Good morning friends!
How are you doing today? I hope your week has been lovely so far, and if you’re a Canadian parent or student, I hope the back to school transition went smoothly! Yesterday was my final day of work before moving on to my new job opportunity next week, and it was full of saying goodbye to my awesome co-workers. I’m going to miss them all so, so much, but at the same time am super excited about the new possibilities that lie ahead. For now, I’ve got a couple of vacation days to enjoy. Hot yoga here I come!
Let’s get into this week’s new things, starting with…
1. Recipe of the Week: I know that not everyone is going back to school, but September always feels like a new year to me because of all the change it brings. I know a lot of others look at it this way too, and if your eating habits could use some cleaning up, it’s a good time to look for some fun and nutritious portable lunch ideas. That’s exactly what I’ve got for you today, and although I hesitate to call it a recipe because of its simplicity, I’m excited to tell you about it nevertheless. To begin, you’ll need the following ingredients:
If you don’t have some of the above veggies, feel free to swap in your favourites or those that you have on hand. Similarly with the chicken, vegetarians and vegans could easily swap in cooked beans, edamame, marinated tofu, or tempeh. It’s almost impossible to mess up the assembly of this meal, which I’ve decided to call Chopped Chicken Salad to Go.
All you need to do is stack the ingredients in some mason jars, top them with greens, and voila! Instant portable lunches for an entire week (or however many you decide to make).
The order of the layers here is important. The chicken is at the bottom, so that if you were to drizzle in a dressing ahead of time and let the salad sit, it would absorb the flavour and become gorgeously juicy. The greens are at the top so they don’t get squished, and the cooked spelt berries are just beneath so that when the jar is tipped over into a bowl, you have a nice grainy base. This recipe makes enough to fill 4 mason jars with the capacity of about 1 1/2 cups each, and any remaining space in the top can be filled with greens. Happy lunching!
2. Purple peppers. In my opinion, there are far too few blue and purple foods. By this, I mean natural ones – blue and purple Gushers and Slurpees don’t count. This is why I was very excited to find some of these over the weekend:
Bell peppers are certainly not new to me, but purple ones are! Like other purple fruits and veggies, these bell peppers contain lots of anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant also found in blueberries. Its concentration is highest when the pepper is eaten raw, so that’s exactly how I prepared mine.
I only needed to pack one lunch for myself this week, so I used some of a purple pepper in a salad (which could be named the quarter-cup salad, as you will soon see below) with the following ingredients:
- 1/4 cup purple bell pepper
- 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup orange bell pepper
- 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup defrosted shelled edamame
- 1/4 cup white navy beans
- about 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- fig infused white balsamic vinegar
After taking these pictures on Monday, I was really, really looking forward to lunch on Tuesday! I packed up the salad and kept it in the fridge overnight, where it absorbed the flavours of the herbs and the fig balsamic vinegar.
So what was the verdict on the purple peppers? They weren’t nearly as sweet as the red, orange, and yellow ones! In fact, they tasted a lot like green bell peppers, which I don’t tend to snack on like I would red or orange, but don’t mind when added to salads and other dishes. In this particular one, the lack of sweetness was made up for by the fig vinegar and other peppers. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find and purchase purple peppers, but they were still fun to experiment with and they add a nice pop of purple to the photos!
So tell me…
- Did you try anything new this week?
- What was in your school lunches when you were a kid? My mum had my sister and I making our own lunches from a very early age (grade 2-ish), and I’ll admit that sometimes we got away with murder! I could often be found with Pizza Pops, Oreos, and Fruit By The Foot in my lunch bag, but on other days we had our fair share of healthier sandwiches and fruit. One day, our dentist told my mum about just how bad Fruit Roll Ups were for our teeth, and from that day on, they never entered our house again. A sad day it was indeed, but I suppose it was for the best!
Ooh, and one more thing… If you’re looking for a tasty beverage today, be sure to check out my Cherry Almond Smoothie guest post over at Healthful Pursuit!
Have a great day!