What’s for lunch? | Woman in Real Life:The Art of the Everyday

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What’s for lunch?

I mentioned in my last "What's for lunch?" post  that my favourite lunches are made up of reheated leftovers from the evening before.

For me, a cold sandwich cannot compare to a nice warm meal. And, since you already did the work in preparing your food a day earlier, there is little to do now but enjoy it.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to have Sunday dinner leftovers for lunch. On Sunday, my husband and I both pitched in to make a meal that was a little more special than our average weeknight fare.

For a while there, it looked like spring would come early, and I was craving the types of things we ate last summer—simply prepared barbecued veggies and tofu in particular.

Winter is back, unfortunately, but we were able to somewhat duplicate our summer meal indoors using our oven.
While my husband marinated some portobello mushrooms and prepared some baked tofu, I went to work recreating a sweet potato dish that I had enjoyed at Kale restaurant. We also prepared some asparagus and a quick lentil and rice dish.

What are you having for lunch?

Linking up to the Potluck Party at Lifeologia.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Carrots and Quinoa

by Joann MacDonald
Keywords: boil side gluten-free vegan vegetarian nut-free quinoa sweet potatoes carrots

Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick.
  • 3/4 cup veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • salt to taste
Place sweet potatoes and carrots together in a medium-sized pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil until tender. Strain and move to a medium-sized bowl.
Beat the sweet potato and carrot mixture with an electric mixer, gradually adding veggie broth. The carrots will stay somewhat chunky, making a nice textural "surprise" in the end result.
Once the mixture is mashed to your satisfaction, stir in the cooked quinoa and salt to taste.
I like to make this a bit more liquidy than the usual mash.
I cook one cup of dry quinoa and save what I don't use in this recipe for a quick side the next day.
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Easy Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

by Joann MacDonald
Prep Time: 5 minutes + time to marinade
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: roast side gluten-free vegan vegetarian

Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 6 portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • dried parsley and oregano, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Rinse mushrooms quickly and place in baking pan, tops down.
Combine oil, vinegar, salt, garlic and herbs in a small bowl.
Drizzle marinade over mushrooms.
Season with ground pepper.
Set aside to marinade for 20 minutes or so.
Cook for 20 minutes.
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Quick Curried Lentils and Rice

by Joann MacDonald
Keywords: saute vegan vegetarian nut-free rice lentils

Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • I medium onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil.
  • 1 19 oz can lentils, rinsed.
  • 2 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups cooked basmati or white rice
In a large pan, over medium heat, saute the diced onions in the sesame oil until translucent.
Stir in the lentils, Bragg's, pepper, curry and cumin and saute for 5 minutes, being careful not to let it stick to the pan.
Stir in the cooked rice and serve.
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the veggie nook


  1. Did you marinate your tofu in anything? I really enjoy tofu and would like to eat it in other ways but for the moment only prepare it in stirfrys. Not sure how else to prepare it :(

    1. Hi Becca, This particular time, we marinated the tofu briefly in a combo of Bragg's (you can use soy sauce if you don't have Bragg's), Asian chili garlic sauce, nutritional yeast and sesame seeds. We then baked it for about 20 minutes, 400 degrees fahrenheit, to match the cooking time of the mushrooms. It is a bit spicy.

      My favourite super easy method is to mix the tofu (cut into triangles) with Premier Japan's gluten-free teriyaki sauce, a bit of garlic powder and some olive oil, and then bake it. The sauce is expensive, but I get about three uses out of it (with a pound of tofu each time).

      Let me know if you need more ideas--I can send some recipes. As you can see, I'm a tofu fanatic!

    2. I LOVE having leftovers for lunch! You are so right that a warm meal beats a cold sandwich most any day. The only exception for me is in the deep heat of Summer.

    3. True, Sherri. When it gets really hot outside, I just want to lie around and eat watermelon and stuff like that!

  2. My kind of meal! - the shroom ;)
    I love the pairing of the foods - yummmm ;)

    1. I am craving those mushrooms again!

  3. What a great meal! So healthy but full of flavor. I'll have to try the curried lentils and rice.

    1. Those are my favourite kind of meals too...healthy and yummy. We'll be doing the veg on the BBQ now that we have some sun!

  4. That sweet potato mash looks fantastic! I may have to try that out with a couple different squashes. Thanks for the idea :)

    1. Yum! I like the idea of squash in there too! :)

  5. Found you rlink through HVF. Love connecting with other local bloggers. Looks delicious. :)

    1. Thanks for visiting. I love to "meet" local bloggers too! Jo