hot lunch

Erm. Still here.

10_thermos

This is my thermos. It’s a 10-ounce Nissan that I got at Zabars but you can get at Amazon and other places for under $20. It’s terribly handy as it fits easily in a brown paper bag and in a backpack (or purse) and provides a hot lunch without breaking the bank or requiring much (any) effort on my part.

The key is leftovers, pre-portioned and frozen.

cc_lunchable

The container up top is my measuring cup, since it holds roughly the same amount as the thermos (the container is 330ml and the thermos is 370ml, so I can overstuff the container a little). I measure, stuff into ziploc baggies, stuff the baggies into a larger freezer baggie, and I’m good to go.

In the morning, I can pull one out, throw it in the microwave, and put up a little extra water to boil when I make coffee (I use a french press) to heat up the thermos, and it’s ready to go by the time I finish my cereal.

cc_frozen

The same veggie chili and rice frozen and ready for the nuker.

lunch_baggie

Since I am eating for one but cooking for a few, I have a decent array of leftovers. Pasta primavera, above.

 

Sometimes, of course, there is no hot lunch. There is peanut butter and jelly.

sandwich_guard

A good use for those magazine subscription cards – sandwich protectors.

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spanakopita με matzo

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“Inventive, but so wrong,” I believe was the phrase used. Which didn’t stop the (Greek) Best Friend from taking a second piece.

I’d been planning on making spanakopita with matzo since last year, when I found this recipe too late to use for Pesach 2008. It’s fairly straightforward as written and the taste was fine, but I will adjust it next time because the directions say to add two cups milk and then, essentially, take two cups of milk out and waste them by soaking the matzo (you don’t need to soak the matzo, you just need to get them moist the way you would with matzo brei).

That irritation aside, it was fun, tasty, and not only made good luncheon spread fare, but also was a fabulously easy and convenient lunch to take along to work Pesach week.

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The first layer getting laid down.

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All ready for the oven.

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After the oven. Underneath is the ubiquitous matzo toffee, which I ate far too much of, gave away not enough of, and ended up throwing out a bunch because it’s almost spring and you can’t hide fat under a coat anymore. 

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Close-up of the top.

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Sliced when warm.

ms_bento

Cut up and ready for bento (yes, even more cross-cultural inappropriateness). The other half of the egg and a piece of lettuce kept the curried yogurt-mustard-honey dip from getting all over the place. The spanakopita’s a little darker on top in this picture because I toasted it (already sliced) before packing it.

lunch logistics

Much cooler -- and smaller -- than the Cabbage Patch Kids lunchbox I had 25 years ago.

Much cooler -- and smaller -- than the Cabbage Patch Kids lunchbox I had 25 years ago.

I take my lunch to work every day except for days when lunch is sushi with the Paternal Unit. Considering my love of all things bread and that I have home-baked sandwich loaves in the house at all times except Pesach, it may be odd that I rarely make sandwiches, but I don’t. Once or twice a month there will be PB&J, but after that it’s whatever’s in the fridge that can reasonably fit in my modest collection of bento containers and can stand to be eaten cold or room-temp. Usually to be decided upon at around 7:45 am.

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