Tag Archives: lunch

So, A Priest and A Lawyer Come for Lunch…

Binks and I had our priest over for lunch.  I was given one day’s notice (he travels a lot) and thought of a great easy lunch idea that won’t leave you weighed down.

Hot mini ham and cheese sandwiches (spread with a mustard and butter mix – trust me it was good)


Cucumber sandwiches with a dash of Tabasco mixed into the cream cheese – it totally makes a difference.

Salad with homemade dressing (red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh black pepper, and a pinch of cumin).  And you can see a tiny portion of the M&M cookies we had for dessert.

The most delicious pasta salad ever!  (I reduced the oregano and the whole salad could have easily been missing the pepperoni.)

I ate this pasta salad for the remainder of the week.  Refreshing and totally hits the spot.  I have to say the tiny bits of cheese were perfect to bite into.

All in all, it was a great time with a good friend and food.

The lunch inadvertently lasted from noon to 5 p.m.  Thank goodness for sandwich snacks along the way.

What would you serve for a lunch gathering?  (I might be the only one but I love dreaming up menus for different events.  Judge me if you wish.)

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Filed under Bread, Cookies, Desserts, Lunch, olive oil, Uncategorized

My First 100th Bay 2 Breakers!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that Binks signed us up for the annual Bay 2 Breakers 12K.  This year was especially special because it was the 100-year anniversary.  Pretty crazy huh?

The only other race I’ve participated in was a 5K.  I walked/ran it.  We had every intention of walking this as we had not properly trained to walk/run or run it.  We also had every intention of sticking together, because with a sold-out 50K participant race, you will quite easily lose one another in this massive event.

Now, the 12K amounts to about 7.5 miles.  I wasn’t worried about that.  Binks and I walk about 8 miles per day on a vacation just touring a city.  We’re insane like that.  But, San Fran is not just any other city.  If you have climbed any of its streets, you know what I mean.  I was winded after one.

So, when I heard/read that the B2B has a 11.5 grade incline known as the dreaded Hayes Hill, I was worried.  Real worried.  I can walk but after my experience with San Fran hills, I was shaking.

Despite my worrying, we started.

It was a beautiful day too.  I enjoyed the weather.  I enjoyed the scenery.

I enjoyed the costumes.

I enjoyed the lack of costumes.

Mind you, I was warned/aware of the nudity.  But, I never got used to it.  All I could think about was chaffing, sweating and odor.  No one said my thoughts had to make sense.  It kept me entertained.

Which is exactly what I needed to conquer the Hayes Hill Beast.

This picture does not do it justice.  After you walk for 2.5 miles, there are 5 blocks of hills.  One right after the other.  So, me, being me, climbed one hill right after another.  And, before I knew it, it was done!  I can tell you that it was a proud moment for me.  🙂

Finally – the finish line.  And quite well for my standards.  I don’t run and have never walked a 12K.  I didn’t practice all that much for this 12K (meaning the days before, I walked about 2-3 miles a day with my dog).  I maintained a 3 mph pace and was done in less than 3 hours.  I was quite pleased.

Although this finish line is a bit of a farce for me as a walker because you do have to walk about another 2 miles to get to the vendors and collect the medal.  So….I paced and timed and measured myself.  All in all – that day, I walked 9.9 miles.

It was a glorious day.

Afterwards, I went back to my hotel, showered, packed up and headed out for the road trip.

But, not without food.  We stopped for sandwiches just after getting out of San Francisco.  We found a local place in Pacifica called Colombo’s Delicatessen.

Binks had the Sicilian, which consisted of italian sausage and ricotta cheese.

The peppers made this sandwich.  Yes, that is my bite of HIS sandwich.  I believe in sharing.

I had the chicken Parmesan sandwich.  I usually don’t order this but it was their special for the day and I had to try.

Can I say saucy-licious?!

The best part was the bread.  This family owned and operated shop bakes their own delicious soft bread.  It made all the difference.

Although, I didn’t know it was going to be so huge so we saved the other half for later.

And, then we were off down the coast with nothing but blue skies.

What’s the craziest/longest/most challenging race you have completed?  Why was it so crazy/challenging for you?  How did you feel after?  How did you prep (physically and mentally for the race)?

