THE LUNCHBOX: What’s in the tin!

Packing my lunches everyday (and not using any processed lunch meats or aged cheeses–or anything processed or pre-made for that matter) certainly has me eating more vegetables in the lunch hour, which is a great thing, right?

Plus, I’m starting to dig the Sunday-in-the-kitchen prep days. I like my kitchen. Brian even gave me a hand last Sunday.


What did we make?


I picked up a gigantic hulk of a spaghetti squash at the Farmer’s market and walked away thinking six bucks for a squash? Well, I tell ya… that roasted squash made it into my lunch three days and into dinner three, and it’s still going with one large sized portion left!


For lunch I used just salt, pepper, and turmeric. The turmeric came about because the last time I visited my parents they raved about the power of turmeric, and after reading about it, I saw why! And considering I’ve been off of work for a few days due to a knee issue, a spice high on the anti-inflammatory list seemed like the perfect addition.


Other options with the spaghetti squash. For dinner one night, we chopped up the beet greens from our beets and sauteed them in a bit of olive oil along with some asparagus, and tossed the spaghetti squash in. If you haven’t tried Beet Greens, do. Our pals at the Gaytan Family Farm booth at the Orange Home Grown Farmer’s Market suggested we try them rather than having them cut them off, and we’re so glad they did! They’re fantastic!

beet greens

Another tired night, we took a couple of the hamburger patties I made last Sunday, sliced them, and mixed them in with the spaghetti squash, along with some of the pre-cooked chile and onion mixture we keep in the fridge. Super tasty.



Cauliflower seems to be the go-to potato replacement on a ton of recipe sites. Now, I’m not ready to toss potatoes into the “no” bin, but I do like to limit my potato intake, and while I’m not a HUGE cauliflower fan, it is growing on me.


I found this recipe on Caroline’s Plate. I did slightly modify, leaving out the curry since I wanted something pretty mild.


The roasted mushrooms and garlic smelled so fantastic. All pureed together made for a truly lovely soup (although for lunch time, I might leave out the garlic next time and just use curry, ’cause when I opened my thermos in the close confines of the newsvan, the garlic smell exploded out, and I do need to be considerate of the reporter in the van with me).



You can never go wrong with chicken soup, and since we had the carcass from a chicken Brian roasted on Wednesday, he went to work on making a nice, rich broth, cooking it down for several hours with some celery and beet greens, salt and pepper, and all the nasty chicken stuff you don’t eat (or at least we don’t).


Once we strained out all the yuck, we had a wonderful broth to make our soup. Sadly, when I was filling my thermos with the last helping on Tuesday, the thermos slipped from my hand, spilling that delicious soup all over the kitchen. So sad.


Because the roasted yams in my lunch were such a success, I again baked up four of them.


And as my afternoon “treat” I had a yam sprinkled with cinnamon and salt, with a side of sauted apples (just apples, cinnamon, and a dab of butter, cooked stovetop with a lid on until the apples soften and carmelize), and some leftover Dustbowl pie crust cut outs.


And where did the cut outs come from?

From this…


The world’s most decadent pie. No, that’s not chocolate, that’s a deep, deep, molassassy brown sugar pie. When I make butterscotch pie, I usually use a light brown sugar, but since I was out, I used this super dark one, plus I used a new recipe I really liked, that resulted in a fabulous texture. The super dark sugar made this pie a bit too much on the rich side, but oh wow. Add a little whipped cream, and it would be to die for. As Brian said, “No one should eat a pie like this.” Yeah… it tastes that decadent.

Oh my goodness! It’s 9:25 Saturday morning! Farmer’s Market time! Hope all the vegetables aren’t gone by the time I get there!


Oh! By the way… I found this GREAT list of lunch ideas on The Kitchn! So excited to explore…

Until next time…

Later gators!

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