I am a big proponent of packing a delicious lunch. It keeps me from spending goo gobs of money that, trust, I do not have, and it also indulges my childhood fancy. It gives me a chance to experiment with all the lunchbox delights my mom used to pack for me by growing them up a bit and making them healthier. The only thing I miss is how my mom would make a smiley face on my napkin for me, because she is the best mom ever. That almost made up for the fact that this woman would almost NEVER buy me some damn fruit snacks or put a Fruit by the Foot in my lunch.
I have never been that much of a sandwich girl. Only a peanut butter choke sandwich with jelly would make me happy because I am really finicky about the texture of lunch meat, the type of cheese on my sandwich, and the quality of the bread. In short, I am a sandwich snob. I would much rather make some sort of one plate meal at the beginning of the week, then divvy it up into containers for lunch. When I am feeling like an adult who is on top of her game, this works out. When I’m not, I forget my lunch, and for that matter, my breakfast, as well, and THAT is how I ended up spending $18 dollars at Starbucks one day.
I decided to treat myself to a Skinny Vanilla Latte and a Protein Box one morning last week. Ok, fine. Not so bad. I don’t do this very often, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. The latte was damn good, and the food was just what I wanted.
Then came lunch. After cursing myself for forgetting to pack anything, I went upstairs to the cafeteria. Because of the furlough, we are operating at half cap, and there wasn’t anything except made to order sandwhiches (!!!!), and some salty ass soup I refused to eat. The only option i was left with was a salad bar full of wilted God-knows what, some fruit, and cottage cheese. Reluctantly, I got a scoop of cottage cheese and a heap of pineapple and grapes, proud of myself for not marching my ass to McDonalds 2 blocks down.
This was one of the grossest things I have ever ate. The cottage cheese had OBVIOUSLY taken on the flavor of whatever vegetables and meat it was stored with in the fridge. I felt really bad about being so wasteful, but this stuff was clearly no longer good.
I saved the fruit for later, but threw out the cheese and grabbed my wallet and headed to Starbucks again, where I bought yet another Bistro Box, this time with Chicken, Cucumber, Tomato, and Hummus.
I was pretty annoyed with myself for my lack of planning and extra spending, but not mad enough to overlook the fact that this Bistro Box was quite tasty! I could eat one of these all the time. But who has that kinda Starbucks money? I will just have to make my own. And that is just what I did.
The box consists of:
English Cucumbers cut into delightful little sticks
2 little Chicken Breasts -sort of-I have no idea if those were actual breasts in that box
A little pita (I can do without it)
And a nice dollop of hummus
I got the ingredients, and prepped the veggies, which took all of five seconds. And then I got started on the chicken.
I always use a drizzle of Olive Oil on chicken. This particular kind is one that my mom brings me back from Puerto Rico, and we use it sparingly. If I run out before she brings me more, then I’m SOL. She WILL NOT share.
I also dust the chicken in Paprika, Black Pepper, Garlic Salt, and Adobo from Goya. People, if you have not cooked with Adobo before, then get it together. It’s a game changer.
Then I bake these bad boys for 40 minutes at 375. I always stab the heck out of the middle of the chicken to make sure its done, and also, because it lets the juices run free. Sounds gross, but I’m not trying to be.
I then put all my goodies into a collapsible container, and after barely any effort, my lunch is ready to roll. I put the rest away in the fridge for me to pull together at night. I made enough chicken to last me for a few days, and I have more thane enough veggies and hummus prepped.
Making my own lunch for the week cost less than what I stupidly paid for that ONE day.
And I will never be too lazy to plan my lunch out ever again.