Easy Clean Lunches

standard February 16, 2011 Leave a response

First, I have to mention my husband’s dinner making skills. He has only made dinner (from scratch) for me twice, and this year’s Valentine’s dinner was just as excellent as the one he made me a couple of years ago. Before we ate, he asked me if I was going to take a picture of it first. I guess photographing my dinner is commonplace at our house now?

This is what I came home to. He even created a menu for the meal. 🙂

He made me a (mostly) vegan meal: breaded tempeh with spaghetti and steamed green beans.

Now onto some recipes!

Usually when I cook through a cookbook, I plan specific items for lunches. This week I decided to just wing it, and I’ve been impressed with what turned out! I made Tuesday’s tomato soup on Sunday so it would be ready to go since Tuesday is always a busy night for us. And I made sure to make extra for lunch. But to go with this easy soup, I needed a sandwich  complement. And then, so I wouldn’t get sick of too many sandwich/soup combos, I also mixed up a fantastic salad for a couple of days.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Adapted from Super Natural Cooking


  • 8 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 T paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cut tomatoes in half and onion in quarters. Lightly oil a sheet pan and lay vegetables skin side down on the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 400 for about 30 minutes or until veggies are soft and starting to brown.
  2. Puree veggies with garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a stockpot and heat with the stock. Season with paprika and extra salt and pepper as needed.

Leftover tempeh on bread with hummus and grilled makes an excellent grilled cheese substitute with this soup! You can also serve with this sandwich:

Cucumber and Arugula Sandwich

Serves 1.


  • 1 sandwich thin or 2 pieces of whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 sliced cucumber
  • 2 T hummus (I used a sun-dried tomato basil flavor)
  • 1 handful arugula


  1. Spread 1 T hummus on each side of sandwich thin or bread.
  2. Layer sliced cucumber on one side and arugula on the other. Combine and enjoy!

Or try pairing the soup with my new favorite salad. Salads are so easy to create and mix together!

Arugula-Apple Salad

Serves 1.


  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 pink lady apple (or any other crisp sweet variety), diced
  • 1/4 sliced cucumber
  • 2 T dried cranberries
  • 1 T pumpkin seeds
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 1 T hemp oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine arugula, apple, cucumber, cranberries, and seeds together.
  2. Whisk oil, vinegar, agave, and salt and pepper to combine. Toss on arugula mixture and serve.

Not only are these easy to make and mix and match, they use similar ingredients and are pretty cheap to put together so you can get a week of delicious, easy, and cheap lunches from just three recipes!

Mix and match however you would like!

Pumpkin Hummus

standard October 31, 2010 1 response


Sometimes I wonder why I spend my entire weekends in the kitchen. Yes, I LOVE baking and cooking and experimenting – I could spend every day in the kitchen and be perfectly content. But weekends get stressful when there are things to do besides food! Weekends like this one … planning ahead for the week almost didn’t happen. But the reward of having everything ready is no stress during the week. At least in theory. This week, I planned out breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for both the husband and myself. This meant two completely separate menus since we eat completely different things. I make it less stressful by using only one cookbook and using lists for each menu and my grocery list. Having a plan is really helpful for both the grocery list and shopping and for calorie control – we graze less when we are prepared!

So what’s on the menu for this week?

  • experimenting with “loaded oats” for breakfast – adding rice protein powder to my regular oatmeal for the extra protein boost
  • making my own pancake mix so we can whip up single servings instead of large batches in the morning
  • healthy cookies for the inevitable sweet tooth
  • soup! miso soup and chicken chili go a long way for lunch
  • quick grain and veggie dinners since this week is just as hectic as last
  • reinventing the standard hummus recipe


Pumpkin Hummus

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups

Calories per serving: 55 kcal per 1/4 cup


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 T water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 T tahini
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • salt and pepper


  1. Combine chickpeas, water, and olive oil in a food processor.
  2. Add pumpkin butter, tahini, garlic and sage and mix until smooth. 
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Enjoy with pita chips and zucchini slices.


Per serving (1/4 c): 56 calories, 7 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 201 mg sodium, 1 g sugar