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by Marisa Olsen

Lunch Time ie. Something Other Than Prosciutto and Cheese

Unlike the majority of America's workforce, I tend to bring my lunches in, often polishing off the previous evening's meal, or pulling together scraps from my cabinet (remember the "Risotto alla Tutti"?). Lately, I've been going to Whole Foods with the challenge of finding food that will last for four to five days, has some relatively "healthy" component by some standard, and is in a budget of $10- $15 (there goes the sushi). My go-to is a Greek salad/wrap. I splurge on a $4 pepper of some sort and then buy Cedar's hummus, fresh whole feta (don't be dismayed by the water it sits in, it only means it is fresher), a lettuce product (either a head of Romaine or gasp, even bagged; clearly, I trust Whole Foods to distribute reliable bagged lettuce), cherry or a whole tomato, red onion (optional; due to overwhelming fears of smelling like gas, I am trying to refrain) and pita/bread product, whole wheat preferred. Don't forget a Greek dressing of your liking and you'll be all set.
This week, I was at a loss. It was Monday, and even worse, rainy and miserable. I rambled around aimlessly, scouring the aisles, annoyed at the recent increase of food prices and even more annoyed by the individuals who remembered to lug their Wellies into the office that day. Finally, I identified a suiting direction; tuna fish salad, a lunchtime stand-by. Not only was it already packaged and reasonably priced, but it contained little jewels of Fuji apples, cranberries and a sprinkling of dill. Now that I had identified my gem, I needed to find additional fixings and holders. I immediately headed to the vegetables, where I grabbed a Santa Barbara lettuce bag, some string beans (for additional fiber/ nutritious filler content) and after careful debating, chose Garden City Stone Ground Whole Wheat wraps (great for your Mexican tortillas as well). I threw in another Greek dressing and a bag of 365 Ranch Soy Crispettes for kicks and I was set for the week. See, I knew I could blog about something other than prosciutto and cheese. More affordable, and long-lasting + relatively health conscience lunches to come.

A new one: so this week, I continued with the usual ___-salad item for lunch and went with chicken salad. After a thorough mayo inspection, I decided on an appropriate ratio and then wandered around for a bit looking for fillers. I picked out a whole wheat flax wrap, which sounded just too healthy to pass up, grabbed my go-to green beans, some tomatoes, apples and then frantically started looking for a wild card. Much to my chagrin, I stumbled upon a fresh bunch of watercress, which really got me going. To top it off, I bought a bag of spicy sweet potato Terra chips and called it a day.

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