Tag Archives: lunch

E.A.T Sandwiches with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli


E.A.T Sandwiches at Spoonwithme.com (1 of 1)-6

E.A.T–Egg, avocado, tomato…  Three things I haven’t been able to enjoy for a while now.  I’m at the tail end of a month-long break from a chemo drug that made me lose a crazy amount of weight, and decreased my appetite and tolerance for many of the foods I love–you can imagine how hard this has been based on my clear obsession with food.  Right now, food tastes absolutely magical.  Every time I eat, I feel like I’m in some sort of kaleidoscopic hippie dream.  Whoa man, these flavors are for real!  A month ago, I got down to my lowest weight ever (not a good thing), and I keep a chipper face, because whatever the “normal” of the hour happens to be, I’m going to make it the best damn normal I can.  I’m nervous to be off the medication that has helped me so much, but all I can really worry about is right now; and right now my job is to eat, be, and enjoy the technicolor tastes of all my long lost food friends.

E.A.T Sandwiches at Spoonwithme.com (1 of 1)

E.A.T Sandwiches at Spoonwithme.com (1 of 1)

I eat like Van Gogh painted; crazed and unapologetic, making up for lost time.  I’m eating for my life and my health, to add some extra strength and pounds.  My soft-coated wheaten terrier has felt the inconvenience of my increased food intolerances.  She looked on eagerly as I prepared her favorite food, which she hadn’t eaten in a very long time.  Luca, today is a special day, I told her as I fried up the egg with some cracked pepper and fresh thyme.  I found some positively juicy heirloom tomatoes, and layered it all up on toast slathered with sundried tomato aioli, with buttery sliced avocado, fresh arugula, salt, pepper, the egg of course, and a drizzle of tuscan olive oil given to me for my birthday.  

E.A.T Sandwiches at Spoonwithme.com (3 of 19)

E.A.T Sandwiches at Spoonwithme.com (1 of 1)-4

I crunched through the bread, and when the combination of tomato juices, peppery olive oil, and egg yolk hit my mouth,  it got audible.  Hunched over my counter top, I mumbled expletives between bites, messily devouring in my exploded kitchen (maniacs don’t have time to clean as they go). Luca looked up at the spectacle, waiting expectantly for me to sprinkle a few bits of egg on top of the uneaten food in her dog bowl.  We both ate voraciously, and gratefully.  I don’t know what will happen when I go on my new medication.  I don’t have to care about that right now.  Right now, food is my hot crush and psychedelic escapade, and I’m going on an unapologetic magic carpet ride.

E.A.T Sandwiches at Spoonwithme.com (1 of 1)
You can swap ingredients to fit your dietary needs of the moment–use gluten-free bread, or just serve it right on top of the greens like a salad.  You want some cheese?  Slap on some white cheddar, vegan cheese, or whatever will give you your technicolor egg sandwich experience.  You may customize to your heart’s desire, but promise me this: You will eat this E.A.T sandwich voraciously and unapologetically, as if rediscovering something you’ve gone years without.  Knowing that will make my day!  

E.A.T Sandwiches at Spoonwithme.com (17 of 19)

E.A.T Sandwiches at Spoonwithme.com (1 of 1)

E.A.T Sandwiches with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli

This recipe can be customized as you wish, and easily scaled up.  The aioli is easier to blend when made in a larger quantity, and will keep for about a week in the fridge.  It can be used for sandwiches and wraps, or my favorite, on this rosemary tortilla española.  If you’d like to make less,  chop and smash the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and salt into a paste and mix it by hand into the mayonnaise.  It will not be as smooth or deeply colored, but will still taste delicious!

For the aioli:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayo
  • 3 TB finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or sherry vinegar if you have on hand

For the sandwiches:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • leaves from a few sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • sliced tomato
  • sliced avocado
  • baby arugula/baby spinach mix, or your choice of greens
  • 2 slices sprouted grain bread, or your favorite sandwich bread
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  1. Make the aioli: Blend all aioli ingredients in an immersion blender, blender, or small food processor until smooth.  Adjust salt and pepper, and lemon juice or vinegar to taste.
  2. Cook the egg: Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.  Sprinkle a bit of salt, and pepper onto the pan, then crack the egg on top.  Sprinkle the top with the thyme, and a bit more salt and pepper.  Cook for about 4 minutes for over-easy, or 5-6 minutes for over-medium.
  3. While the egg is cooking, toast the bread.  Spread the aioli on the toast, then layer the avocado, tomato on one side, and the  arugula-spinach mix on the other.  Drizzle the olive oil over the greens, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the fried egg on the bread, and serve while hot.




Filed under Breakfast and Brunch, Main Dishes, Sandwiches and Burgers, Sauces, vegetarian, Vegetarian and Vegan

Mexican Veggie “Super Bowls” with Chili Lime Vinaigrette

Veggie Super Bowls at Spoonwithme.com-13

What was I doing on Sunday, you ask?  Well, I was making a super bowl, of course!  Superbowl Sunday is always a great day for three things.  Yummy food, socializing, and knitting on the couch for extended periods of time.  Oh, and I suppose I left out the football!  Don’t get me wrong, I wore my orange and blue for the occasion.  I am a Denver-ite after all.  I daresay I actually watched and enjoyed the game between knits and purls (GASP, a personal first)!    There’s hope yet!  On Sunday morning, while the Mister was excitedly watching the pre-game, my mind was on the food.  I made some gluten-free samosas with chickpea flour wrappers to take to the game, and these “super bowls” for lunch.

Veggie Super Bowls at Spoonwithme.com

Veggie Super Bowls at Spoonwithme.com-7

The previous day, my friend Karissa and I created these bowls together, and then proceeded to chow down.  I just had to make it again on Super Bowl Sunday so I could record the recipe and share it!  I’m always looking for healthy, colorful lunch ideas.  For me, a mostly raw diet is not a good fit.  In ayurveda, my body constitution is “vata”.  I’m always cold and need warming foods to keep my system in balance. If you’re unfamiliar with ayurveda, here’s a good explanation.

Veggie Super Bowls at Spoonwithme.com-8

Veggie Super Bowls at Spoonwithme.com-15

This lunch (or dinner) bowl is easy, healthy, lime-y, spiced and colorful.  It’s a great warm lunch for these winter days, and you can add or subtract ingredients as you like, change up the sauce, and add raw greens or other veggies.  If you like to eat your veggies raw, scatter the rice and veggies over a bed of greens to create a salad.    You can also roll everything into a tortilla or wrap.

Every good get-together needs good food.  If you bring the football enthusiasm, I’ll bring the eats!  I hope you enjoyed your Super Bowl.  I sure enjoyed mine!

Veggie Super Bowls at Spoonwithme.com-12

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Filed under Uncategorized

Veggie Crunch Wraps with Black Bean Hummus

First of all, thank you for all of the thoughtful and uplifting responses to my last post!  I was afraid to put it out there, but was comforted to be met by such an open-armed audience.  Now, without further ado, back to the food!

It’s time to get personal.  Today, I’d like to talk about a subject that often gets lost in the shuffle of everyday work, errands, chores, and even fun.  Let’s talk about lunch, ba-by.  Let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be…and so on and so forth.  What do you eat for lunch?  If your lunch had a name, what would it be?  Ethel?  Or Lo-la???  Frank?  Or Fran-ci-sco?  Does your lunch say “meh,” or is it more like ooh la la?

I think all our lives could stand to have a little more ooh la la in them, so why not start with the forgotten land of lunch?  My kayaking trip got me thinking about lunches.  Each day, our chef and camp moms packed all of us “campers” a wrap, sandwich or pita each day, always with some sort of inventive spread.  One day, we had tortilla wraps with crunchy vegetables with red pepper-bean spread.  Another day, it was baba ghanoush with grilled vegetables.  Simple, but healthy and interesting–a nice change from the usual “leftover” lunches, repeats from the previous night’s dinner.

