, without having to get up any earlier than I already have to.
Right now I don't have any recipes to share for fanastic lunches but I really hope that will change soon as I get more and more prepared. I realize I planned on doing that a while ago, and another time too, and it always last for a few weeks only. I really want to change this time.
Do you prepare a lunch to take to work/college? What do you bring? Do you have any go to recipes?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Swiss Chard Tart with Pine Nuts and Raisins

The end of February marked the 3 year anniversary of this blog. On 2/21/2011 I wrote my first post, about an eggplant dish I made from one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I bought after Michael decided to eat vegetarian.
I have been reflecting about my motivation on writing here, posting recipes, taking pictures of my food, and honestly felt a bit demotivated about it all for quite some time now. Nothing good can come from comparing your writing, your recipes, your pictures and your life in general to that of other bloggers.

I'll spare you all the self-criticizing thoughts I had in the past weeks/months, because what I mainly want to say today is: I just love to cook. Basta. That is the reason I started writing here those 3 years ago and still, this is the reason I come back to this space after being absent, again, for quite some time.
I realize it is already March, but back on New Year's Eve Michael and I talked about the highlights of 2013, and mentioned Marcella Hazan's Torta di Biete, or Chard torta as one of the best things I had made in 2013. It's been a while since New Year's Eve, so I am really sorry to have kept this recipe for myself for so long. (Although it is published in The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, so it is hardly a secret) You really should have had the opportunity to make this since January 1st, with Swiss chard being in season and all.
The original torta is crustless, but there is a whole mess of toasted breadcrumbs involved. You could definitely make the recipe as Marcella Hazan wrote it (I found a closer version to the original here) and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it with this sort of breadcrumb crust. I came to prefer the version with a crust though, if only because the crust makes it easier to steal a slice here or there out of the fridge.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Spanish Salad

Time flew by since I last visited this space. Our days were filled with all those minor things we needed to cross off our to do list before leaving (in 10 9 days!!!) and some quality time spent in the loveliest house at Lake Brienz with Michael and a few friends who dropped in for a visit.

Days there are slow, filled with second and third rounds of coffee, short swims in the lake (it is still very cold), walks, late night bonfires and simple cooking.

I am back home already, but this is a salad similar to something we'd make there. I call it a Spanish salad because it is a riff on a salad we had in Nerja, Spain last year. Michael referred to this as the best thing he has eaten in a long time - which might say more about him than about the salad. He is a salad lover for sure. But it makes for a great lunch, he is right on that.

A Spanish Salad
1/2 head of lettuce, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cucumber, core removed, sliced thinly
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1/4 - 1/3 cup olives
a handful dried tomatoes in olive oil, coarsely chopped
1 avocado, cut into slices
olive oil
lemon juice (the juice of 1/4 - 1/2 lemon)
salt and pepper
In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients except the avocado. Dress the salad with olive oil and a little lemon juice, then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on large plates, arranging the avocado slices on top of the salad.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chickpea Wraps

I realized after writing my post on what I was going to make for Christmas that I never actually told you that I became a vegetarian this summer. Up to that point I did eat meat, although were rarely. The switch was really easy for me, but I did get a few strange reactions and the protein question. If you are not vegetarian you may not know what I mean, but if you are, my guess would be that you have to hear it over and over again, too.

But, what about protein? people ask. Oh well, sometimes I really have to keep myself together to not get annoyed, but I really try to be nice about it because I know you might have asked that same question a vegetarian before. I probably did, too. And I prefer to believe that people mean well.

I usually tell them that I know what I am doing, that they should not be concerned because protein does not just come from meat.

But I also realized that I had troubles eating enough protein throughout the day when I was away at university or work, and having to rely on the cafeteria there. I have started assembling a salad at the salad bar with at least on sort of legumes throw in, but I really don't want to eat the same thing every day, and my guess is that all you vegetarians out there feel the same about your daily lunches.
So starting today with this recipe for chickpea wraps, I want to start a new series of posts here, sharing recipes for vegetarian lunches throughout the next year.

Today's lunch is really easy to throw together. You can make the filling ahead of time, roll the wrap in the morning before going to work or assemble it at lunch just before eating.
Chickpeas are my favorite legume, and they pair really nicely with lemon and yogurt. Add some dill and celery and you have a really brightly flavored salad that wont leave you feel stuffed like the cafeteria meals you might have to endure, too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Warm Farro Salad with Eggplant, Zucchini and Tofu

I have the interesting habit of carrying cookbooks with me and reading them like "real" books. And I dont me memoir style cookbooks with one or two recipes thrown in between lots of writing. I love to read recipes, and their discriptions. To look at the pictures, too, but I found myself doing this even with books that have little photographs inside.

