Are you looking for some lunchtime inspiration? Look no further – healthy lunch ideas right here!

Sunshine and Vietnamese Banh Mi

Posted: February 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Sandwich recipes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

The sunshine is out in full force today, and I went over to Dolores Park to get some work done on my friend Karen’s cookbook. I was happy to see this new little garden planted in time for the nice weather. I didn’t unfortunately take any pictures of the oiled up people tanning on the park lawn. (I might have to go back there and do that shortly.) I know that it’s warm out – but at about 63 degrees, it’s not exactly tanning weather…. Ah, Californians…

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I stopped at Bi-rite market to pick up some zucchini for work. Bi-rite is one of the many independently owned markets in the bay area that make me so happy to live here. They have the greatest selection of produce, prepared foods, and little goodies. Unlike supermarket check out aisles, the counter area here has things I actually want to eat (like poco dolce chocolate), making it a little dangerous to shop there!!

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Today was another late morning, so it wasn’t until after errands that I ended up getting in breakfast:

First, a coffee from Dolores Park Cafe. I got one for Karen, but forgot that people with 2 month old babies like large coffees rather than my modest small size that gets me up and going…

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Then, I got to try some of Karen’s newest batch of home made granola. I had about 1/2 cup, and covered it with a little milk. The stuff was phenomenal!!! I got to bring home a jar of it, and will have to restrain myself from snacking on it constantly.

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Then I snacked on some carrots, and a little bit of apple. (Extra from a recipe we were testing).

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After some hard work,

Finally, we ended up getting out of the house for lunch, and ran over to Bi-rite again for some of their delicious sandwiches. Because I don’t eat sandwiches very often, I decided to go all out and get myself their version of the Banh Mi sandwich – which is a Vietnamese sandwich on a baguette, typically filled with pickled carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, peppers, pate and a type of meat. (It’s actually a really great combo, that holds up well in a lunch box.)

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I got the chicken and chicken pate version, and managed to eat the entire thing while we sat outside in the sunshine. Theirs is quite good, but a little gourmet-ified (and pricier!) from the more authentic stuff you can get on Clement Street.

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After lunch we went back to work, and then I took over looking after the little one (Dez) while Karen actually managed to get some other work done. This, as you can see, was not too difficult. Look at the sleeping angel!!

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Now I’m off to get in a nice walk while it is still warm!

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Healthy Sandwich Ideas

Posted: August 8th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Lunch Recipes, Sandwich recipes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »
Photo: Kasiaflickr

As a child, I never ate sandwiches. Over the years though, as I started making my own lunches every day, I realized the value of the sandwich as a lunch box savior. These sandwiches are just a start to expand your range of sandwich possibilities – here are several healthy sandwich options to get you going!
It starts with the bread – plain bread alternatives
: Pita bread, tortillas, dinner rolls, naan bread, challah bread, bagels, english muffins, pain de mie, rye bread, flatbread, butter lettuce leaves – don’t be afraid to branch out! If you are looking for optimum healthy bread options, try picking a bread with several grams of fiber per slice, and whole grains – preferably ones you can actually see in the bread.

Good Spread options: pesto, hummus, olive tapenade as a basis for any sandwich – just add vegetables. To add some punch, try some whole grain dijon mustard (Maille brand is a favorite), or a thin spread of harissa – a north african chili paste.

Textural additions: try adding raisins, granola, sesame seeds, pickles, cornichon pickles, chocolate chips, popcorn or potato crisps – if you are eating the sandwich right away.

Omnivore sandwiches:
– pep up your chicken or tuna salad with some lemon juice, paprika, and chopped onion
– egg salad and with steamed or grilled asparagus on baguette or pain de mie
– smoked salmon and cream cheese (sprinkle of dill or capers optional)
– turkey, cream cheese and tomato on a toasted bagel
– bacon and avocado, or bacon, lettuce and tomato
– soft cheese such as brie or goat with grated carrot, coarse salt, and cracked pepper
– hummus and a poached or fried egg
– turkey and cucumber raita on naan bread

Vegan sandwiches (vegetarian addition in brackets):
– (honey), peanut butter, and banana
– banana and chopped dates (ricotta)
– sliced avocado and olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper on rye bread
– hummus and cucumber
– grilled asparagus with lemon vinaigrette and lettuce wraps
– almond butter, strawberry jam, and mango* (thank you Pal’s takeaway!)

Am I missing your favorite sandwiches? What kinds of sandwiches do you love? What sandwiches do your kids love?

Photo: Kasiaflickr
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