Those who have followed this blog over the past few weeks know that my husband Pete and I have been driving north through the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday, we took the Port Angeles ferry to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
We proceeded to my husband’s uncle’s home, which is located in the verdant hills above Sookie. It’s a home-and-garden phenomenon, with lovely flowers everywhere and a koi pond.
Uncle Steve and Aunt Gail furnished us with wonderful breakfasts and dinners. Below is a simple recipe from Gail that would be great for a side dish in a brown bag meal. Yes, I know….dill and strawberries? A strange combo. But trust me. It tastes great. Delicious with a ham or turkey sandwich.
Baby spinach (can be found bagged in the produce section of most mainstream supermarkets)
4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Four fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice*
Place first three ingredients in a plastic container. Place last two ingredients in a separate container. Pour onto salad at lunchtime.
*A bottled vinaigrette will work in place of the oil and lemon juice mixture.
My husband and I are on a road trip from California to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Yesterday, we made it to Portland, Oregon.
We’re both fans of Guy Fierri’s TV show, “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.” With that in mind, we decided to visit one of Fierri’s Portland favorites, Otto’s Deli and Sausage Kitchen.
Otto’s is located across the Williamette River in East Portland. The neighborhood is older and dotted with 20th century craftsman homes. Lots of lovely trees, shrubs, and flowers: Irises, roses, snapdragons, and much more.
Otto’s is not a large place, but it’s chock full of delicious, German-based product: A large sausage counter, a deli section, and a selection of delicious wines and German beers. We decided to forgo the beer. Instead, we both had pastrami and sauerkraut sandwiches. They were delicious!
In a previous post, I wrote that my husband and I are driving up the coast to Canada. Our first stop was Bishop, California, which is east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Although it’s heading towards summer here, there is still plenty of snow on the mountains. Below is a photo of a Bishop alfalfa field. Gorgeous!
We went for groceries at the Vons in Bishop and decided to purchase a cold lunch: Dietz & Watson roast beef sandwich with cheese at the sandwich counter, and some broccoli slaw with red onion and raisins at the deli. But I also had a hankering for something salty and crunchy and headed for the snack aisle.
I selected a bag of Saffron Road Chickpea chips from a plethora of chip choices. As a rule, I don’t eat chips very often because they have little nutritional benefit and are basically empty calories. At my age, I have to watch for that if I want to keep my “girlish figure,” haha! However, I noted that this product, a combination of lentils, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, cornmeal, and peas, contained 4 grams of protein, which is pretty good for chips. The Saffron Road chips are baked and not fried, and they don’t contain any saturated fat. And for my gluten-sensitive readers, this product is advertised as gluten-free.
And they taste pretty good!
Below are nutrition facts for Saffron Road Chickpea chips. You can also find them at Sprouts Market.
To all my readers….my husband and I will be on the road until the beginning of July. We are driving up the Pacific coast all the way to Victoria, British Columbia. How exciting!
I will continue to write posts as we make our way north, and then south. I’m anticipating lots of stops at restaurants, diners, etal. It will be interesting to see how the foods we encounter might translate into brown bagging. Also, my husband is expert at RV cooking. Which means that we may have to change this blog to “RV Cooking,” at least for the present, lol!
Meanwhile, there will be lots of opportunities to discuss books and articles I read on the way. I already have a list of books I’d love to recommend.
I was in the mood for salad today, but too lazy to make it myself. So, off to Trader Joe’s.
When I worked full-time, I depended on TJ’s premade, single-serving salads to get me through the week. My favorite has always been the TJ Tomato and Mozzarella, made with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, pine nuts, and a lovely spring mix consisting of spinach, chard, arugula, and various types of lettuce.
TJ’s salads come in containers that fit into most standard-size lunch bags. The dressing is packed separately in a plastic envelope.
I added an envelope of Starkist tuna for protein, and half an avocado for….well, substance. It was delicious!
If you’re into counting calories and nutrients, here’s the label for this item:
As you can see, using the entire envelope of their balsamic dressing adds a lot of calories. I chose to use half and found that satisfactory. Another option is to use your favorite low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. There are several brands in most supermarkets.
This menu may look a little complex, but the two dishes can be quickly and easily assembled with pre-cooked, pre-packaged ingredients. The rice and enchiladas freeze and re-heat well in a microwave or Hot Logic thermal bag (see my “Gadgets” section for more on the Hot Logic). A great brown bag lunch!
1.Pour one package of enchilada sauce into a saucepan. Add chicken. Heat on “Low” until simmering. Turn off the burner.
2.Place a tortilla in a 9”x9” casserole dish. Put 1/4 cup of the chicken-sauce mixture in the middle of the tortilla. Add 1/4 cup grated cheese and top with a couple of slices of onion. Roll up the tortilla around the mixture, leaving ends open. Repeat until you have six completed enchiladas.
3.Pour the second package of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese and sliced onions on top. This dish can be microwaved on High for one to one and a half minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.
*Each La Tortilleria tortilla contains 50 calories, 8 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 11 grams of carbohydrates. In addition, each tortilla has only two grams of unsaturated fat and 200mg of sodium.
CILANTRO-LIME BROWN RICE (2 medium servings)
I first tried this dish at Cheesecake Factory and fell in love at first bite. Their version calls for white rice. In the recipe below, I use brown.
One plastic envelope Trader Joe’s Frozen Brown Rice
2 tablespoons cilantro stir-in paste (I found a tube in the produce department at my local Albertson’s)
Juice of one large lime
1.Heat up the rice according to instructions.
2.Stir in the cilantro paste and lime juice. Delicious with the enchiladas!