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Filed under Bread, Lunch, Vacation

Less is More

Obviously, I love bread.  I bake it and have eaten more than my fair share.  But, nothing – and I mean nothing, makes bread so satisfying as using it for a sandwich.  Did I mention I’m a fan of sandwiches?

My favorite sandwich breads are sourdough, rye, potato (being one of my absolute favorites), and wheat.  When the Atkins fad came, I saw a proliferation of wraps to replace breads.  I tried to jump on the wrap wagon, but I missed the bus.  Something about it doesn’t cut it for me.  I missed the soft and pillowy texture of bread.  Moreover, wraps necessarily are not more healthy than bread.  (Check your labels!)

Then, I noticed these little suckers popping up everywhere:

Seemingly harmless. Surprisingly DELICIOUS.  Surprisingly because I was expecting to hate it.  Delicious because it really is soft and filling (5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein).

It went perfectly with my PB&J breakfast.

It even withstood the hard-to-spread PB that Binks likes to use.

Lunch was a Boca burger, light on the sides (unlike here) – just spinach, cheese, mustard and some dollops of hot sauce – I’ve been in a mood.

This bread really proves that you do not need a thick piece of bread to make your sandwich satisfying.  Nor do you need a thin wrap to make the sandwich any more healthy.

*Just like the milk, my reviews are my own.  Nature’s Own has no idea who I am.  I’m just happy with the product and wanted to share!

Are you a sandwich fan?  What’s your favorite sandwich?  Are you a bread fiend?  Have you tried sandwich thins?  Do you like it?

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Lunch

Cilantro You Glad I Didn’t Say Basil?

Did I mention that I love sandwiches?  And I have been having them!  They have been delicious – especially the addition of hummus.

But, as with the seasons, it was time for a change.

There’s a new sandwich spread in town and it’s not fancy.  It’s not shmancy.  It’s just really good.  Like really. good.

Cilantro Pesto.

Say hello.

Note:  I hate raw unadulterated cilantro.  It’s got too much of a bite that I can’t take.

So, when I started making this, I thought this might be a no-go.  Not so.

The mix of the spicy cilantro with the mellow walnut and the nutty parmesan really make this spread/sauce work beautifully together.  Like having the perfect number of people on the see-saw to make it go up and down. 

You didn’t just have one person on each side did you?  If so, well…we rolled a little differently at my school.  It could have been that the swing-set was always ‘under repair’ from some kid that broke it or tossed up the swing seats and got it rolled on the bars – were you that kid?  If so, I’m mad at you.

Back to the pesto!

It’s yummy.

It’s cheap.  Basil is way more expensive than cilantro.  And, pine nuts – don’t even get me started on that price!

Helpful hint:  Instead of having to mince garlic for the spread, put it first into the food processor before adding everything else.

So you can imagine what my lunch looked like today!

A fabulous sandwich with sliced turkey and gouda.

It pairs well with dijon mustard.

For all that is good and great – go home, make this dip.  It will change your life.

Cilantro Pesto

Inspired by KERF

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  • Mince garlic cloves in food processor.
  • Add cilantro, walnuts and parmesan cheese; puree  until it forms a paste.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • While processing, add olive oil through the spout until everything is mixed together well.

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Filed under Favorites, garlic, olive oil, Vegetarian

Tempeh Joes

I’m 28 years old.

At the age of 9 when I tasted my first sloppy joe.  And, I still remember the sauce.  Delicious sauce!  I remember seeing the commercials on TV for Manwich sandwiches and see the kids wipe off the red sauce from their mouth with the back of their hand (“I want a Manwich please!”) and wanting my next sloppy joe (and a napkin).

At the age of 13, I had my last sloppy joe.  For no other reason than I moved to high school where sloppy joes were somehow left off the school lunch menu.  And, my Indian mom sure as heck would not be making a sloppy joe at home without adding her own Indian flair to it.  So, in an attempt not to dilute the original, I never requested it.

15 years later…

I bought some tempeh and marinated it in my favorite BBQ sauce.

Ignore the burnt spatula – I love that thing despite what I’ve put it through!

I added it to some sautéed onions, garlic, red and green bell pepper.

And I made my own Tempeh Joes!

And you can’t leave out the slaw (mine was shredded cabbage and carrots quickly warmed in a pan) or the pickle.

