Lunch Lately

When you work in politics, things are usually really exciting. Like, have to be in 4 places at once exciting because there’s a hearing going on here, and a vote going on there, and your boss needs his Blackberry charger (let’s be real, that last one is 80% of what my job entails)….

But there are also lulls.

The Legislature goes on recess…like a lot. For instance, right now they’ve been on recess since August 31st. So it’s been quiet times here in my little lobbying world.

In honor of this, I bring you the first installment of:

Things I Google and Wikipedia at Work

  • Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom — What started as a research task for my boss quickly turned into a trip down this handsome man’s entire life story.
  • date of Pearl Harbor (to prove to T-Man that I had the date memorized…….I don’t.)
  • date of Bastille Day (to prove to T-Man that I had the date memorized….I do!)
  • Trader Joe’s carrot cake ingredients… YUM
  • “c accent french”, from that one time when I taught Bev of Bev Cooks how to type a c squiggly thing (I was trying to remember what it was called…..it’s called a cédille)
  • Marilyn Monroe measurements (because I’m a creep)
  • BMI calculator (because I’m pathetic)

Something I also google at work is recipe ideas. Especially for lunches. Because the easiest time to waste money eating out as a ~young professional~ is at lunchtime, and my goal is to avoid it at all costs. In fact, the only 2 times I’ve been out to lunch since July were to treat my brother to birthday lunch, and to be treated to lunch on my own birthday.

To achieve such a “feat”, I have a few strategies.

Use the Weekend to Prep

Every Sunday, I like to prepare a dish that will last me at least 2 meals. Here is this week’s example:

I’ve made Ashley’s Lemon Dill Pasta Salad before (with an avocado dressing!), but this time I had fresh basil on hand so I made it with that instead of the recommended dill. Loved it!

I munched on a lot of it while I was making it (oops) and then split what was left into two tupperwares for lunch this week. Paired with a handful of wheat thins or a bag of chips, it was the perfect amount of food!

Make Enough Dinner That You’ll Have Leftovers

It’s actually pretty hard to make single serving size versions of a lot of dishes…I don’t think any pot exists that is small enough to make just 1 serving of rice! So instead of sacrificing the success of a dish because I don’t want to waste food or overeat, I make enough that I can eat the rest for lunch the next day.

A few weeks ago, I told you all I made Let it Brie’s Chana Masala with lentils… What I didn’t share was that I actually only used about half the lentils that I boiled for Indi’s recipe. The rest got seasoned with taco seasonings, hot sauce, and green onion, paired with a tortilla, and became lentil tacos for at least 3 days worth of lunch! Oh, I added an avocado too because I’m obsessed.

I ran out of my beloved super low-cal Fiber & Flax corn tortillas, and got Mission’s Multigrain Artisan Style tortillas — also very good, and not too bad on the ingredients! I love tortillas that are thick and seem like they’re handmade.

This is actually what I have packed for lunch today:

My own weirdo interpretation of Frito Pie. I am desperately looking for ways to finish a can of refried beans I opened a few days ago, so instead of the traditional chili, I made a big ol’ batch of refried beans with a ton of veggies and greens and chili seasoning, and am planning on mixin’ it up with a bag of Fritos. Desperate times call for desperate measures, people! Also, please ignore the nail polish and spoon lying in my bed.

Buy Healthy Easy-to-Make Lunches

For when there’s no food prepped from the night before (and I can’t get home to make lunch), I have an “emergency stash” of food at the office.

I’ve already shown pictures of this before, but I swear by it:

I love this soup cup brand and Nile Spice. Both make pretty healthy soup cups and, if you get the flavors that are chock full of fiber, they are considerably filling.

I also buy frozen burritos from Cedarlane and Amy’s Organic because they have good ingredients (especially Amy’s) and they’re usually on sale at Safeway for only $2-$3 a pop!

Soup cups and frozen burritos are usually for days that I work out or go for a jog at lunch, because I’m usually famished when get back to the office around 2pm.

What do YOU bring to the office for lunch?

P.S. A few of my photos finally got approved by Foodgawker! It’s been bringing a lot of traffic to my site, so hooray! Welcome new readers, and stick around, for most of my photos are not taken with my iPhone like they were in this entry :)

Check out my gallery here:

my foodgawker gallery

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