Today I had Isa Chandra Moskowitz' Appetite for Reduction with me, and on my one hour commute to work and back I read the whole book from front to back. Reading cookbooks always leaves me hungry, and inspired, too.
While today's recipe was inspired by Appetite for Reduction, there is no particular recipe that I adapted from it. Rather I was inspired to use less oil in my cooking than I usually do, and I was surprised that it actually really worked well.
Cooking eggplant usually involves lots of oil, it can soak it all up with no problem. And preparing tofu usually involved more oil than I wanted to admit, too. Not anymore, I was really happy how this all turned out and how the resulting salad was that much lighter and fresher than it would have been otherwise.

The leftovers are going to come to work with me tomorrow, just take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan on eating it, grain salads are much better at room temperature than cold, IMHO.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mediterranean Quinoa Patties

On a good day, I am bursting with new ideas. Creative. Eager to start. On a bad day, I am frazzled, unfocused, restless. I never finish anything.
On a good day, I am relaxed, content where I am, with realistic expectations. On a bad day, I am lazy, unambitious, with low expectations to life. I settle for less.
On a good day, I like to help. I respect other people's feelings. On a bad day, I am a people pleaser, not respecting my own feelings.

My strengths are my weaknesses, a truth that is revealed to me on a daily basis. As the perception of my self shifts from "I have this great idea, I'm off" to "Lena, just try to stick with something for once" within the course of one day, or even a few hours, I cant help but notice that these two traits go hand in hand, that they are, in fact the same.
In good moments I can see those traits for what they are, my strengths, they make me me.
It is in the other moments, the less than fantastic moments, that I see them as my weaknesses.
I have been trying to see them as a whole lately, for what they are, good and bad, weak and strong combined into my being.

For these quinoa patties I only combined good things, though. If you think of olives and smokey cheese and dried tomatoes as good things, that is. I like to make lighter and easier lunches these days, and these quinoa patties fit the bill perfectly. Combined with a salad of asian greens, as we did, or possibly a ratatouille of sorts they satisfied my cravings for crunchy and salty but still healthy.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Rolls with Coffee Tofu and Miso-Marinated Carrots

Today I felt a bit off. I didn't plan much for the easter holidays and found the prospect of just sitting around stressed me out. This weekend, the weather is pretty bad: it is cold, it rains, it is just gloomy.
I spent the day inside, paying some bills I put off paying (no wonder I felt stressed out), cleaning a bit, putting things where they belong. I washed my clothes (another thing I put off doing this week), baked some bread, and by the afternoon I felt a lot better.

I also made these spring rolls. They were inspired by the Wintery Spring Rolls from 101cookbooks and these soy-glazed roasted carrot spring rolls from Naturally Ella. And by Joy the Baker and her coffee bacon.

Making cute food, that takes some time to make, always relaxes me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spicy Squash Salad with Wild Rice and Parsley

I barely have time to cook. Or rather I barely had time to cook. Having three presentations at college in a row (one per week) is just not such a great idea. Taking up another little job, writing for a homepage, at the same time might not be the clever idea I thought it was.
Many things got neglected in the meantime, I had almost no time to enjoy fall until now and I had to work all weekend long. Tomorrow, after my presentation about the 'Greening of Protestant Thought', this should be over. There will still be things to read, translations to make and classes to visit, but I'll have my weekends back.

One thing I did try to keep up doing is preparing lunch to take to college or to work. I made "salads", mostly. My definition of salad is somewhat loose, though. I usually don't add a real dressing, so a salad is more a cold meal that was planned to be eaten cold (in contrast to left-overs).
For today I prepared this squash salad. I saw the recipe on The Moveable Feasts, it is from Bon Appetit originally.
I did not have smoked paprika on hand and could not find it in the supermarket I went to, so I had to do without. I also decided early on that I wanted to add lots of parsley. (This is probably because I saw a recipe in one of Jamie Oliver's books, that used tarragon as main salad ingredient. Really interesting idea!)
And I swapped out the lentils for a wild rice mix (this is just regular rice and wild rice mixed, I think it was something like a 8:2 ratio)
It is a lovely little fall salad, way better than anything I could get to eat here for lunch...

Do you prepare lunch to take to work or to college? And what do you prepare if you do?