Last week week my coworker and I started the challenge of our “lunch share“.
We started out the week with the now famous kale salad, of course. We both enjoyed it.
Then I knew I got to sit back for the next two days and let someone else worry about what was for lunch. Frankly that’s the worst part about the cooking / shopping / eating routine for me … the decision making.
On Monday, before leaving for work, my coworker had put a whole chicken in her crock pot. The plan was to use this for various things at home and for us throughout the week, starting with Tuesday’s lunch:
As shown above, she just brought some simple pulled chicken, a few tomatoes from her garden, and some basil she walked over in the wee morning hours and stole from her neighbor (although before you call the police, I’m pretty sure they have a sort of mutual understanding). She rounded it out with a few slices of Goat’s Milk Mozzerella from Whole Foods (um can you say gourmet? Yes, I think I’ve created a monster).
For dinner Tuesday night, my coworker had repurposed the aforementioned chicken into a dish for us carbivores … namely a mushroom pasta with chicken. She had caramelized some mushrooms (which you can easily ad-lib, or if you’re a stickler for following directions, here you go) and tossed it with some specialty mushroom pasta from her Farmers’ Market (this was a splurge – $8/lb) and some of the leftover pulled chicken. Then she kept the leftovers from Tuesday night for our lunch on Wednesday. This is definitely a super exciting use of the chicken. Again, there she goes with more stolen basil.
Disclaimer: GNP does not condone stealing herbs from neighbors.
Sorry, but you will forever be left wondering what could have been with the rest of the Chicken That Never Ends … because Thursday meant it was my turn again. Uh oh. At about 1 pm on Wednesday I realized that my lack of a real grocery trip this week might limit my options (seems to be a consistent theme at GNP, right Em?). I have been to my Happy Place (aka Trader Joe’s) for a few appetizer type things and some half n half, but as is typical, didn’t really think ahead and get anything really “lunchy”. Good thing I had an extra bunch of kale and a well stocked pantry. And some random avocados. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, an excuse to make The Only Other Kale Salad I Know. This one was the very first kale salad I ever had, and I can’t take any credit for it. The hiccup with this recipe is always the avocados. I always have trouble finding them not too firm and not to soft. It requires either very careful advance planning (maybe you’re capable of this), or sheer luck (my style). In my willy-nilly produce buying, I have discovered that if you buy enough avocados, one of them is bound to be ripe at the right time. Although, not necessarily great advice, because by the same token you probably will throw 1 or 3 of them out every now and then too. Here is my masterpiece.
P.S. In case you’re wondering, GNP did not steal any of the ingredients in the above salad.
All in all, a successful week. I did a bit more work, but spent much less money, on lunches over the course of the week than I normally would have, and ate better food (homemade is hard to beat). I clearly need to think ahead next week, but at least I am only on the hook twice. My coworker is obviously better than I am at creating leftovers, repurposing leftovers, and remembering to grocery shop (oops). Honestly, this was a fairly typical week for me in that I did a few little one-off trips (including my random Farmers Market trip), instead of a single respectable (cohesive mix of vegetables-meat-dairy-bread type) trip. One minor disappointment is that with my Trader Joe’s trip, I actually paid for some grape tomatoes, when I think her neighbor may have had some in her garden … stolen tomatoes would have definitely tasted better.