Here is my version of a smooth and crunchy little lunch wrap inspired by a creation by the chef on my kayaking trip.  In my opinion, every good wrap starts with a good spread.  I began mine with spiced black bean and chickpea hummus.  It really goes without saying that really any kind of fresh vegetables will do here.  I used carrot, kohlrabi, and purple cabbage, tossed in a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt, to wake up the flavors.  Last, I tucked in some roasted red pepper and avocado slices to add a smooth contrast in texture and wrapped it all up in a soft whole wheat tortilla.

Ironically, the mister and I noshed on these wraps for dinner, which I then saved for lunch the next day.   Go figure!

Veggie Crunch Wraps with Black Bean Hummus

Serves 4-6

These wraps are perfect for when the blazing summer heat makes cranking up the oven unthinkable–they’re cool and crunchy, perfect for a day by the pool or a low-key dinner.  The black bean hummus also makes a great appetizer or snack served with veggies or pita.  

For the wraps:

  • 4 cups julienned or thinly sliced vegetables, such as carrots, kohlrabi, cabbage, or bell pepper
  • 2 avocados, pitted and sliced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
  • salt to taste
  • black bean hummus (see recipe below)
  • large whole wheat tortillas or pita pockets

Combine the julienned vegetables in a medium bowl.  Add lime juice and salt to taste, and toss until coated.  Spread each tortilla with black bean hummus, and layer with julienned vegetables, avocado slices, and roasted red peppers.  Fold the side ends of the tortillas over the filling, and roll it up, burrito-style.

For the Hummus:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup tahini

Using a food processor, pulse together the chickpeas, black beans, garlic, water, olive oil, lemon juice, chile powder, cumin and kosher salt until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.  Add the tahini, and blend for an additional 2 minutes until very smooth.  Taste, and add salt to taste if needed.


Filed under Sandwiches and Burgers

Springy Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snaps, Mint and Ginger-Yogurt

Things are beginning to look up.  I spent the entire day last Sunday working on the garden; turning the soil, working in compost, and planting my spring seeds while Luca tore around the garden like a little hellion, leaping across raised beds and over tomato cages, jumping through hose water, and finally, lounging in the shade with her tongue hanging out.   I got a bit carried away this year, as I already planted onions, shallots, radishes, spinach, romaine, kale, shelling peas, and sugar snap peas–and that is just the spring crop!  Every year around this time, I feel like the world is waking up again.  We’re peeling off our winter layers, airing out our houses, and getting some much needed sunshine.

Well, here in Colorado, the first blossoms just arrived on the trees, random crocuses and tulips are appearing everywhere, and my chives have returned in full force.  Sugar snaps won’t be ready until May or June, but planting inevitably got me anticipating my spring crops.  When I went grocery shopping later that day, impatience trumped local, seasonal eating (oops).  I couldn’t help but buy a handful of sugar snap peas to hold me over until the time arrives to pick my own.

I welcome the switchover to each season.  At the first hint of spring weather, I immediately crave more delicate, brighter flavored foods as opposed to the heavier fare of winter.  I mean, come on.  Eating a belly-warming vegetable or meat braise when the sun is shining and the trees are blossoming is like wearing a cable knit sweater and mittens on a tropical vacation.  It just doesn’t balance out.

One of my favorite foods in any season is quinoa (think “keen-wa”).  During the summer,  it’s my Southwest Quinoa Salad, laden with peppers, tomatoes, and farmers market corn, tossed with chile-lime vinaigrette.  In this springy version, I toss quinoa with sugar snaps, chopped mint and toasted almonds, and coat with a gingery yogurt dressing.  The flavors are fresh and crisp, slightly sweet, hinted with lemon and laced with ginger and garlic.  The sesame oil is almost imperceptible, except that it adds a rounded depth to the dressing.  This salad makes a great light lunch on its own, or would pair nicely with some grilled salmon.

I can’t wait until I can make this with peas straight from the garden, although I’ll have to have a little self control; most of my sugar snaps never actually make it into the house since I consider them gardening snacks and eat them straight from the vine.  Colorado is always a little late on the warm-weather front.  I’m curious to know what sorts of spring signs are popping up around you…do tell!

 Springy Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snaps, Mint and Ginger-Yogurt

Makes 4 servings

Use this recipe as a starting point, and feel free to improvise additions or substitutions using the vegetables you have available.  I imagine julienned carrot and green onion would be a nice addition to the sugar snaps, and chopped broccoli might be a good substitution.  

