Refreshing light salad

salad1I like this salad so much that I’ve made it every day this week! I really enjoy the cool, crispiness of the vegetables and the lemony dressing and I’ve been looking forward to eating it at lunch time with my sandwich*.

I had some cucumber, tomato, carrots and lemons in the fridge at home that I needed to use, so those make up the main ingredients. The only slightly special ingredient that I bought is daikon root, but that can easily be substituted for radishes if you’d like. I got a pretty good deal on daikon (it was cheaper than radishes) so that’s why I used it in the salad.

Salads of course are flexible, if you have other vegetables feel free to put them in! The more the merrier really.

It’s been a very hot summer the past few weeks so I’m appreciating cooler food all the more.

The salad dressing is super easy to make: all I do is take a lemon wedge and squirt it all over the salad. Then I drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil and then sprinkle a tiny bit of salt and pepper on top. If you want to make it extra fancy you can mix the lemon juice first with a bit of honey for a really nice sweetness.

*In case you’re curious, the sandwich I’ve been eating is a super simple non-dairy “grilled cheese”. It’s the simplest (laziest) version I could possibly come up with. All I do is toast some gluten-free bread, usually just one slice. Then when it’s cooled slightly I put it in the microwave with a slice of dairy free cheddar cheese on top and cook for about 30 seconds. I really love it, it tastes awesome and I don’t have to wash a pan afterwards which is a nice bonus.

Recipe:

Refreshing light salad

Serves 1

  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cucumber, chopped
  • 2-3 radishes, or 3 inch piece of daikon root, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded

Dressing:

  • 1 or 2 lemon wedges
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all the vegetables in a bowl. Squeeze lemon over the vegetables and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

To make the honey dressing (optional), combine the lemon juice and honey together and then drizzle over the salad.

 

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Lunch at my desk

iveggiesYikes I haven’t posted in a long while, I’d like to be better about that! Today’s lunch is a simple plate of sliced tomatoes, cucumber, olives, hummus and corn chips. I’ve really been into olives recently…yum! Summer is in full swing and we’re having a meltingly hot day. I’m sitting in front of the fan as I type.

Funny thing is part of me wanted to go out and get some phở for lunch because it sounds really good (and also because the restaurant has air conditioning).

I’m happy though that I ended up making my own lunch. The nice chilled veggies were very good and it was from ingredients that I already have. I love to grocery shop so sometimes I over buy and don’t end up eating when I already have. I’m making an effort to eat through what is already here before I buy too much more.

I hope you’re having a lovely day ❤

Slow cooker lentil soup

soup2This week I’m trying out some light meal planning, particularly for lunch. I never quite know what to eat and too often I end up buying fast food. My fast food lunches aren’t that expensive, usually about $3.75, but I know I can eat healthier and cheaper when I make food myself.

So for the next few days I’m going to try and have homemade soup and salad for lunch and see how that goes. Maybe a sandwich sometimes if I need some extra food.

Early this afternoon I made a pot of lentil vegetable soup in my slow cooker. I’ve never made soup before using the crockpot so it was a bit of an experiment. I just tried it and it’s pretty good! Basically you just put all the ingredients in and set it to cook for 7-8 hours, it’s very easy. Here is the recipe 🙂

Slow cooker lentil soup

  • 8 ounces brown lentils (1/2 of a one pound bag), rinsed
  • 5 cups water or chicken broth
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes (omit if using broth)
  • Tomato paste, 2 heaping tablespoons
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme, optional

Add everything into the slow cooker and set on low. Cook for 7-8 hours.

I stirred the soup around hour 5 just to mix everything together, but this isn’t necessary.

Grocery shopping with mom

groceries.JPGHi everyone,

I’m in California for the week visiting my mom. As always I’m very happy to see her and spend time together.

On our way home from the airport yesterday we stopped to buy some groceries, which she very nicely treated me to. We went to a discount grocer so we got a pretty good deal on everything.

When I visit we are often very busy so I rely more on microwaveable foods or other foods that are very easy to prepare such as pre-washed salad greens.

In the photo is most everything we bought except for some rice, chocolate mints, garbanzo beans and green tea.

