Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lunchbox 58: Curried Quinoa Salad

This recipe is from the excellent cookbook '400 Calorie Fix.' Quinoa, tofu, craisins, carrots and curry seasoning. Side of snap peas and strawberries.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lunchbox 57: Two-Potato Shepherd's Pie

It's the Amy's shepherd's pie again, but better presented and formalized now as an official entry in my recipe book :) it's the low-cal boxed entree atop a bed of sweet potato, with snap peas and strawberries.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lunchbox 56: Split Pea Stew

Lunchbox 56: Split Pea Stew by ficbot
Lunchbox 56: Split Pea Stew, a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Split pea soup with sweet potato and tofu, snap peas, tangerine. The soup is in the big compartment just for the photo; when I take it out to pack this lunch, I'll put my afternoon snack (ryvita crackers and soy cheese) in the big compartment.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lunchbox 55: Cheesy Rice Bake

Lunchbox 55: Cheesy Rice Bake by ficbot
Lunchbox 55: Cheesy Rice Bake, a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Super-easy, super-healthy, a quick leftovers lunch! Brown rice with handful of cubed tofu, topped with 1/4 cup canned split pea soup and a cube of grated soy cheese. Raspberries and carrot sticks on the side. Split pea soup is my ultimate shortcut to 'creamy saucy thing' when I am in a hurry and it's very high in iron too!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lunchbox 54: Falafel Sandwich

Lunchbox 54: Falafel Sandwich by ficbot
Lunchbox 54: Falafel Sandwich, a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Every Friday, the falafel plate is on special at a local take-out place. Since I can get two meals out of it, it's a pretty good deal. I pillaged the falafel balls, hummus and spicy potatoes to make a falafel sandwich, adding some garnish and some snap peas from home. I still have some rice and tahini sauce, untouched, for a meal tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lunchbox 53: Shepherd's Pie

Lunchbox 53: Shepherd's Pie by ficbot
Lunchbox 53: Shepherd's Pie, a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Amy's Shepherd's pie augmented with baked sweet potato chunks, snap peas, blackberries. Look, a new fruit!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lunchbox 52: Cheezy Potatoes

Lunchbox 52: Cheezy Potatoes by ficbot
Lunchbox 52: Cheezy Potatoes a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Tofu and potato cubes stir-fried with cheezy sauce, snap peas, carrots. I was sort of trying to make an open-faced pot pie.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lunchbox 51: Tofu Nuggets

Lunchbox 51: Tofu Nuggets by ficbot
Lunchbox 51: Tofu Nuggets a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Oven-baked tofu nuggets, sweet potato, snap peas and tomato sauce to dip. The breading on the tofu nuggets is a potato-based Passover product, wheat and corn free. I cooked!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Round-Up: Favourites from the First 50

I posted my 50th lunchbox today! It has been harder than I thought to post a new lunchbox literally every single day. I am pretty sure I missed a handful. But I am meeting my goal of diversifying my stock of go-to meals and I am learning to cook a little better. So I am glad for that!

My blog is also 100% vegetarian now, which has been exciting. I was always vegetarian at home but was not strict about it when eating food other people prepare. I have been doing a lot of reading on that lately and have made the decision that a vegetarian life is better for my health and for the planet, so I have cut out all the meat and dairy for good.

