One week ago today, I started packing my lunch, instead of buying my lunch from the café downstairs. My first lunch was a glorious chicken salad sandwich made by my loving wife. My subsequent lunches have been reconfigurations of leftover dinners.
Friday, September 2, was leftover homemade chicken soup with lentils and vegetables.
Monday was a holiday.
Tuesday was leftover Pasta Fazul. That spelling looks weird to me, but then again, I’ve never tried spelling it before. It’s my mother-in-law’s recipe and it’s good. A little Locatelli cheese and some red pepper flakes and you’re all set.
Wednesday was leftover i-oy. What? Yep. I-oy. That’s what my wife’s family calls aglio olio. Maybe it’s a regional dialect thing, but whatever it’s called, i-oy is always good. I made this one the night before with onions, beans, garlic, basil, parsley, and tomatoes from the garden. Plus I added frozen organic spinach, broccoli, and peas. I also made meatballs from some local ground pork. Again, a little Locatelli and some red pepper flakes and you’re good to go.
Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the i-oy, but I did manage to remember to take a picture of the homemade cup cake I had for dessert.
When I heat these meals up in the microwave, I use a Pyrex bowl. I never put plastic in the microwave, because I’m sure that microwaving plastic leaches all sorts of toxins into your food.
And today, I had another chicken sandwich. This time made by yours truly, so it wasn’t quite the sandwich event that last week’s was, but it was still pretty good: Leftover chicken cutlets with a slice of cheddar cheese on multigrain bread. I brought a whole avocado and a tomato and sliced them up right on the spot.
Why do i like the Healthy Eats Brown Bag challenge? Yes, I’m saving money. Yes, I have complete control over what I’m eating. But there is something else: the dinner leftovers aren’t piling up in the fridge. Our refrigerator is sort of famous for being the place where leftovers go to die. So the surprising benefit of the brown bag challenge? A cleaner fridge.
I’m taking part in the Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.