Packed Lunches, December 2020

A photo collage of this month's packed lunches

Things I made for work lunches in December.

Week of 11/30/20:

Orzo with Spinach and Chèvre, and Balsamic Beets

Orzo with Spinach and Chévre, and Balsamic Beets

Previously posted here. Much the same as usual, but chèvre was cheaper than feta this week and I felt up to peeling an entire head of garlic. (We're wearing masks and social distancing at work, so why not gorge on garlic...) The beets were tossed in a little bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Kabocha Chili Colorado and Roasted Broccoli

Kabocha Chili Colorado with Roasted Broccoli

I was in the mood for this again. The broccoli was tossed with olive oil, salt, and 21 seasoning salute; they were in the same baking dish as the beets and ended up picking up a bit of their color.

Week of 12/7/20:

Chickpea Burgers

Chickpea Burgers with Smacked Cucumber Salad

These are falafel-ish burgers, tweaked from the basic bean burger template recipe from Pamela Anderson's Cook Without A Book: Meatless Meals. The filling ended up being two cans of (drained) chickpeas, 2 eggs, 1 cup of a barley-flax-coriander baking blend (I didn't realize I was out of breadcrumbs!!), a few tablespoons of chopped parsley, and dashes of paprika, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and homemade spearmint salt. Cook them off in a skillet with however much oil you want. If I'd been thinking when I shopped I would have made sure to have tahini for a sauce, but instead these went on potato buns with spinach and crumbled feta.

The side is the Smacked Cucumber Salad from Chinese Soul Food by Hsiao-Ching Chou.

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash with Roasted Beets and Kabocha

This has been on my to-make list for a few years. I was going to try this version from Bon Appétit, but after forgetting to buy any tomato products at the store (I was on a roll this week) I ended up cribbing from that recipe, its comments, and the Beef Goulash recipe from Cook's Illustrated's Cover & Bake, which I'd made before, and using onions, garlic, butter, flour, and paprika for the base sauce ­— no heaping amount of tomatoes necessary. I served it over egg noodles tossed with butter, caraway seeds, and parsley. It turned out excellent, and in the future I'll be making something with the Cover & Bake ingredients and the BA paprikash technique.

The vegetables are the remnants of last week's beets (which needed a touch more roasting, to my partner's palate) and the other half of the kabocha used in last week's chili, tossed in soy sauce, sesame oil, and apple cider vinegar and roasted.

Week of 12/14/20:

Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea Pasta with Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Easy pasta again. Penne with canned chickpeas, lemon, paprika, salt and pepper, olive oil and butter, and garnishes of parsley and tiny fruits from the tomato plant that is clinging to life inside my apartment.

This is my first time doing potatoes this way, but I think I like it. I kept the seasonings simple — salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Chicken Yassa

Chicken Yassa with Carrot Salad

I've made this so many times this year; my partner requested it again. I don't mind because I never get tired of it, either. This incarnation of carrot salad is flavored with lemon juice, honey, coriander, cumin, spearmint salt, black pepper, roasted almonds, dried cranberries, and golden raisins.

....And that's it for the year! I have two weeks of time off of work so my next work lunches will be eaten in 2021. I'll publish a wrap-up post sometime soon.