Here is an all-vegetarian round-up of my favourite lunches from the first 50. We'll see what the next 50 lunches will bring!
  • Lentil Soup. This is a winter staple for me. I use either Amy's or Primo brand. Both are simple, with few ingredients. I always have a can of this soup lying around.
  • Chickpea Stew. This is one of the school lunches; as a teacher, I can get them subsidized and sometimes buy one to bring home for dinner!
  • Indian Wrap: A bad picture, but a great lunch. This is one of a handful of prepared treats I occasionally buy at the local health food store.
  • Baked Beans: Another fabulous school lunch. I would love to learn how to make a rich and flavourful tomato sauce like this at home! I would put it on everything.
  • Soy Cheese & Crackers: I packed this for a snack one day and found it surprisingly filling. I sometimes eat this as a breakfast now, when I am tired of oatmeal.
  • Beans & Rice: So simple, yet so tasty. Packing the sauce on the side and mixing it in just before serving gave this dish just the right texture and moistness. A lunchbox staple now.
  • Veggie Burger: I rarely do sandwiches because I am sensitive to wheat; but I had a craving, and I finally found a veggie burger brand that worked for me. So I indulged!
  • Pasta & Peas: Another fast and simple, yet satisfying little meal. And it's flexible, too. I made it since with half peas, half edamame and it was delicious.
  • Veggie Pot Pie: Amy's veggie pot pie is my favourite junk food comfort food. It is low enough in Weight Watchers points that I can work it into my plan when I want to.
  • Health Food Store Treats: veggie gyoza and a brownie, what could be wrong with that? :) Not the most filling meal ever, but a tasty lunch on a cold day.
  • Pizza Bake: one of the best tips I ever learned for those who limit wheat: put the toppings on potato instead! This is much more filling (and lower-calorie!) than a typical pizza to me.
  • BBQ Tofu: I cooked! And I attempted to display the results artfully! This meal used the oven, which is a step up for me over my past heat-and-serve meals. Making progress!
  • Breakfast for Lunchbox: I eat this oatmeal almost every day for breakfast. On a sleeping-in weekend, it made a fine brunch, bulked up with some fruit and other goodies.

Lunchbox 50: Breakfast for Lunchbox

Oatmeal with cinnamon and applesauce, mango cubes, fresh strawberries.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lunchbox 49: Tofu 'Parmesan'

Lunchbox 49: Tofu 'Parmesan' by ficbot
Lunchbox 49: Tofu 'Parmesan' a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Tofu 'parmesan' aka tofu with tomato sauce and melted soy cheese, snap peas strawberries. What I really wanted was take-out pizza, but then I would have had nothing to photograph. Diet saved, by the photo project. Nice.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lunchbox 47: Forgot-I-Had-It Stew

Started cutting up the banana for fruit salad, and when I went trolling in the fridge for stuff to add, I found a forgotten half-serving of noodles and half a can of split pea soup. Mixed them together, added some tofu and nutritional yeast, and voila, dinner! Proud of myself for using up leftovers.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lunchbox 46: BBQ Tofu

Lunchbox 46: BBQ Tofu by ficbot
Lunchbox 46: BBQ Tofu a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Tofu baked with barbecue sauce, brown rice, carrots, grapes.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lunchbox 45: Pizza Burger

Lunchbox 45: Pizza Burger by ficbot
Lunchbox 45: Pizza Burger a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Veggie burger topped with tomato sauce and soy cheese, sauteed potato cubes, snap peas, strawberries. Apologies for the blurriness. This was a mid-day shot; I have terrible lighting and it seems nighttime photography work better.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lunchbox 44: Noodles with Squash

Noodles with sauce of leftover squash soup plus some add-ins, snap peas, strawberry fruit gel.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lunchbox 43: Chili & Rice

Lunchbox 43: Chili & Rice by ficbot
Lunchbox 43: Chili & Rice a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Canned chili with beans, brown rice, snap peas, strawberries. Okay, the canned chili is bad, but look, a new vegetable! I'm trying :)

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lunchbox 42: Squash Soup

Lunchbox 42: Squash Soup by ficbot
Lunchbox 42: Squash Soup a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

Canned squash soup with added handful of lentils, ryvita crackers with a soy cheese slice, grapes, mango.

The soup was Amy's brand; okay tasting, but a little thin. I am on March break for the next two weeks and want to try and learn to cook a little. A better version of this soup is top of the list!

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lunchbox 40: Pizza Bake

Lunchbox 40: Pizza Bake by ficbot
Lunchbox 40: Pizza Bake a photo by ficbot on Flickr.

It's like pizza, but with potato cubes for the crust :) Served with fruit, as usual.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lunchbox 39: Lentils & Potato

Potato cubes with lentils and tomato sauce, grapes, mango cubes. I may pack some crackers to go with this. It looks a little skimpy.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lunchbox 38: Pasta from Leftovers

It's raining, I'm sick (again!) and don't feel like going out for groceries. So it's a pasta with leftovers from the fridge: tomato sauce, lentils and a handful of grated soy cheese, with grapes and a treat on the side.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lunchbox 37: Health Food Store Treats

Not feeling great, and wanted something simple and comfort foody. I needed to stop at the health food store for some bulk bin stuff, so I picked up some veggie gyoza and a vegan brownie, served with grapes for a little nutrition.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Round-Up: Vegetarian Lunchboxes

