Archive for March, 2014

Executive Lunchbox

Sunday, March 30th, 2014
 

Executive Gourmet Lunch

Somewhere around age 20 or so I got my first “professional” job. I began working as a receptionist and have worked since then throughout administration, finance, customer service, sales and marketing. For the past 7 plus years I have been employed as a Sales & Marketing Specialist for the same corporation. In all this time, I have come to realize as so many ensconced in Corporate America have, that the concept of a lunch “hour” is mostly fictional.

Often times when you are part of a scaled down staff, pressed with a heavy workload and tight deadlines you are truly lucky to even get a 15 minute “mental break” at your desk. The reality is often you end up eating and working because you feel obligated and pressured to do so. This is the expectation of the salaried employee after all, right? We can all only hope that we are doing what we love on our quest for that regular paycheck! I look around my cubicle city every day and know I am not alone! :) How about you?

That is of course, you eat and work if you were smart enough to bring your lunch! So yes, this is the way it is, even for me. I admit I slow down a bit and perhaps have a little less focus while I eat but I keep going!

Type, type, bite, type, type, bite!

It helps to have really great food in times like these. A lunch that is easy to eat and packed with nutrition to keep you going and make you feel like a company executive whether you are or not! A lunch that will almost make you feel like you did have a lunch “hour”! OK maybe that is a stretch but I guarantee you will feel better after you have a proper lunch!

I have nicknamed my lunch featured in this post the “Executive Lunchbox”. Packed in my beautiful stainless steel Lunchbots Trio like a gourmet, catered meal ordered in.

This lunchbox is full of variety and contains:

  • 3 Veggie dumplings purchased in the sushi department of my local grocer.
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Colby Jack and Wisconsin Cheddar cheese along with veggie crackers
  • Kiwi, sliced nectarine and 1 whole strawberry
  • Served with low sodium soy sauce on the side

Do you have a heartier appetite? The Lunchbots Trio is now available in a larger “adult” size which is 60% bigger.

Sincerely,
Deb

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Rainbow Fruit Salad & Simple St. Patrick’s Day Lunches

Sunday, March 16th, 2014
 

rainbow fruit salad collage

Here in New England we are finally starting to see glimmers of spring arriving, faint glimmers but they are there! I’ll take what I can get! Heck enough snow has melted now that we can actually reach the grill on our deck! Now that is progress! Let’s not get too excited however, it is still only 28 degrees out today.

With St. Patrick’s Day upon us though I thought, why not manufacture a little sunshine and rainbows for myself now? Why wait? I think this dish does just that. Sunshine, rainbows and a subtle nod to St. Patrick’s Day all in one colorful bowl! So full of rainbow color in fact, I want to search for the pot of gold at the end!

 

RAINBOW FRUIT SALAD

Strawberries
Oranges
Mango
Kiwi
Blueberries

 

I used my rainbow fruit salad in the 2 lunches below to evoke a subtle nod to St. Patrick’s Day. Although I have added a special touch with a clover in each lunch, I believe that each lunch would still give you that hint of the Irish holiday without the obvious detail just by the colors alone!

 

st Patrick's day lunch

Lunch One: Packed in an Easylunchboxes container this lunch features the rainbow fruit salad as well as Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop popcorn. Also included are steamed broccoli and a pepperoni, broccoli, bagel pizza. I used a mini heart cookie cutter to make my clover. You could place your pepperoni however you like or skip it altogether. No clover shape is required although it is very easy to do!

st. Patrick's Day Lunch Two

Lunch Two: Packed in an Easylunchboxes container this lunch also includes the rainbow fruit salad and the steamed broccoli. Alongside is a chicken and swiss sandwich. I made a clover impression on the bread by first covering the bread with cling wrap then pressing down with a clover stamp I found in a dollar bin at the craft store. I have never actually used the stamp for crafting. You could skip this altogether or use a clover cupcake pick or ring instead.

This fruit salad filled out 5 lunch boxes in total (not all shown here). If any were left however, the fruit can easily be frozen to be used later in smoothies or frozen pops. I also tried to keep my lunch packing efficient by using the same ingredients more than once; fruit salad, broccoli and lettuce all make an appearance in both lunches pictured as well as in the ones not pictured.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Sincerely,
Deb

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National Reading Month – It’s a Tiger

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
 

its a tiger 2

 

Today’s lunch is based upon a book that my 4 year old son Trevor has asked me to read to him each night for the past couple of weeks! It is packed in a Laptop Lunches Bento Box 2.0 and the photo will be highlighted as part of a Laptop Lunches weekly feature during National Reading Month.

tiger

“It’s a Tiger”
by David LaRochelle
illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

I entered the bookstore purposefully looking for a “read aloud” book for my 4 year old Trevor. I wanted a book that would allow us to interact when we read it together. After browsing the “read aloud” section, I picked this very book. I don’t regret it! It has quickly become Trevor’s favorite bedtime story. The first page invites him in from the get go. The opening line asks, “are you ready for a story”? Some nights Trevor shouts yes and some nights he likes to make me wait until “he’s ready”! We then continue through the story journeying with a young boy running from the tiger! “It’s a tiger, run”! The book gives plenty of opportunity for the reader to play act the story with voice and for the listener to respond in kind. It is a delightful, fun, read and just the right length for a 4 year old’s attention span! The illustrations are colorful, eye catching and support the story on each page very well. Trevor always giggles and I’m quite sure he will request the book again on this very night!

Of course when I mentioned making a lunch based on a book for National Reading Month, all in the family agreed I HAD to do this one!

This lunch contains:

  • Cucumber leaves (leaf detail on the top 2 pieces only made by cutting portions of the skin away with a knife)
  • “Jungle” fruit salad (kiwi, watermelon and mango flowers cut with a mini veggie cutter)
  • Pretzel thins
  • 1/2 ham sandwich with swiss and cheddar cheese on the outside (all cheese details are “adhered” with mayo)

I used a CutezCute (link below) cutter upside down for my tiger shape cutting the intended “ears” off and using them as “paws”. The nose was also cut using the panda face cutter from the CutezCute set. All remaining details were done with a sharp knife and a straw (eyes). Although perhaps looking complex, the whole lunch really was simple and took me about 15 minutes to make!

Sincerely,
Deb

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