Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bag Lunch Series Part 1: Grain Salads

Quite a while ago my friend asked me to do a post on taking your lunch to work. My usual default mode as far as lunch is concerned is to make leftovers at dinnertime, then pack them away before Sean can eat them, so we have them for lunch the next day. First of all, not everyone likes leftovers, not everyone cooks dinner every night, and not every dinner is good the next day. So, I have been doing some thinking on the matter, and have decided that one post will just not do. Taking lunch to work is a multi-faceted process that takes time and planning, so I have decided to do a bag lunch series, instead.

There are several different ways to approach bag lunch. You can:
  • Make a batch of something over the weekend, freeze it and cook it at work
  • Make a food that can be in the fridge for 2 or more days and have it several times that week
  • Have several supplies on hand to assemble the meal each morning, or the night before
  • Have leftovers and throw in a salad or side
Today's recipe to kick off our series is a grain salad. These keep really well, and can be very hearty and healthy choices. They require very little cooking, so all you have to do is assemble them the night before.

This particular recipe is one of my favorite recipes ever! I clipped it out of one of the dentist's magazines. What? He is not going to use it. He is too busy making people cry. Stupid crowns. Anyway, it is super delicious. I just now realised that it is also vegan. But trust me, you won't even know, that is how tasty it is.

Sweet Potato and Grain Salad for 3-4 lunches

Shopping List
Box or bag of whole grains, such as farro, sweet brown rice, barley, or another nice chewy grain. Farro cooks in only 15 minutes!
Bag of frozen, shelled edamame
2 med-lg. sweet potatoes
1 onion, red or yellow
2 med carrots
Box of golden raisins (or raisins or dried cherries)
Bag of fresh organic spinach
Garlic clove
Balsamic vinegar, wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

For the salad
1 cup of the grains, cooked according to package, then cooled.
1 cup edamame, cooked according to package, then cooled
2 sweet potatoes cooked in microwave 7-10 minutes until soft, cut into bites
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion (optional)
2 carrots, grated (If you have a grating attachment on your food processor, use it. Such a time saver!)
1 cup golden or regular raisins
1 cup packed spinach, torn into smaller pieces

For the dressing
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 cup vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Assembly the night before
1. Combine grains, edamame, sweet potato, carrots, onion, and golden raisins.
2. In 4 lunch containers, divide the dressing among the containers. (You can leave the dressing separate, but remember to divide it into 4 servings.)
3. Divide the grain mixture among the containers.
4. Add a handful of fresh spinach on the salad that you will take that next morning, otherwise, it may get more wilted than you like.
5. When you get to work, shake or stir the dressing on the bottom into the rest of the salad.

No comments:

Post a Comment