Friday, February 24, 2006

The neglectful blogger

Hi, folks. I know I've been pretty negligent about new postings. It's hard to come up with interesting posts about food when you're eating out of the cafeteria for every meal.

It's true: the world's most militant bring-you-own-lunch-er has been eating at the cafeteria lunch and sometimes dinner every day this week.
Breakfast, too, though that's a regular thing. I like to have my breakfast when I get to work, so I do tend to buy a bagel downstairs. But lunch! And dinner!

This is what I'm learning about American food for quick consumption (I'm not eating fast food, precisely, but wraps and steam tray hot meals and salads and such) - there's more fat in this crap than in your fanciest, creamiest, butteriest French food. I had a turkey club the other day that had more bacon than turkey. It was also slathered in mayonnaise. I now understand why Americans are so damned obese. Egads.

I had a "mandarin chicken salad." I was expecting the crispy wontons. (Nods to Margaret Cho fans.) But I wasn't expecting the peanuts to be seemingly deep-fried. I wasn't expecting the chicken also to be battered and deep-fried. I wasn't expecting the dressing to drown the handful of lettuce leaves that were tossed in to convince people that this was really a "salad" and therefore really healthful.

Here's the most shameful part: I had some perfectly good meals in the freezer. I did. But every one of those meals was...soup. Now, I love a good soup. Soup is my warming, tasty, frugal kitchen friend. But sometimes, when faced with yet another meal of soup, I can be overcome by what I can only call despair. So, every day this week, I left the soup at home, optimistic that perhaps today's lunch would be better, somehow. It never was.

So this weekend, in my limited time between doing research in the library and writing papers at home (and cleaning the house), I've got to find a way to make really quick meals for the week that I will actually take to work. Any suggestions?


lindy said...

Soup is a pretty good solution, but you can get tired of it. If you are having a good supper the night before, you can put a little bit aside before you eat, and take it in the next day. (i.e. "leftovers")

Even if it's not something that heats up paticularly well, or tastes particularly good cold, I, for one, usually like it better than overpriced weirdly fake "salads", in the end.... or my coworkers' lunches of choice- microwaved "lean cuisines." Aaagh.(Not that i haven't had all of the above, in my day.)

In the end, I'd rather gnaw on slightly stale bread and a piece of cheese!

lindy said...

Comment part 2: Brought to mind by Brett's post in In Praise of Sardines: Wedges of Spanish-stlye torilla or frittata make good take along lunches, too.

Pyewacket said...

That's the thing, though - I usually do bring leftover lunches. But I haven't had much time to cook dinner lately, and when I say no time to cook, I mean I'm eating cereal and salad-in-a-bag. So I haven't had much in the way of leftovers to bring in, and no time in the week to make those quick-cooked weekday lunch things, like peanut noodles or baked potatoes. I'm trying to figure out what can make a decent meal if you have literally NO time to cook. (I am taking classes two nights a week, and on those days I leave the house at 7 AM and get back at 10 PM. The other days I can sometimes have time to do a little cooking, but sometimes other things, like the library or the laundromat have to come first). It's strange, because I've always cooked most of my meals, and I really don't know what to buy at the supermarket if you're not intending to cook.

Helen said...

Have you ever tried Amy's frozen meals? I bring them for lunch to work every day because they are quick, easy, healthy, and taste MUCH better than our caf food. I particularly like the Indian ones. My co-workers can laugh at me all they want, but I swear by Amy's. They expect me to be bringing in sole with beaure blanc or something because I teach cooking classes ;) But the thing is I am terrible with leftovers (we simply eat them before they have a chance to become leftovers). And I don't have time to make something separate for lunch. Amy's gives me an opportunity to grab a box and not worry about consuming a cup of mayo with some terrible sandwich at work.