I finished and relished every bite!  It brought me back to the cafeteria lunch line, ya’ll – minus the mystery meat, which I discovered at age 15.

Tempeh Joes Recipe

Adapted from here

Ingredients

  • Tempeh, 1 8oz package
  • 1 and 1/4 cup BBQ sauce of your choice*
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • Crumble the tempeh with your hands or a grater until it resembles ground beef.
  • Marinade the tempeh in 1 cup of the BBQ sauce.  I added 1 tsp of Tabasco for a kick.
  • While the tempeh is marinating, prepare your veggies.
  • Heat non-stick pan over med-high heat.
  • Once heated, add oil and wait to heat over same heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, jalapeno (optional), and saute until soft.
  • Add red and green bell peppers and continue to cook until tender and the onions have browned.
  • Add the tempeh and the BBQ sauce to the veggie mix.
  • Cook until heated and cooked through.
  • *Add the 1/4 cup BBQ sauce and cook until warm.
  • Serve on toasted buns (*snicker*)!

*Note:  I like my Tempeh Joes on the saucy side.  If you do not, then omit the 1/4 cup of BBQ and do not add it at the end.

This was my first experience with tempeh and it definitely won’t be my last!

P.S. I made a killer dressing to the slaw that’s creamy without any dairy!  That post is coming up soon! 🙂

Do you cook with tempeh?  If so, what do you do?  What’s your favorite way to cook it?

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Filed under Dinner, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

The American Tax in India and the Best Meal EVER!

Almost everything in India is negotiable.  If you don’t want to pay full price on that ice cream, just tell them what you want to pay and most likely, (if the amount is reasonable) you get your ice cream!

I of course paid full price for that ice cream because I really wanted to try delicious Indian mango ice cream.  Take my word – it was delicious!

Like I said – all things are negotiable save oneThe American. Whether you’re white, black, brown, orange, green or blue, once the Indians get a whiff that you are from the states, it’s over.

Case and point – Binks and I wanted to mozy along on a houseboat for a long afternoon.  My aunt and some family wanted to join.  So, we all went to the houseboat office to ask for the price.  Despite the fact I’m dressed in a salwar and am not talking, there is something that caused the manager to stare at me and Binks, and tell my aunt: “‘The price for everyone is 18,000 rupees.”  (Approx. $400!)  Ridonkulous!

There were about 5 of us, and my aunt had gone previously for less than half that price with more people nonetheless.  And for once, no one was willing to negotiate.  Everyone thinks, the Americans have dollars and it rains money there.  (A post on this later.)

Needless to say, Binks and I high-tailed it out of there.  We went to Alleppey beach instead.

After being in the sun, I needed a refreshing snack.  Enter the orange:

It looks monstrous but if I told you that these pruney wrinkly things uncover the most delicious orangey orange you have ever eaten, would you believe me?  You must! I think I had one-a-day.  They were that delicious and because I like oranges! 🙂

Now for the kicker, after the beach, we drove about 3 hours to the shopping city – Ernakulam/Cochin.  Upon arrival, everyone was hungry and my aunt suggested lunch at the Grand Hotel.  It has of the best and most reputable restaurants in the city, I dare say the state.

First, the fabulous and lengthy menu:

It has everything you could want and more.  Indian and not.  I went for the usual/classic – The Meal and The Fish.  At first, I had no idea what that meant, but I was all in.

We were started off with light airy papads.

Then arrived The Fish.  It arrived wrapped in banana leaf, which the waiter carefully opened.

I don’t think you can imagine all the steam that came out after they unwrapped.  This was the most delicious fish I have ever eaten to date.  Believe me because I ate the whole thing myself.  And, I have no regrets.

Turns out my meal was the traditional thali, which consists of rice and several Indian side dishes, including but not limited to the following:

different vegetable thorans, fish curry (not pictured),

and different chutneys.

My aunt ordered the mutton biryani.

All of the food was so delicious and totally makes me want to come back!  Such great service and a great presentation.  I will definitely make the 3 hour trip back when I go again to visit (post coming soon).

We went shopping galore.  Spent way too much money for pretty things, and finally made our long  journey back to the house.

After that big meal, an evening snack was sufficient.

That looks like an unripe banana, but it was wonderfully ripe on the inside.  You have to trust me on that.

I’m an American, and it’s non-negotiable.

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Filed under Favorites, Vacation