My enterprise of being a better cook has taken a new turn. My husband approached me last week about having our housekeeper pack his lunch. While I think she would actually enjoy doing this, the language barrier of the details would prove difficult. I suggested that I could pack his lunch.
After 21 years of marriage, we’ve both been down that road before. In our lean years, David would take a whole loaf of bread and make sandwiches out of it and then put it back in the bread bag and his lunch was packed for a whole week. In other times, I would pack his lunch in old margarine or Cool-Whip bowls – things I don’t even buy anymore – and then he could use them and throw them away. That worked reasonably well until he pack his lunch and arrived at work… sat down to eat… opened his container to find he had brought a bowl full of MARGARINE to work. In other times, I would send him his lunch with foods I liked and he would get tired of it. David just has a more varied palette than I do. But I took his complaints personally and eventually stopped doing it. Occasionally, David would pack leftovers and my Rubbermaid or Tupperware containers would come back weeks later with medical experiments growing in them.
I suppose it goes without saying that the suggestion of my packing his lunch came with it’s own baggage.
But David’s afternoon meal had reached a serious impass. His office orders the same sandwiches for takeout daily. There is no microwave and no chance for anything hot except for bowling water added to instant soup. The idea of that just sent shivers up my spine. I can’t be cooking gourmet at home and sending my husband to work with instant cup-a-soup and a pre-made whole loaf of sandwiches – The Horror!!!
So far this week, I have made Gazpacho and Chicken Salad.
I’d never made Gazpacho before. And I never got to taste this soup, it didn’t last that long in the house. And, after David took it to work once, a coworker had a taste of it and I was requested for a second bowl for the coworker on the following day.
Want the recipe? It came out of my trusty “Whole Foods Market Cookbook”.
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 1/2lbs tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped or 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained – that’s what I did.
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
1 medium red pepper; seeded and roughly chopped ( about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups tomato puree
1 cup tomato juice
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
Place half the onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse to chop coarsely. Remove the chopped vegetables and set aside. Repeat with the second half of these vegetables.
Combine the vegetables with the olive oil, tomato puree, tomato juice, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a large container. Blend in the balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
The Chicken Salad recipe was a huge hit. You can find it here – Chicken Salad Recipe.
This week, I have planned leftover roast chicken, pasta salad, veggie salad, veggies and hummus (a definite perk of living in the middle east is the hummus! I can’t wait to report on his opinion on the pasta salad! I’d tell you but then he’d read this and wouldn’t be as surprised!!