I really like frozen foods and use them a lot at home. Frozen veggies are an inexpensive and easy way to include vegetables in a meal. I also love that they are already cut and washed!

Hopefully these groceries should last me for a couple of lunches and dinners 🙂

Recipe: Simple and tasty egg salad

Eggs are one of my favorite foods: they’re inexpensive, delicious and full of high quality protein. In just one egg there is 6 grams of protein!

I had a carton of eggs at home and the other day I felt inspired to make some egg salad. It’s great in a sandwich or to put on top of a salad. Here is how I make it:

eggs

Simple and tasty egg salad

Makes 4-6 sandwiches

  • 10-12 eggs, hardboiled
  • 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard- I used yellow mustard
  • pinch of paprika, ground pepper and salt to taste (all optional)

Hard boil your eggs. Once they have cooled peel the eggs and place in a bowl.

Finely chop the eggs and place in a bowl- I recommend a bowl with high sides that you can scrape down. Next, stir in the mayonnaise and mustard and mix very well. This step can require some patience to coat all the egg pieces.

Next, add a pinch of paprika, ground pepper and salt, to taste.

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

eggs

eggs2

eggs3

egg-salad

 

Frugal favorites: Homemade lunchbox

lunch2When it comes to saving money I believe that little things, done consistently, can really begin to add up.

Every week day I make my little household a lunch box for the day. I believe that both the cost and health benefits are very good. And it’s definitely cool to have a lunch box even if you’re a grown up 🙂

These are some benefits of a homemade lunch:

  • Less expensive
  • Healthy, fresh food
  • Proper portion size (most importantly: not too much food so it’s not a calorie overload)
  • Made with love ❤

Here is a very standard lunch box that I make: It includes fruit, veggies, a sandwich (made on gluten-free bread) and some corn chips. If I used regular bread it would be much cheaper, but health needs comes first.

lunch4

Now let’s break down the cost (I’m estimating but it should be pretty close):

Apple: .50 cents

Veggies: .35 cents

Gluten-free bread: .87 cents

Chips: .25 cents

1 Hotdog (in sandwich): .40 cents

Mustard: .03 cents

Total: $2.40

A typical takeout lunch where I live is $6.50-10, so the math here is pretty clear: a homemade lunch definitely is the best.

Here’s a nice bonus: Often a takeout lunch will come with a soda and sometimes a dessert like a cookie. By bringing a homemade lunch you can bypass the temptation to get a “free” soda with your meal. It’s all about the little things 🙂

Lunch today: Vegan quesadilla and veggies

lunchIt always makes me happy when I find a good dairy substitute that I enjoy. This quesadilla I had for lunch today was excellent: it tasted great and the cheese was nice and melty. It tasted very similar to a “real” quesadilla.

Although I love dairy, especially cheese, I have a tough time eating it too often. It gives me fatigue, headaches and doesn’t digest all that well. I don’t think I’m necessarily allergic to milk products but I’m definitely sensitive.

What really made this dish excellent was using dairy-free pepper jack cheese. It gave the quesadilla extra flavor and helped it to really sing 🙂

I rounded out today’s lunch with some raw veggies including cucumber, mini tomatoes and radishes for a veggie nutrition boost.

Although I only made one serving, you could easily make more if you’re serving several people.

Awesome dairy-free quesadilla

Serves 1

2 corn tortillas, 6-inch

2-3 heaping tablespoons non-dairy pepper jack cheese, shredded

1 teaspoon non-dairy butter or vegetable oil

Salsa (optional)

Sliced veggies served on the side; such as red pepper, cucumber, radishes, tomato, or carrot sticks

Warm a large skillet on medium heat and add the non-dairy butter. When butter begins to melt place a corn tortilla in the middle of the pan. Let the tortilla warm for a few seconds and then top with the non-dairy pepper jack cheese.

When the cheese begins to warm and melt slightly top with the other tortilla. Press down with a spatula. Take a look under the top tortilla and when the cheese begins to look melty flip over. Continue cooking until the cheese is thoroughly melted.

Tortilla should be slightly browned on each side.

Total cooking time is about 5-6 minutes.

Serve with salsa and sliced veggies