Nothing warms you up like a good Mexican posole. Over at Cubicle Cooks, we have been testing recipes for Terry Hope Romero's upcoming vegan cookbook and tried our hand at her Black Bean and Pumpkin Posole (pictured above after nuking at work!). And while you will have to wait until her book comes out next year for a full list of ingredients, suffice it to say you will feel energized from all of the veggies and flavors thrown into this comforting stew. The best part? The recipe serves at least 4-6 peole, so we had amble leftovers that translate into an easy and healthy cubicle cooks lunch.
We heart Martha Rose Shulman. For her New York Times recipe this week, she writes about easy and tasty sandwiches that she’s taken to bring to the airport of late. She writes,
Whenever I fly, I like to go armed with lunch, as the food in airports tends to be both appalling and expensive. Lately I’ve hitting the road with sandwiches that combine produce with canned fish, like sardines, herring, trout or smoked salmon — all of them high in omega-3 fatty acids, packed with protein and delicious.
The photo above is for the healthy sandwich combo of spinach and sardines, a classic Mediterranean pairing that Shulman says can keep in a bag for a few hours. Perfect for a trip to the airport or a satiating lunch at the office.
We stumbled on this grilled cheese recipe yesterday and knew we had to melt it up immediately. Pulled from the pages of Marlena Spieler's “Grilled Cheese: 50 recipes to Make You Melt,” this sandwich hits all the right flavor notes blending comfort food highs with heady wafts of garlic and rosemary. Trust us: make this lunch in your office's toaster oven stat!
We totally appreciate Mark Bittman's easy, breezy recipe style: simple dishes presented with a million variations. In other words, flexible dishes for when you are broke and have disparate pantry items. This morning, we found ourselves with the needed ingredients to make his rice-and-pea soup. Leftover Swanson veggie stock? Check. Frozen peas? Yup! White rice? Indeed. The only ingredient we had to pick up was some Piave cheese; a quick pre-lunch trip to Murray's Cheese at Grand Central resolved this garnish dilemma. (We would have purchased the called for Parmigiano-Reggiano, but that cheese is pricey!) So we made the soup at home in 20 minutes, poured it into Tupperware and reheated it after our trip to Murray's cheese. The final result? A tasty, calming soup that actually filled us up—though the ample amounts of Piave cheese definitely helped this soup's satiety!
We could not live without our Sistema tupperware. Sure, that’s a bold statement, but we feel strongly that this is among the top tupperware out there. Designed with function in mind, Sistema makes carting your lunch to work a breeze with their varying shapes and durable side-lock lids. The best part? It is affordable!
It took a great deal of willpower last night not to scarf down all of this Gorgonzola gnocchi. Thankfully, we preserved and had a few tasty bites left for lunch today. To save this pasta from nuked microwave monotony, we sprinkled some fresh grated Parmigiana for needed texture. We probably should have also added some healthy veggies—springtime scurvy isn’t something we should be aiming for!
Who hearts Amy Cao? Cubicle Cooks! Forever fans of her Stupidly Simple Snacks video series, we decided to see if she could suggest a tasty office recipe that is easy to throw together. Of course, she had an amazing suggestion: the affogato.
This Italian sundae of sorts is a simple snack that can be easily prepared at work. Not for calorie counters, the affogato(Italian for drowned) is made by adding espresso or strong coffee to a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream. It might sound fancy-schmancy, but it is ideal for making use of your office freezer (we had never even looked inside ours until now) and any work coffee recently brewed—or even hours old.
For our afternoon affogato, we used a blend of vanilla and hazelnut gelato from Eatalywe had picked up at lunch and poured some French-pressed coffee from our can’t-live-without-it Bodium. The result? A dessert that tastes as good as a spring afternoon feels.
We totally heart Martha Rose Shulman. Not only are her Recipes for Health in the New York Times delicious, affordable and easy to make, she took the time recently to suggest lunches for Cubicle Cooks. One of her suggestions was Lavash pizza, specifically one topped with smoked salmon.
