Happy Friday! The nice thing about taking pictures of lunch (even when rushing to do so) is that it will remind me of things I can add that I might have forgotten. I took the picture above, and remembered I had some leftover grilled tofu in my freezer stash, so lunch became this:
Much better! As I was assembling the noodle salad, I felt the lunch was low on protein, so this was a nice quick addition. Contents of today’s lunchbox:
- Noodle salad made with Brown Rice Noodles from Star Anise, a new and wonderful discovery, with several green vegetables, homemade hot sauce, lime juice, sesame seeds and plain grilled tofu (see below for more information on the noodles and the salad).
- Gena’s awesome sweet-potato avocado and chocolate pudding, made with a tablespoon of agave instead of dates (see here for my slight variation). I made a full recipe this morning, ate half for breakfast and this is the other half. I love this recipe (see here). Sorry for the messy-looking jar – I was rushing more than usual when making this lunchbox.
- Buckwheaties, also inspired by Gena’s blog. I have discovered that stirring about a 1/4 cup of buckwheaties for half a recipe of sweet-potato avocado and chocolate pudding makes it a wonderful crunchy yet creamy treat.
I plan to post a more detailed review along with a recipe for a stir fry using them, but in the meantime, I have to tell you: I am loving these noodles. They are made with brown rice yet cook in under 2 minutes, just like traditional white rice noodles. Love love love love them. It has been a year since I have traditional Asian noodles because most of them are made of white rice and/or tapioca, so it has been a treat to have these brown rice noodles. As far as I can tell, the product just hit the market, and I love it.
Especially mornings like today – my initial idea for lunch (azukis from my freezer stash along with some massaged kale salad and steamed sweet potatoes) just did not appeal to me, nor did a breakfast of a green smoothie sing to me. While I really hate cooking in the morning, I really wanted a different lunch. And breakfast.
So here is how the 35 minute marathon took place: I made the avocado pudding while the water came to a boil, threw a serving of the noodles into boiling water, snipped two scallions and leafy celery bits (about three tops of celery stalks) into a bowl (it was too early in the morning to do any sort of chopping), drained and rinsed the noodles, added the noodles to the bowl along with a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, a half tablespoon of this awesome homemade hot sauce, about a cup of the kale salad and the juice of a lime. I tossed everything quickly with tongs and added sesame seeds before pouring the noodle salad into a container that had another cup or so of kale salad already in it. Then I packed the avocado pudding, eating the breakfast serving straight out of the mini-prep with the spatula (I know, so much for mindful eating), took the pictures, retrieved the tofu out of the freezer, took more pictures, packed the tofu back in the freezer ziploc so it would defrost in the baggie rather than on the noodles themselves, and ran out the door. Yes, I did all that in 35 minutes. No, I did not enjoy it, but it was worth it. And the fact the noodles cook fast was key to even doing this whole marathon food prep.
That is way way more food prep than I usually do in a morning, especially considering I had a whole other breakfast and lunch planned, but I am so happy with this noodle salad, I do not even mind now (and I was moving too quickly this morning to think about minding it). Had I had more time, I would added some shaved carrots to the salad to make up for the lack of peppers or other non-green vegetables. I would never have attempted changing my lunch all over again the morning of a couple of years ago ago, or even a few months ago, but I think the longer you cook a lot, the faster you get at it. And all of the components of this lunch could have been made in advance too.
One last note – because people often tend to ask about the number of snacks – this is really one large noodle salad and one large snack, so I am splitting them up a bit over the day to get lunch and two snacks from the lunchbox.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers