Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lunch on August 17 - balsamic chicken pasta salad take 2

School is out for summer but I am still packing lunches.  My friend had the brilliant idea to hire one of Juju's teachers from her school to do a "camp" at our houses for our kids for a couple of days this week and next.  Because we are not returning to school next year, Juju's fabulous teachers are fair game which is very exciting for both me and Juju (she could hardly believe herself when her former teacher showed up on our doorstep this morning!).  It's kind of funny to pack a lunch that Juju will eat in her own house but it just makes things easier.

I tried a pasta salad I made several months ago inspired by my friend Amy.  It is grilled chicken (marinated in balsamic vinegar) with fusilli, yellow peppers, and baby heirloom tomatoes.  I drizzled olive oil and more balsamic vinegar along with some salt and pepper and tossed it all together.  I made a lot so I will be eating this for a few lunches this week as will the King of All Media.  I am also serving cantaloupe and cucumber.

Speaking of tomatoes, I was at the Silver Lake farmer's market on Saturday and was overwhelmed by the number of heirloom tomatoes to choose from.  On the same day I also read about 4 friends around the country (some are blogreaders!) in my Facebook newsfeed who were enjoying tomatoes harvested from their own backyards.  I am so jealous.  We tried to grow tomatoes one year but the animal neighbors we share this canyon with ate almost everything we grew.  I'm inspired to try again though.  We have a lemon tree in our backyard and I love the idea of going outside to pick my own "organic" fruit.

Despite the fact that the pasta salad I mentioned above includes chicken, we've actually been eating a lot of vegetarian or pescetarian meals at home.  On Monday night our dinner was almost vegan save for the parmesan cheese we threw in the salad.  I think I've mentioned before that we are thinking about going vegan for a week (though I won't insist that Juju participate) and we are kind of working up to it by eating less meat and making some vegan meals here and there.  In fact on Monday I wasn't even trying to go vegan, I realized halfway through dinner that almost nothing we ate came from an animal.  I don't have photos but we ate quinoa that I tossed with sauted spinach and onion, farm stand okra roasted with oil, oregano, salt and pepper, and a salad filled with goodies from our CSA box.  I had some leftover parmesan cheese in the fridge that delegitimized the meal but I was pretty impressed that we were all (Juju included) completely satisfied with the meat/fish-less dinner.  As far as pescetarian meals go, I continue to coat a lot of fish in egg and almond meal (as I've blogged about before) with delicious results.  

Lastly I wanted to let you all know that Gilt Groupe is doing a sale on lunch containers today.  There aren't a ton of stainless steel offerings but if you missed the Hautelook sale on Lunchbots there are a few options to still grab that aren't sold out.  If you are not a member of Gilt click here for an invite. 

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