Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An Inspired Lunch

Last week I was catching up on blogs and read Lara's post over on Good Cook Doris.  She made this amazing potluck dish with stuff she had in her pantry.  I left a comment saying that I should learn to do the same when I'm making my lunch for work - since I sometimes punk out and buy a sandwich.  Then Monday night rolled around and I was tired from the marathon, totally lazy, and about to resign myself to the deli sandwich when I rememberd my comment.  It pounded in my ears the same way that my mother's voice sometimes hammers at me when I'm about to buy a too-expensive accessory, or wear a dress without a slip, or leave the house with wet hair.  It's that voice you hear when you're doing something you know you shouldn't.

That comment really nagged at me.  I couldn't get a sandwich.  I had food in my fridge and my pantry.  I couldn't be a hypocrite, not on the blogs and not to my foodie friends.  They're the only ones that let me ramble on about that amazing cheese I had last week, or how that olive oil definitely tasted lemony.  And they don't judge me for it.  They ask me where it came from, where I ate it!  I owed it to Lara, and Megan, and Katie and Pam, Susie & Chelsea - and all the other food bloggers I rely on for inspiration and recipe recco's....I couldn't have them all think that my comments were B.S.!

So I opened the pantry looking for quinoa, rice, a grain...How did I run out?  This didn't make sense.  OK, barley.  I could make some barley.  And I had some arugula - I always have cheese, beans....

So here it is - my lunch from today.  Incidentally, it was so tasty filling and healthy that I made it again tonight for tomorrow's lunch.  Thanks for the inspiration Lara!

Arugula salad with chickpeas, barley, red pepper, and pear.  Curls of manchego cheese on top.  On the right is a simple vinaigrette made with a little dijon, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Why don't I make barley more often?  It's very chewy and filling!


  1. Alicia, not only do I totally agree about barley, but I also wanted to say that your food photography is getting better and better. I'm loving your pictures lately.

  2. Thanks Munch! I had wanted to get a new camera, but I think I'm starting to really get the hang for taking food photos with a point and shoot!

  3. Sometimes the best meals are the simplest - I can't beat arugula, pecorino, and proscuitto with oil and vinegar as my go-to on-the-spot meal.

    And that oil was definitely lemony...

  4. Wow - this looks delicious! Glad I was able to inspire such a tasty lunch. Thanks for all your inspiration too!

  5. Yum! The salad sounds delicious! Love barley and chick peas also and will have to do this combo! Thanks!

  6. Pam1 - I know - I'm loving the arugula. I've gone through a ton in the past week. Makes a wonderful salad....I love how the greens are peppery but not too tough.

    Lara - Thanks! we need to do another blogger meet-up and share some recipes!!

    Pam2 - Yes, the barley was definitely the sleeper hit of the salad. Once it was all mixed up the barley pulled the whole thing together - definitely give it a try!

  7. That's one great lunch! I am actually in such a habit of NOT buying lunch that I find it strange to do so. There is always something in the pantry, freezer, fridge that you can combine and create a delicious combo. Great job! :D

  8. Elina,
    Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to reading your blog as well. I can always use more inspiration in the packed lunch department!

  9. Hehe, I KNEW I've read your blog before. It was really nice to meet you in person tonight. Btw, I just spotted that you made the banh mi sandwich a little while back. I made it too last month (http://healthyandsane.com/2010/04/celebrating-easter-with-yard-work/) - it was fabulous!!
    Looking forward to seeing you again on Thursday!

  10. HAHA... you're hilarious. We would have been *really* disappointed in you had you not made this ;) Probably wouldn't have talked to you anymore! hehehehe. [Chels]