Posts tagged ‘salad’

February 23, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Grilled Chicken

Leftovers! I love leftovers, because it makes packing lunch a cinch. Last night’s quinoa salad and grilled chicken went straight from my Pyrex dish in the fridge into S’s LunchBots container.

Quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free grain (actually, a seed) that’s easy to make and very versatile. I had a plethora of cucumbers and grape tomatoes, so I decided to go Greek with the quinoa salad. I like to make quinoa in my rice cooker because it’s perfect every time and I don’t have to think about it once I hit “Cook.” After letting it cool, I tossed it with finely chopped cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes, minced flat-leaf parsley and red onion, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta. Then I made a vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and dried oregano. I gently mixed it all together and let it chill in the fridge, while I grilled chicken breasts that were marinated in pesto.

Along with the quinoa salad, I packed some carrots, fruit and blue corn chips.  All done and all gluten-free.

October 28, 2011

Lunch in Portugal – Part 2

Smoked salmon. It is everywhere in Portugal. They have it for breakfast and they have it for lunch. And by smoked I mean, think lox and bagels not cedar plank.

At breakfast, you’ll find it with some bread; at lunch, it’s typically served with cream cheese on a sandwich, with some greens and maybe a tomato. The best part is, S and C love smoked salmon. On the downside, it’s expensive stuff in the U.S.

But I’m glad we can add something new (and full of omega-3’s) to our lunch repertoire. Yesterday, the kids tried a smoked salmon pasta salad with an herb cream sauce, capers, cut-up grapes, croutons and chives. It was surprisingly decent, considering the strange cornucopia of ingredients. But if I were to try to re-create something similar in my kitchen, I’d either make the dish warm or whip together a vinaigrette for the salad. And croutons on top of a pasta salad is too carb-y for me, so I’d eliminate one of the two. Plus, I’d add some kind of vegetable. Cherry tomatoes are the first to come to mind.

Let me know if you come up with your own concoction.


October 10, 2011

Flank Steak and Corn & Tomato Salad

S loves flank steak. As in, she eats three servings of it when I make it. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I craved beef like a lioness when I was pregnant with her. Before my pregnancy, I had gone nearly eight years without eating red meat. But all of a sudden, I had dreams about spaghetti and meatballs, In-N-Out burgers and filet mignons. I gave in to all my urges, which only got worse when I was breastfeeding, and never looked back.

When I opened the fridge this morning, I saw that we had some flank steak left over from last night—but no sides. I needed a side of vegetables, and I needed it quick. There’s a corn and tomato salad that Siena likes as much as flank steak, but I didn’t have any fresh corn. I did, however, have some frozen organic corn. So, I tore into the bag, cut up some cherry tomatoes and strips of basil, and mixed it all together. Note: I used the corn completely frozen. I figured it would thaw and be nice and chilly for lunch. Lastly, I dressed it with a balsamic vinaigrette—one part vinegar to three parts olive oil. S’s eyes lit up when she saw her lunch. That’s my girl.

By the way, Epicurious has the easiest and tastiest recipe for grilled flank steak with rosemary. You can’t mess it up. I usually marinade the flank in the morning and grill it at dinnertime. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, just use tamari instead of soy sauce. Your kids and dinner guests will rave. I promise.

September 13, 2011

Greek Salad with Smoked Turkey

Evidently, I’m not just a glutton for good food—I’m also a glutton for making my life more difficult. I was more rushed than usual this morning and pleased with myself that I put together a yummy, nutritious lunch. But then, I remembered I had to photograph it, too. Add to that: the light was bad, I needed to get gas before I could take S to school, and I couldn’t find her favorite water bottle. Did I mention I’m not a photographer and don’t play one on TV? Blah, blah, blah. Okay, I’ll take that advice I’m always giving to my children: stop whining.

Today’s lunch was inspired by a dinner I made last week. For weeks, I’ve had tomatoes and cucumbers coming out my ears because of my CSA. One morning as I was shopping at Trader Joe’s, the feta caught my eye and all of a sudden I realized I should be making Greek salads. And I mean real Greek salads—the kind that remind me of my honeymoon. The kind that don’t have lettuce in them. That night, I cut up a bunch of cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and parsley. And I snuck in some chopped red onion. For the dressing, I mixed fresh lemon juice with olive oil and added some dried oregano, salt and pepper. I tossed the salad with the dressing and then topped it with feta. The kids loved it. Simple, fresh and I used up a bunch of tomatoes and cucumbers.

This morning, I had a quarter cup of leftover quinoa from last night, so I made a Greek salad again and threw in the quinoa. I included some smoked turkey breast (sans nitrates/nitrites) on the side to give S more protein. And at the last minute, I grabbed a handful of sesame rice crackers so she could scoop the salad with them. The chopping made for a little more work than usual, but now that everyone is out the door and at school it seems worth it. It all took about 10 minutes. For snack? A nectarine and a Trader Joe’s Nutty Chocolate Granola Bar. By the way, those little bars are the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

And, yes, S made it to school on time.

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