We are young. Lunchbox to lunchbox we stand. Sick of my sandwich with ham. Lunch is a battlefield. We are strong. This sad cup of soup just feels wrong. Been in my lunch-rut too long. Both of us knowing… Lunch is a battlefield.
So. That happened. Somewhere Pat Benatar is rolling her eyes. Either that, or she’s applauding my rendition of her song and thanking me for saying the words that she’s always wanted to say. “You know, Gina… it’s easy to write a song about love, but no one tackles the hard hitting emotional issue that is LUNCH. Thank you.” These are the words I imagine Pat saying to me. She’s rolling her eyes, isn’t she? Yeah. Probably that.
Either way, we’re all guilty of getting in a lunch rut, right? I am. I work from home. I write words, take pictures and get lost on the internet. I majorly lose track of time. This past week I’ve been letting myself get to the point of hangry and then shoving an apple and a handful of cashews in my face around 2:30pm. That’s one type of lunch rut.
Or, there is my hardworking husband who gets up at the crack of dawn to commute into the city for work. He gets up and sleepwalks his way through packing his lunch. It’s like a choreographed sleep-dance where he’s somehow allowed to wield a butter knife and prepare a ham sandwich. It feels dangerous. But, firstly… isn’t there a saying about not waking a sleeping bear? Something like that. Secondly, when one is tired, sometimes slathering mustard onto bread and slapping some ham on-top seems like the only thing to do. Please forgive me for using the words slap and ham in that close of proximity to each other. I know not what I do.
The easiest way to get out of your lunch rut is simply with a little prep! In this case I stuck some sweet potatoes in the oven and roasted them until they were tender. That is the most time consuming thing about all of this, but really, it’s no biggie. I popped them in the oven, folded some laundry,
watched half an episode of Teen Mom 2 and then attended to serious work-related business things, and VOILA! Done! During the time your potatoes are roasting you can even prepare your salad. Chop up all your ingredients while watching Teen Mom 2 and put them in a good storage bowl. Make up a simple salad dressing and put it in a separate storage container. Now you have all the elements you need to whip up a lunch that doesn’t involve shoving handfuls of cashews into your face or any form of ham slapping (sorry).
Still simple, yet totally delicious. Veggies are prepped and ready for their fork to face debut.
Lunch: battle complete. This is the part where Pat Benatar and I dance around the mean streets with lunchboxes. Oh, and there’s totally neon lights and a smoke machine. If we’re going to do it, let’s just do it right.
Greek Salad-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 6 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
- 1/4 of a red or white onion, sliced
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup feta cheese (if you are vegan or paleo you can replace with avocado!)
- 1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- Scrub your sweet potatoes and place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Pierce them several times with a fork. Put them in the oven and allow them bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
- Chop up your romaine, onion, cucumber and tomatoes and add them on a large bowl that will be good for fridge storage. I like to use these glass mixing bowls with fitted lids. Add in your olives and your cheese and set aside.
- Mix together your olive oil and your vinegar in a separate container that will be good for storage such as a mason jar.
- Once your sweet potatoes are done, you can serve immediately, or if you are planning to pack for a to-go lunch you can allow them to cool and then store them in the fridge in an airtight container such as a tupperware. Make sure to keep your dressing on the side so that your lettuce does not get soggy.
- To prepare for lunch, ready a to go container like a tupperware. Place your sweet potato at the bottom and cut open. Stuff the potato with LOTS of Greek salad. Add some dressing to a smaller to-go container and don't dress until just before eating!