You know you love what you do when you look at the clock, it's 3:00 p.m., and you suddenly realize you forgot to each lunch. How can that be, for someone typically engrossed in food-related work? As a nutrition and culinary consultant, I am focused on food most of the day, through recipe development, nutrient analysis, writing web content and the like. So maybe we can think of the occasional meal forgetfulness as food sensory overload - a hazard of the trade, perhaps?
When I do get around to lunch, I'm usually anxious to get back to work, so I take a quick break. Because I work from home, I have a very short commute to and from work - one flight of stairs away from the kitchen. Sometimes I bring lunch back downstairs with me to the computer. (True confessions from a dietitian - this could be a form of mindless eating, but I prefer to consider it an integrative experience in my line of work.)
With a home office, I don't eat lunch out very often, so I have a rather different concept of fast food. Here are five of my favorite summertime fast-food home-made lunches:
- Broccoli cheese quesadilla - Place broccoli florettes and shredded Mexican blend cheese on one half of a whole wheat tortilla. Fold over and microwave 1 minute.
- Whole grain bread with brie and tomato - Place a slice of brie on whole grain rustic bread, microwave 10-15 seconds. Top with tomato slice, fresh basil (if on hand), and fresh grated pepper.
- Greek chopped salad - Dice one tomato and 1/4 cucumber. Mix with a thin slice of red onion, 2 or 3 sliced Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper. (Make extra and save for later meals.)
- Option: Stir in plain yogurt and fill a whole wheat pita pocket.
- Lowfat yogurt with homemade preserves - If you have home-preserves on hand, skip the flavored yogurt and buy lowfat plain yogurt. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of cherry or strawberry (or other variety) preserves with 1 cup of lowfat plain yogurt.
- Salad with leftover grilled meat - Whether it's sirloin, chicken or salmon, left-over grilled meats liven up any salad. Chopped napa cabbage is a natural with a sesame soy vinaigrette.
And don't forget a glass of ice-cold non-fat milk!