Thursday, October 8, 2015

Story of brown bagged lunches

Home cooked homes will always be healthier, less expensive and more convenient. I know that. I have known that all along my career. But I dislike packing food from home and bringing it to work. Trust me, laziness is not a reason. I am used to packing lunches for the family.
For myself, I like to eat out mainly because someone else has cooked and delivered it. I just go, pick it up and enjoy! The other reason is, I like to step away from my desk and get a break or process work stress or just not think of work for a bit.

But in my attempt to use 'myFitness Pal' to its full extent, packing home cooked meals is more calorie efficient for sure. And the stepping away from my desk has become a post lunch brisk walk around the block to refresh and de-stress.

So I am trying to pack my lunch from home, at least 2-3 times a week now as against none before.

My brown bagged lunch recently was: Tofu-Vegetable noodles (From the night before) and Soup. I made more than enough to ensure lunch is packed for both the adults of the house.


Wide rice noodles: 1 pack

1. Onion: 1/4th cup slices
2. Carrots: 2 cups: Julienne
3. Green Beans: 1 cup: Finely chopped
4. Cabbage: 1 cup: Finely slices
5. Kale: 1 cup: Finely chopped
6. Tomato: 1 cup quartered
7. Bean Sprouts: 2 cups
8. Tofu: Firm, sliced: 2 cups
9: Pepper: 1/4 cup: Thinly sliced

1. Salt per taste
2. Red Chili Powder: per taste
3. Soy Sauce: 2 tsp
4. Vinegar: 1 tsp
5. Soy Sesame Sauce: 3 tsp (I used Iron Chef pre made sauce)

1. Wedge of lemon
2: Shallots: 1/4 cup sliced
3. Crushed Peanuts: 1/4 cup

1. Boil the noodles al dente as per package instructions and let it cool
2. In a wok, heat 2-3 tsp of olive oil.
3. When hot, add the onions, once translucent, add all vegetables except Kale & Bean Sprouts
4. Cover the wok on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, once the vegetables are tender; add all the spices, kale and tofu
5. Cover the wok on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, add bean sprouts and adjust seasoning.
6. Add the cooked noodles and toss. The wok makes it easier to mix the noodles with the vegetables.
7. When ready to eat, complete the garnishing and enjoy.

I added SriRacha sauce to increase the spice level and skipped on crushed peanuts.

Here is a picture of my 'Lunch' at work

The good thing about this recipe is, its very basic. I basically took all vegetables at home and chopped/ sliced them. Secondly, from start to finish it is about 30-45 minutes and is a hit with the kids and adults alike. I have the soy sesame sauce at home so its easy for me, honestly any of the pre-made sauces work, you can also make a tomato gravy for this. I just cut corners. On a lazy Sunday, we enjoyed watching our Hindi Movie: 'Chak De' with the kids and pigged out on the noodles.

The bean sprouts added at the end make it a bit crunchy which I like!

Cook & Enjoy

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