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh roughly chopped mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 medium lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste

1. Thoroughly rinse the quinoa, drain well and place in a small saucepan.  Add a scant two cups of water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 12 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and a what looks like a white thread spirals around each grain. Transfer to a plate to cool.  If the quinoa appears to be cooked, but there is excess water in the pan, uncover, increase heat to medium, and cook for an additional minute or two, stirring constantly, until the water has evaporated.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sesame oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, honey, salt and pepper.

3. Place the cooled quinoa, sugar snap peas, almonds and mint in a medium bowl.  Stir to combine.  Add the yogurt dressing and gently toss to coat.  Garnish with additional almonds and mint if desired.  Serve cold or at room temperature.


Filed under Salads, Side Dishes

“Anytime” Frittata with Chorizo, Potato, and Feta

Three days ago, I made my first frittata.  Three days ago I ate my first frittata.  Three days ago, I burned the heck out of my hand on the handle of my super-heated sauté pan making a frittata…but never mind that.  I ate my frittata that evening, alongside my favorite dinner-mate and a mixed greens salad with roasted shallot vinaigrette.  I noshed on frittata for breakfast, with my favorite canine companion at full attention.  Then, I chowed on frittata for lunch, standing at the kitchen counter thinking about dinner.  Dinner, breakfast, lunch.  I had an epiphany.  Frittatas just might be one of the most versatile dishes known to humankind.

If you are like me, you may be wondering, what is a frittata?  It sounds fancy.  And Italian.  Luxurious, and laborious.  Well, imagine with me if you will, a crustless quiche.  A canvas of whipped eggs filled with whatever vegetables, cheese, or meat suit your fancy at the moment.  This particular frittata starts with eggs whipped with half-and-half, marjoram, salt, and pepper; little cubes of cooked potato, browned chorizo, golden sautéed onions.  Then, it’s topped with salty feta, which melts and leaves the top speckled golden.

Eat it warm, or at room temperature, and accessorize to fit the occasion.  Pair with fresh fruit and an English muffin for breakfast.  Lunch or dinner?  Serve with a light salad or some grilled vegetables.  Shameless snacking?  Eat it by itself, cold and straight from the refrigerator while no one’s watching.  It will still be good.  I’m having a hard time thinking of any other dish I could take to anybody’s house at any time of day.  This can be your go-to breakfast-lunch-dinner-side dish-fancy-casual-easy-impressive contribution to any meal at any time.  Eat it in a box, with a fox.  In a house, with a mouse.  Eat frittata here and there, eat frittata anywhere.

“Anytime” Frittata with Chorizo, Potato and Feta

Adapted slightly  from “Favorite Food at Home:  Delicious Comfort Food From Ireland’s Most Famous Chef”, via the Denver Post

Serves 6-8

  • 2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 pound ground chorizo
  • 8 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram, plus additional for garnish
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, and fill with water to cover the potatoes by one inch.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add a couple pinches of salt, and boil the potatoes for 5 minutes, or until cooked through but still firm.  Drain and set aside.

3. Heat one tablespoon oil in a 10-inch ovenproof frying pan or skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally until it is softened and beginning to turn golden, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove the onion from the pan and set aside. Return the frying pan to the stove over medium heat.

4. Add the chorizo to the frying pan.  Cook for 2-4 minutes, breaking the chorizo into small pieces with a spatula, until it is slightly browned, but not completely cooked through.

5. Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, salt, and marjoram in a medium bowl.  Stir in the chorizo, cooked onion, and potatoes.

6. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the frying pan until hot.  Swirl the oil in the pan to coat the bottom and sides.  Pour in the egg mixture and stir to distribute the ingredients evenly.  Top with the crumbled feta.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until set in the center.  Set the oven to broil, and cook for 1-2 additional minutes, or until the top of the frittata is spotted and golden.  Allow to cool slightly before serving (and make sure not to grab the hot pan handle with your bare hand like I did!).


Filed under Breakfast and Brunch, Main Dishes, Side Dishes