Time for a little diet tune-up :) I've been slacking lately on nutrition, and it's showing. Too much wheat, which ruins my skin and makes me crave sugar; too much convenience food and too many things I should not be eating. I have a few weeks off in March and want to recommit to the kind of eating that's best for me, so I'll be going back to a mostly vegan diet (I say 'mostly' because I don't read every label for minute traces) and spending some of my holiday experimenting with new cooking ideas. For a little inspiration before I get started, here is a recap of the vegetarian lunchboxes I have posted so far:
All of my lunchboxes from here on will be vegan-based. The odd convenience item may have traces of egg or dairy---I am not super-strict with label-reading on those because I am already so restricted due to my food intolerances that super-strictness would be too difficult. But that aside, I want to try Neal Barnard's healthy kickstart plan (low-fat, no oil, no meat or dairy) and see how I do. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lunchbox 36: Hot Pocket

Lunchbox 36: Hot Pocket by ficbot
Lunchbox 36: Hot Pocket a photo by ficbot on Flickr.
Hot pocket, salad, grapes, chocolate treat. It's been a tough week and I was tired and wanting some comfort food :)

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Lunchbox 35: Quiche Entree

Lunchbox 35: Quiche Entree by ficbot
Lunchbox 35: Quiche Entree a photo by ficbot on Flickr.
A frozen quiche entree, grapes, frozen peaches, cereal snack.

This was Wednesday's lunch; forgot to post it. Sorry!

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lunchbox 34: Greek Vegetarian

The 'vegetarian platter' special from a local Greek place: rice, salad, spicy potato, grape leaf, falafel. I added the Jello for desert. I chopped the falafel up and mixed it in with the other stuff for a big salad-slash-rice bowl. It was tasty, but less food (and hence less value) than the non-veg platter from this same place. I used to get two meals out of that and this felt much lighter to me.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lunchbox 33: Lentil Rice Bowl

Brown rice, canned lentils, peach slices, strawberries. I find that when I add the sauce at the last minute, it tastes better, so I put the soy sauce in a dip container.

Still keeping it simple. Lentils agree with my digestion and clear things out a little, so I am hoping this will help smooth out my little IBS flare-up.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lunchbox 32: Wild Rice


Lunchbox 32: Wild Rice
Originally uploaded by ficbot
My stomach is a bit sensitive right now, so I am packing a very plain and easily digestible lunch for tomorrow. It's a packaged wild rice mix with peach slices and a small cup of jello. I packed the jello in a little container so I could easily remove it when I want to heat up the lunch.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lunchbox 31: Risotto


Lunchbox 31: Risotto
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Risotto of leftover bits and pieces, sliced strawberries, little treat.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lunchbox 30: No-Cook Bento


Lunchbox 30: No-Cook Bento
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Had a hard day and wasn't hungry for much :) Banana and strawberry sections, cheese string, cereal.

The cereal was an experiment for me to see how I did with a wheat thing that wasn't bread. The answer was 'not that well' so I am using it up and that will be it for the cereal :)

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lunchbox 29: Faux-Fredo


Lunchbox 29: Faux-Fredo
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Diced chicken and rice pasta with faux-alfredo sauce, peach slices, strawberries.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lunchbox 28: Veggie Burger


Lunchbox 28: Veggie Burger
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Finally found a veggie burger free of my top allergens, so I am trying it out! Veggie burger, potato wedges, mango cubes.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lunchbox 27: Pasta & Peas


Lunchbox 27: Pasta & Peas
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Rice pasta with tomato sauce and frozen peas, fruit custard cup, mango cubes.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lunchbox 26: Pasta Primavera


Lunchbox 26: Pasta Primavera
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Rice noodles with vegetables in tomato sauce, breadless nuggets, strawberries.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lunchbox 24: Sesame Chicken


Lunchbox 24: Sesame Chicken
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Sesame chicken, steamed rice, steamed broccoli and strawberries.

