Lunch of the Week

Instead of making lunches at lunch time, or even the night before, it’s so much easier for me to prep a few containers on the weekend and grab one to go throughout the week. I LOVE deli salads, and the hot weather makes them perfect for nutritious chilled meals. These ready-to-go options help me up my veggie intake, too.

This week’s meals: Chicken-Cabbage-Peanut Sauce Slaw, and Roasted Summer Veg and Seafood Jumble. Short names? No. Lots of flavor? Yes.

Chicken-Cabbage-Peanut Sauce Slaw

is the heartier version of that faux-Asian Hollywood 80′s salad known as Chinese Chicken Salad.

In a large pot, bring several inches of water, flavored with a crushed garlic clove, to a simmer. Place one chicken breast, halved lengthwise, in the water, and simmer until cooked through.

Meanwhile, very thinly slice (or shred) some cabbage and julienne some red bell pepper and cucumber.

Let the chicken cool until you can handle it, then slice and dice that bird.

In another bowl, improvise some peanut sauce. Here’s a good jumping-off recipe to get you started. Peanut butter (or any nut butter), vinegar (I especially like it in this dish for a hint of the expected slaw kick) soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sriracha, green onion, fish sauce, sesame oil – you get the point. Stir and taste, stir and taste. If it’s too thick, add some water.

Toss everything together (tongs are great for slaws) til dressed.

How I’ll eat it: As is, or with some cold noodles (whole wheat spaghetti, or soba noodles).

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Roasted Summer Veg and Seafood Jumble

This was born from the completely motivating tasks of cleaning out the freezer and fridge at the same time. Here’s a summer squash needing to be used. Here’s a bag of frozen seafood. Here’s a basket of cherry tomatoes.This could be made with different vegetables and of course fresh seafood if you like.

Heat the oven to 425˚/220˚. Stem the tomatoes, chop the squash, and toss with a little olive oil. Roast in the oven until the tomatoes start to collapse and the squash begins to get soft, about 20 minutes, turning with a spatula halfway through. Remember when roasting veggies to leave ample room between each piece, for the evaporation of their juices, so that they roast rather than stew.

At this point, scatter the seafood on the baking sheet and put back in the oven. Roast until the seafood is cooked through.

Let cool and use a slotted spatula to remove from the pan. There may be some liquid left behind from the seafood; leave it, as the tomatoes will add plenty of moisture. Toss with some fresh basil.

How I’ll eat it:  One day’s worth will get a fresh ear of corn mixed in, and one day’s worth will get a diced avocado. Serve with corn tortillas.

What do you make for lunch?

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