To make this healthy dish, you need: smoked salmon (we got a 1/4 pound of Gaspe Nova from Russ & Daughters), two-percent Greek yogurt, chopped chives and some EVOO, salt and pepper to flavor. Stick the Lavash cracker bread in the toaster oven for 8 minutes at 350 degrees and then coat with EVOO and spread the Greek yogurt on top. Finish with the thinly sliced smoked salmon, chopped chives and end with some salt and pepper. It is so quick and yummy that we had to make it for dinner, too! Smoked salmon pizza pioneer Wolfgang Puck, (and hopefully Martha Rose Shulman!) would be proud.
“The key to being able to put together something nutritious and enjoyable in an office kitchen is being organized enough to bring in some basic ingredients to keep in the refrigerator—things like cooked grains, vegetables that you’ve already prepared by washing, cutting, blanching or steaming if necessary, good homemade salad dressings. In other words, consider your office refrigerator a sort of pantry”—Martha Rose Shulman, Recipes for Health/New York Times.
Empanadas! Empanadas! Empanadas! We can’t stop saying empanadas, thinking about empanadas or eating empanadas. This insanity all started last week when we took a vegan empananda class (we aren’t vegan per se, but we will eat almost anything—including seitan!) from Terry Hope Romano, aka the Vegan Latina, at The Brooklyn Kitchen. This past weekend, we cooked up an empanada storm and ended up with tons of sweet (guava paste and machengo cheese) and savory (chicken, black beans and white rice) empanadas chilling in our fridge.
Come Monday, we threw them in our work’s toaster oven, poured some homemade green aji sauce on them and nuked some black bean and rice sides for a seriously tasty meal. Beware: this is serious hearty fare! Make sure you have a strong cup of coffee to snap you out of a food coma or we might loose you to the Land of Nod. In fact, we are still in our coma, so if you want the recipes for these tasty treats, send me a Tumblr message—we need a second cup of joe!
As a serious recipe addict, we have read through our share of cookbooks. But few are as cute and darling as Black and Blum’s "Lunchbox Revolution: Recipes for a Proper Lunch." Designed by Gil Kahana and Michiko Nita, the book offers 15 recipes, a lunch box manifesto and ingredient illustrations that would make any graphic artist envious. Despite these details, each recipe is quick and simple to make—the “Bulger and Halloumi Salad” immediately caught our eye …and our tastebuds. Of course, we are probably going to pass on the “Ham Roll Bento”: we are still too traumatized by our Lunchable school days to eat cold ham any lunch time soon.
Disclaimer: Ok, so we really didn’t “cook” this. The white beans came already prepared puttanesca-style and we picked up the hearty loaf on the way to work. But we did microwave the beans! And toast the bread! Tough work, we know. Combined together, they made for a lunch that was simple, healthy and tasty—aka, the three “musts” of Cubicle Cooks! You could try this with any type of bread/bean, just make sure the spices are there and a toaster/microwave is handy, as this sandwich-thingy is best served hot.
Leftover Love: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts
ZING! This dish hits all the right notes: tasty, healthy, easy, affordable…did we mention tasty? When we throw it together at home, we always make sure to have leftovers. The next day, we simply nuke it at noon and lunch is served. To make, you’ll need some brussels sprouts, long pasta noodles (we just use plain spaghetti Ronzoni noodles), olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts and voila! No wonder this Epicurious recipe has a 95-percent user approval with an overwhelming four forks review.
Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts
(Adapted from Epicurious via Gourmet)
3/4 pound Brussels sprouts 1/2 pound dried egg fettuccine (again, we just use plain supermarket spaghetti) 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons pine nuts Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or a less pricey alternative hard cheese like Piave)
Chop Brussels sprouts with a sharp knife or place them in a food processor fitted with slicing disk.
Cook noodles in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. (We start checking them at the seven minute mark).
Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook pine nuts, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then sauté over medium-high heat until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing with enough reserved water to moisten.
This is what we are working with, folks. Packed to the max with containers, half-eaten (and expired!) food, exploded beer bottles in the bottom and a distinct odor that will wake you up like no cup of coffee can, our office fridge lives up to the stereotype. Office fridges….can’t live with them, can’t live without ‘em.