Workday Lunches by Crafty Maggie
So if you've been following Seri's stories on the LMP Instagram, you've probably seen how much she loves to poke fun at my craft projects and creative lunches. I don't take it personally because I know she's just jealous ;) While she is sitting there scrounging up a bowl of cereal or some cheese and crackers, I'm walking back to my desk to eat a balanced meal with protein and veggies. Even in the photo above, Seri ordered a green smoothie in Miami which she knew she would never drink and hand right over to me, HAH! And I loved every sip of it. When it really comes down to it, I think I've just finally learned how to treat my body so I am at my most productive.
I exercise most mornings of the week and I try my best to eat healthy meals whenever I can. Of course, I also love to indulge like any normal person. I happen to be the only one in the office with a sweet tooth, so you can imagine who ends up eating all the leftover cupcakes after our photoshoots (oops!). For me, it's all about balance. Keeping up with my green veggies, lean proteins, and healthy carbs for MOST meals helps me stay nourished all day after a morning of working out. When I say most... I mean that! Besides the healthy recipes you'll see below, you'll also see last week's indulgent lunch choice.
GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD, PESTO QUINOA, AND BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB: So this might seem a little fancy for your typical office lunch, but in all honesty, it just takes a little prep at home and it can last you for a few days of meals.
1. Grilled Romaine Salad: I use the term "grilled" lightly because what I actually do is slice the romaine heart in half and pan fry it, just enough to get the edges wilted and a little crispy. A touch of olive oil and salt does the trick. To top, I add slices of roasted red peppers from the jar, crushed walnuts, fat free feta (tastes just as good as the real stuff!) and finished with balsamic glaze. You can probably make 4-5 salads from buying the 3-pack of romaine hearts!
2. Pesto Quinoa: Cook your quinoa as normal, with one cup of dry grains to 2 cups of water. When the quinoa is almost cooked, I add salt, a little olive oil, and 3 tablespoons of pesto. This should be about 4 servings of quinoa.
3. Braised Beef Short Rib: The recipe I use calls for a crock pot, but I'm sure there are many modifications if you don't have one. I used one pound of bone-in beef short ribs, which I first rubbed in a little salt and pepper before searing the edges quickly in the frying pan. Next, I mixed a cup of beef stock, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, and some additional salt and pepper into the crock pot. I added the short ribs to the mixture and let them cook for 7 hours before pulling out the bones. This lasted me for 3 meals and was a delicious treat, as I usually only eat white meat!
TURKEY MEATBALLS AND PESTO ZOODLES: This is one of my all time favorites because it's easy to prep at home and really helps me get those good greens in all at one time. I use the Veggetti (hilarious name, I KNOW) to make my noodles, but you can usually buy them pre-made at most grocery stores.
1. Pesto Zoodles: My recipe is really easy, since I just buy the pesto in the jar (even though I would love to homemake mine someday!) Use one FULL zucchini to make the noodles. Add a small spoonful of olive oil to your pan and cook on medium for about 10 minutes, adding salt and pepper to your taste. If it seems to be getting too sticky, add a little bit of water. Add 2 tablespoons of your pesto and mix thoroughly.
2. Turkey Meatballs: These are a great way to add a lean protein into your meal and can be eaten so many ways. Even though here I ate them with the zoodles, I often just eat them with a side of roasted veggies or on top of a grain! I use one pound turkey meat, one egg, seasonings of my choice (mostly salt, garlic, and basil), and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs for the mixture. I make small sized meatballs, usually yielding about 20 for 1 pound of meat. I do this because I like to cook them on the stove at low heat with a lid on the pan, and when the meatballs are smaller, they cook through faster. Turn the meatballs occasionally so they brown on every side for about 10 minutes.
FRUIT, GRANOLA, AND YOGURT BOWL: This one is perfect when you really don't have time to cook, but can bring some raw, fresh ingredients into the office and prep lunch there. It can double as a breakfast food, but why not make it lunch once in a while?
For my bowl, I used one cup of vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt, 1/4 cup of blueberry granola from Wegmans (a treat sent from home!), 1/2 sliced banana, 1/4 cup blackberries, 1 sliced kiwi, and some squeezed orange for added citrus flavor and Vitamin C.
With bowls like this, I've learned to just get creative! See what fruits are looking the most fresh in store at the time of year you're shopping and decide what flavors you like to pair best together. I also love adding strawberries and mango!
SMOKE SHACK BURGER AND FRIES: No explanation or recipe for this one, guys. This was a recent indulgent meal, which usually happens on a week we are VERY busy in office and Abby and I finally look at each other and say "wanna order in today?" knowing we won't have time to think about prepping something. Sure, we have some great healthy options around us (my favorite being Sweetgreen), but we also just got a Shake Shack right across from our office. What can I say? When the craving is there, I can only ignore it for so long!
Would you like to see more of my healthy meal recipes OR my favorite indulgences?! Let me know in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I love to eat and am happy to share my food journey around NYC if you want to hear about it. Happy eats, this week!