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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mmmm, Lunch

You know, lunch is important. I mean, it's one of the most important things you eat all day. And, if you're like me, it can be the meal that almost always falls prey to forgetting about it, or eating something crappy or easy on the go.  Or you remember too late, and consider a late afternoon Starbucks run your lunch. As for me, I tend to call a giant spoonful of natural chunky peanut butter lunch. 

I'm lucky enough to work from home most of the week. That doesn't seem to help. Sometimes I try to cut calories by NOT eating lunch. That, for the record, is dumb. I know it's dumb, you know it's dumb, we all know it's dumb. But, yet, it happens. I'm absolutely FANTASTIC about lunch when I have to be at the Wine Shop on the weekends, though. I know I get hungry, and don't want to spend money, and always remember to pack a (usually kick ass) lunch. Leftover soup, wraps, or an amazing hearty salad...I always seem to remember then!

Lunch is such an easy way to be healthy--you can have a salad, you can have a well proportioned sandwich. Heck, you can eat veggies and hummus and a slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter and feel DELICIOUS about yourself. Today was one of those days where I felt like really taking the time to make something. This morning I cooked off two flank steaks (for later meals) and though I didn't EAT those flank steaks, my body was craving something green, healthy, and not-red meat. I opted for a panini-press quesadilla of sorts, and am STILL satisfied 3 hours later. 

A note: I LIVE for my panini-press. Live for it. My mom bought it for J and I for my birthday 2 years ago, and at first, I wasn't so into it. J, on the other hand, is a sandwich MASTER (a guest blog from him on that someday soon) and took to it right away. I was in one of my "carbs are bad, mmmmkay" periods, and couldn't think of any way to make a panini-grilled lettuce sandwich. However, in the months (and now years) that followed, I have embraced it in a way that would make you think it was made out of 80% dark chocolate with no calories or fat. It's not JUST for bread. Use a whole grain wrap/tortilla/flatbread and it makes an awesome healthy sandwich. Pop an already cooked veggie burger in some sprouted wheat bread and you have a rockin' melt. Don't even get me started on the tuna possibilities! So if you have one, and don't use it much, change that up! It rocks, I promise! 

I hardly reinvent the wheel for lunch, but thought I'd share the super simple thing I ate this afternoon. Take the method, the idea, the concept, and add whatever is in your fridge. Chances are, it would make a great dinner, too. 

And remember, a Special K bar is NOT a lunch, I don't care what anyone says! (Those that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but I'm a rebel, so I'm throwing.)

1 whole grain garlic and herb tortilla (literally what was in the fridge)
1 cup baby spinach, torn in pieces
1/4 C grated sharp cheddar cheese
sliced turkey (I use the no antibiotics, happy turkey kind)
Strong mustard

Place all ingredients (start with mustard, then cheese, than spinach, then turkey) on one side of tortilla.

Heat panini press (or sautee pan) and place in machine, folded in half. (If using a pan, try placing a brick wrapped in foil or a heavy pan on top of the folded wrap, to keep it flat.)

Remove when the cheese is all melty and gooey (and if you're me, a bit burnt on the sides.) This usually takes about 3 1/2 minutes or so in my press.

Serve with any kind of deliciousness you have in the fridge. Today, mine wore a mango and pomegranate salsa (homemade).

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