As I mentioned in the breakfast edition of Swapping In, I’ve been getting really sick of both my breakfasts and my lunches lately. So, I started making a few changes.
First of all, it’s no surprise to me that I look forward more to a hot, stick-to-your ribs kind of lunch.
I do want to eat salads on some days, but I’m definitely learning that the kind of salad I make matters. In order for me to look forward to a salad, it has to be one I’ll love. It has to be exciting. And I really can’t have the same salad more than once in a week.
Most importantly, I can’t just throw a bunch of veggies into a container with a bland dressing and hope for the best.
That’s kind of what I did yesterday.
Into the mix went:
- Romaine lettuce
- baby spinach
- grilled chicken
- cucumber slices
- baby heirloom tomatoes
- red bell peppers
- Trader Joe’s Goddess dressing
Again, don’t get me wrong – it was good!
I just was so over it by the end. I ate about 3/4 and then had to throw it out. It just stopped being appetizing.
Thus began my need for a break from salads and a return to hot lunches. So, last night, I made a big batch of something that I could use for lunches this week.
makes about 5 big servings
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 3 large zucchini, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 pint cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 package cooked & seasoned lentils from Trader Joe’s
- 2 15-oz cans diced, unsalted tomatoes
- 1/3 cup smoky BBQ sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 1/2 can light beer (I used a classy Bud Light)
Chop all vegetables and individually (by vegetable) saute in olive oil spray in a saucepan.
Transfer all sauteed vegetables to a big pot on the stove.
Add lentils, diced tomatoes, BBQ sauce, and all spices. Let cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
When it seems done and ready to eat, add beer and stir to distribute. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
Serve, topped (optionally) with 0% greek yogurt (or sour cream) and shredded sharp cheddar (or other, but that’s definitely my favorite) cheese.
All mixed together…
(how I like to eat it)
This is a perfect, stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish for those of you who, like me, generally need something hot and substantial at lunchtime.