Saturday, September 10, 2011

Brown Bag Challenge: Week 2

1/3 of the way through Healthy Eat's Brown Bag Challenge! So far it has been pretty easy between the shorter weeks, leftovers, and Mama Yu making me enough food for two lunches!

Tuesday and Wednesday's lunch of this week was courtesy of Mama Yu. Since I was home for the weekend, mom packed me enough food for two lunches. I love when my mom packs me lunch ( I know I'm extremely bias), but she really does make some of the best Chinese food I've ever had. It's never greasy, it's super flavorful, and it's always delicious.

So for lunch, I had pork chops (marinated in black vinegar, sugar, garlic, and soy sauce), string beans (cooked slowly and slightly caramelized), and an egg "omelet" with pickled radish (all of it served over rice). Nothing brightens up your day like a home cooked meal covering all your nutritious food group needs!
Thursday, I brought some homemade beef and corn chili. I'm not a huge fan of beans so I've been replacing most of the beans in my chili with corn. Also, instead of using ground beef, I've been using chopped steak as it has a better texture. The key when using steak vs. ground beef is that you need to tenderize the steak by pounding it out thin and then "marinating" it in cornstarch, which for some unknown reason (to me) helps tenderize it.

Finally Friday, which is always the hardest day to bring lunch since everyone goes out, I brought a sausage and vegetable soup. I've been getting a ton of delicious vegetables in my CSA, but sometimes it's hard to go through it all. So in order to finish the vegetables, Thursday night I made a soup with it! I love vegetable soup because it's so versatile. You can really put almost anything in it. I like to throw in some meat just to give it a little extra flavor. After crumbling some hot Italian sausage into a pot, I added chopped onions, chopped green pepper, diced cucumber, shredded kale, and diced carrots and sauteed them until the onion was slightly translucent. I added some salt, pepper, and parsley to season. Then, I topped it off with 2 diced tomatoes and filled the pot to the top with water and just let it simmer for an hour. I find I really like using onions, pepper, and tomatoes for a base, but really you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand. Delicious and healthy!

Next week is the real challenge. No help from Mama Yu and the first full week of the challenge!

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