The midday meal has always been tricky for me. When I was working 12-hour shifts, but even now when I run errands, oftentimes, the lunch hour comes and goes and I find myself famished and desperate. Enter: emergency food choice. I hesitate to use the word "bad," since I love a good burger or treat. But for me, desperate food choices are objectively not the best for me.
Now that I don't work outside the home, I want to pivot that behavior. Five to ten dollars here and there adds up, but also, typically any food I would pick up on the go wouldn't involve veggies or produce of any kind. We allow a budget for high quality food for the meals I make at home from groceries, why should that exclude lunch?
I want to reclaim lunch.
This week, I was out running errands with Cooper and I stopped by Aldi. In the back of my mind, I thought Wouldn't it be fun to treat myself with a burger, since I'm out running errands? And again, there's nothing wrong with a burger (thank goodness)! Be herein is the issue: meals like that become less special and celebrated when I choose them out of desperation. So instead, I browsed the aisles of Aldi, picked up a few extra veggies that only I like (Nicholas isn't home for lunch on weekdays, so I chose whatever sounded good to me), finished grocery shopping, and came home.
The rest of the week, I was excited to cook up those items, and remix them, and find good uses for items in our pantry. It felt like a huge win for several reasons:
- more veggies in my diet
- a chance to flex my creative cooking skills
- batch-prepping veggies to add to multiple recipes
- better for my body and our budget
- aiming to reframe healthier choices as the norm, and sets aside treat meals for intentional fun meals
This week I made this simple roasted cauliflower soup and this thai red curry with vegetables, where I subbed in mushrooms, zucchini, peppers and onions and ate it with leftover rice. Both lunches were economical, tasty, and reheated well for a few days worth of lunches! I'm excited to change my attitude about lunch.
Am I the only one who struggles with lunches? If you have any soups or hearty veggie-focused recipes that you enjoy, feel free to send them my way!
As a home cook, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen everyday, and lately, I've been finding so much joy in trying lots of new things in the kitchen with items from our garden, ingredients purchased locally, or new recipes made with my sourdough starter.
There's a lot of heaviness in the world right now.
After an extended break from writing, it feels more natural to ease back into it with a list-based post. I've missed writing! And for the time being, as always, I feel most qualified to write about what I know about, and that's our little life. Here are bits and pieces of just that: