Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DIY Yogurt Cup

Ok, I'm officially obsessed with this. And I've been obsessed ever since I came across the idea on The Kitchn - why hadn't I thought of it before?! Using a canning jar to store your lunch is just plain brilliant - it's pretty much leak proof, first of all, but it's also just so darn cute and pretty.

"But where oh where do I get a canning jar?" you ask? I picked up a few at The Brooklyn Kitchen for just over a dollar each, but canning supplies are all over the place these days. Many Whole Foods stock them, and I've also seen the jars at dollar stores. Any jar will do if you really can't find one, just make sure you're confident in its ability not to leak.

I also love this because so many yogurt cups are loaded with sugar, and here you get to control the precise sugar content. Don't feel limited to jam - fruit and honey are also options! It's also a great way to save money and buy larger containers of yogurt instead of smaller (non-recyclable) cups. I love the idea of dolling out yogurt and jam into five jars on a Sunday night, then topping them off with nuts or granola stashed at your desk when you plan to eat them!

I'm wondering what else would be good to bring in a canning jar...right now I'm thinking oatmeal, maybe soup. So much better for the microwave than plastic, and not much heavier. Any other suggestions?

Grocery list
  • Plain yogurt (I used Stoneyfield Farm's organic reduced-fat version)
  • Small canning jar (I'm assuming you'll have to buy this...)
  • Optional: fruit, honey, etc.
  • Jam or preserves (a low-sugar version would be great)
  • Nuts or granola


Spoon the jam into the bottom of the jar. About two tablespoons works for me, but use whatever you like. Top with about a cup of yogurt. For the jar pictured, I actually put everything together more than 24 hours before eating it, and the walnuts I used weren't soggy at all. But, if you plan to use granola or store the cups for a few days, it might be better to add the topping when you're ready to eat it.

Yield: 1 serving
To bring: canning jar!

Questions about the cooking method? Please let me know in the comments! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Avocado Toast

I know what you're thinking - what a pretty picture! Many thanks to Ferris of Dove + Sparrow wedding photography for teaching me how to actually use my camera! To think, all this time I was trying to shoot with fluorescent lights. And who knew aluminum foil had uses outside of the kitchen? Stop by her newly designed site to see some great photography (and yes, stalk pictures of my wedding!)

On to the gloriously photographed food at hand...although, avocados are fairly glorious no matter how bad the photo is. I love that they come in their own packaging - as long as it's not too mushy, you can just throw one in your bag, or even have a few ripening on your desk (stick them in a paper bag to speed things along.) I topped this with a squeeze of fresh lemon (you can pack a few slices in a plastic bag, they're also great for drinks) and chili flakes, which are a great desk pantry staple. My last office always had some floating around due to massive pizza orders! There's some cilantro on there too, which you could pack in with the lemon, but it's optional.

And yes, I cut the avocado open with a plastic knife and spooned it out with a plastic spoon, just to see if it could be done! It's no trouble at all as long as the fruit is ripe.

Grocery list
  • Avocado - 1 medium (I find they're most affordable packaged as bags of four in many stores)
  • Bread (or crackers like melba toast) - 1 slice
  • Lemon or lime - juice of 1 wedge (or a few squirts of bottled)
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Red pepper flakes - to taste

Toast the bread and slice it. Granted, you have to have a toaster in your office for this lunch to work properly. If you don't have one, avocados are perfectly good on untoasted bread, or there's always melba toast! Cut open the avocado and spoon out each half onto the slices. Mush it together and top with salt, chili flakes, lemon juice and whatever else you like. I think za'tar would be another great option. Any other suggestions?

Yield: 1 toast
To bring: plastic bags

Questions about the cooking method? Please let me know in the comments!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's Your Biggest Lunch Challenge?

Empty, but not forgotten

Since starting this blog, I've heard many different reasons for why it's so hard to bring a healthy lunch to work every day. So I'm curious - what makes it difficult for you? I want to bring you the most relevant recipes and tips, so please help a sister out and answer the question below!

What is your biggest challenge in bringing a healthy lunch?
I'm excited to hear from you!

Photo used under Creative Commons from Flickr user stillframe.