A lot of take-out food lately. Sorry about that! At least I am minimizing the damage by halving the portions and adding fruits/veggies. I got some new cookbooks today so I plan to start preparing things ahead a little better, and feature more vegetarian meals. I dislike cooking, but am really trying to work on it.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lunchbox 21: Spicy Chicken


Lunchbox 21: Spicy Chicken
Originally uploaded by ficbot
School lunch yet again :) Spicy chicken, quinoa, carrots, pineapple.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lunchbox 20: Kashmir Beef


Lunchbox 20: Kashmir Beef
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Today's school lunch :) "Kashmir" beef, basmati rice, apples. I got double apples because the vegetable was green beans and I am allergic so I did not have any :)

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lunchbox 19: Butter Chicken


Lunchbox 19: Butter Chicken
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Chicken with jarred butter chicken sauce, brown rice, sliced orange and green grapes.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lunchbox 18: Cheese & Crackers

I took a sick day yesterday---I am allowing myself one of those a month. I'm still feeling under the weather and don't have much appetite, so this will cover me for dinner: 4 ryvita crackers with soy cheese slices, fresh grapes and the last of the canned pineapple.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lunchbox 17: Sweet Potato Mash

This was today's school lunch: sweet potato mash, tomato fish and broccoli. I am not a big fish fan so I asked for less fish and more sweet potato. I wound up with too much sweet potato! I ate half of this and saved the rest of the sweet potato for another time.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lunchbox 16: Sri-Lankan Chicken

This was today's school lunch, which I am saving for tomorrow. Sri-Lankan Chicken with brown rice, melon and frozen peaches. I added the peaches to fill out an empty spot in the box---today's vegetable was green beans and I am allergic, so I declined them.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lunchbox 15: Leftover Thai Food

Went out for dinner with visiting family, and had some leftover Thai noodles. Added some tofu cubes, and pineapple/mango on the side. Yum!

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lunchbox 14: Sweet & Sour Tofu

Sweet & Sour Tofu and cabbage slaw on a bed of brown rice, canned pineapple, green grapes.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lunchbox 13: Chicken Nuggets


Lunchbox 13: Chicken Nuggets
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Breadless nuggets with dipping sauce, half a sweet potato, canned pineapple and fresh orange slices.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Answer to a Burning Question

A few people have written/commented to ask me about how I am handling hot and cold foods in the same lunchbox. The answer is, I have a microwave at work :) Usually, I pack two fruits in the side compartments and eat one for a morning snack, so come lunchtime it's only the main dish and one side item. It's pretty easy to just scoop out the side item while I heat the lunchbox!

If it's something like soup, the answer is that I don't pack it in the lunchbox. I find soup too messy and spill-prone for that type of container, so I pack it separately and use the main dish spot for my afternoon snack. You could use a thermos if you don't have microwave access; I have a ton of students who bring thermoses at lunchtime.

I do wish that the Easy Lunchbox people made a liner you could use for that one big square, so you could microwave a main dish and still have your little side items. I tried using the laptop lunch bento buddies square, but it was too high to fit. I also wish they made separate snack containers for easy packing---the kids at my school have both a morning and afternoon snack, and there would be no way to get all that in one Easy Lunchbox. On a typical day, I find I can get by with the ELB and one other container---either a soup container (and my afternoon snack goes in the lunchbox) or a snack container (and my lunch goes in the lunchbox). But I have yet to find a one-container-for-everything solution.

The minor inconvenience of having to pull out the grapes before I heat my lunch is better than the major inconvenience of having everything in separate containers and having to wash all those tupperwares and lids!

Lunchbox 12: BLT Wrap


Lunchbox 12: BLT Wrap
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Indulged my periodic sandwich craving with a wheat-free BLT wrap, cole slaw and mango cubes.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lunchbox 10: Greek Takeout


Lunchbox 10: Greek Takeout
Originally uploaded by ficbot
The local Greek takeout place serves huge portions, so I bring them home and divide them in half! Spicy potato, rice, lettuce and shawarma is rounded out with some grapes for desert.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lunchbox 9: Tofu & Lentils


Lunchbox 9: Tofu & Lentils
Originally uploaded by ficbot
Tofu and lentils over brown rice, mango cubes, green grapes. This lunch took about 6 minutes to assemble---super-easy! See? I'm trying to eat less food from a box!

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lunchbox 8: Baked Beans & Rice

This was a school lunch. Baked beans, rice, mango cubes, broccoli & cauliflower.

Packed in my Easy Lunchbox