Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Great Lunch Swap Project

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First off, be a part of the Virtual Valentine's Exchange! Full details are here.
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Also, be sure to enter my Running the Sahara movie giveaway as well here!
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You may have noticed that I've been talking a bit more about food, and cooking in particular lately. Truthfully since I went on my soup and buttered toast binge throughout reserves in December I've been feeling so...meh...about cooking. I needed some inspiration from somewhere.

I think we can all agree that this is a good time to try and save money as well. One of my first steps? Cutting out the trips to Starbucks (and other various coffee establishments). I have a pretty sizeable collection of tea, so who needs all those coffee drinks? Check out my tea collection at work:Earl Gray is my favorite. I have four kinds in there!

Anyhow...back to food. My friend DGB and I both had the same goals:
  • Find some inspiration in food.
  • To branch out with our cooking a bit more and try some new recipes.
  • To cut back on the eating out by bringing our lunch more often.
Together we came up with the Great Lunch Swap Project. The rules are:
  • We each find one new recipe to cook each week.
  • DGB cooks her new recipe Tuesday night and brings the leftovers for lunch for both of us on Wednesday.
  • I cook my new recipe on Wednesday for lunch on Thursday.
  • Share said recipes with each other.
  • If you do not bring lunch on your day then you have to pay for lunch!
This was week one of our little experiment. DGB was wanting to try quinoa, so she whipped up some balsamic marinated chicken with quinoa, peppers and asparagus with some tomatoes on the side. She even brought me a juice box!
Tonight I got cooking. I found a recipe in the Whole Foods Cookbook for a Moroccan Couscous salad that I worked with. I whipped up the dressing - equal parts of lemon juice, orange juice and olive olive, some freshly grated ginger, honey, and some cumin, cardamom and cinnamon. I wanted to add in some protein to the salad though - and I went with some tofu.I sliced the tofu, blotted it dry, dipped it in the dressing and put it on a baking sheet. I baked it at 425F for 30 min, which was maybe 5 minutes too long for my somewhat thin slices. I wish I could convey how good the tofu smelled when it was baking... Yum!I threw together the couscous with some red and yellow pepper, raisins, dried apricots, orange zest, toasted pistachios, and tossed it with some more dressing. Overall I really liked the flavour combinations. Fingers crossed DGB likes it tomorrow!
I knew there was a reason I got three rest days on my schedule this week! I got my training schedule for the next month and it is going be to interesting...and a lot of fun!!

18 comments:

audgepodge said...

What a super fun idea! Don't think any of my friends trust my cooking though...

Trihardist said...

Yeah, that is a great idea. Wonder if I could persuade my brother/co-worker to hop on board with that idea . . .

Marlene said...

Mmmm, both recipes look fantastic! What a great way to shake things up and keep the diet interesting. I always seem to be in a lunch rut. I bring the same old things every day and it's BORING! (makes it very tempting to go buy something)

teacherwoman said...

Cool idea!

Missy said...

That looks good, I'd trade lunches with you...but I work with mostly men. I'd be eating donuts and cookies for lunch:( I've been working with tofu lately too and it's not bad!

Nikki said...

Good idea. We all seem to swap and share lunches at work anyways, but usually it's because we don't feel like eating what we brought!

Wes said...

I would say you have quite the collection of tea :-) I'm always down for new recipes, but I haven't been brave enough to try tofu yet.

Lauren said...

We tried a lunch salad exchange. Every Tuesday someone would bring the stuff to make a large salad which we would all share. We should start that again seeing as we mostly eat lean cuisines here.

Baked Tofu? Was that good? I've tried using the George Foreman on tofu and it turned out gross. I like it when restaurants cook it so maybe I'll try this. Thanks!

RunToFinish said...

ok I've never really tried tofu baked..in fact it's been a really long time since i've had it. so i may have to give this a go. what a fun fun idea!

joyRuN said...

That is a great idea! We had something similar at work, & it did get me cooking more. I've totally slacked off though.

ShirleyPerly said...

Very creative idea. I wish I enjoyed cooking as much as you seem to. Everything you post looks so YUMMY!

Bob Almighty said...

I've been tempted to publish recipes on my blog but haven't had the courage...although if you're intrested I do have an interesting ginger teryaki pork chop recipe...

Judi said...

thank goodness dominic does all the cooking in our house.

Run For Life said...

What a fabulous idea! Both of those lunches look yummy.

I am also an avid tea lover and have a bazillion types of tea. Earl Grey is my "regular" choice, too. :)

Danielle said...

I'm blah about food right now too, and need to find/try some new recipes...I wish I was more experimental on food though. I'm too fussy about too many things it seems...:(

Bootchez said...

What a cool way to learn some new foods. I have really appreciated your recipes as of late. I think I might start experimenting with food related posts, as I'm always trying new ideas, then forgetting what they were when it's time to come up with dinner ideas. Tofu has never really lived up to its promise for me personally, though. I've never tried it baked . . .

RoadBunner said...

What a super great idea!!

Happy V-Day! I totally meant to join your exchange but just realized today is Valentine's Day. D'oh!

Rainmaker said...

Looks quite good if you ask me!