Saturday, February 28, 2009

An update on the vegetarian, portable lunch project

I am writing an entire post about sandwiches. This is because a few weeks ago, I was Googling "portable vegetarian lunch" and "vegetarian brown bag lunch" and came up with nothing but stuff that had to be microwaved or heated up in an office toaster oven. No, I want something I can EAT COLD and just carry away with me! So, I am posting this relatively boring blog entry in case there are other people out there, like me, searching for brown bag lunch ideas.

I have discovered something that should have been obvious--tofu sandwiches.
It sounds pretty gross, I know. I basically just wanted non-meat protein on my lunch sandwiches so that I wouldn't have a blood sugar crash later in the day. For some reason, cheese doesn't work; peanut butter does, but I can only eat so much PB&J.
One day, I discovered "savory baked tofu" at Trader Joe's. That seemed perfect for sandwiches, though I'd prefer baked tofu that just didn't have a flavor. I don't care about flavor; I just want protein!
So, I bought some on-sale vegetables from the discount produce section of Morristown Gourmet Farm (I have no idea why it's called that--it's a small grocery store that is more than 50% produce section) and roasted them the oven, plus a clamshell of mixed salad greens. Here are some of the ideas I came up with:
Tofu, salad greens, roasted red pepper, balsamic vinegar
Tofu, salad greens, roasted red pepper, feta
Tofu, salad greens, roasted red pepper, roasted eggplant

So, they're basically things I would normally eat on a sandwich, with tofu on there for protein.

Then, at Wegman's the other night (I have now taken to shopping at 10PM to avoid crowds...potentially weird) I saw they had a whole case of tofu. I wasn't really in the mood to go digging through the case through all the flavors of tofu. Again, I didn't find any plain old baked tofu. That's all I want! Something with no flavor so I can combine it with anything! I found the next best thing--

Smoked tofu.

OK, on its own, it looks kind of weird. I'm sure it doesn't taste like something I'd just eat out of the package. But combined with other things, it's great! I mean, the sandwiches are not just lunch, but actually really, really good. Again, they were basically things I'd eat on sandwiches on their own, with the tofu thrown in for protein, but the smokey flavor really added something. Here's what I came up with:
Avocado, balsamic vinegar, salad greens, smoked tofu (with or without roasted red pepper) (actually the balsamic vinegar was optional, too)
Mushrooms, salad greens, mustard, smoked tofu
various combinations of things from the above list, with or without roasted red pepper and/or mozzarella

This one, however, was the best--Mozzarella, roasted red pepper, Trader Joe's bruschetta spread, salad greens, and smoked tofu.

It's all fairly healthy, too.
Ok, that's it. I promise I'll write something more interesting soon. Like about my trip to Montreal, or about things from jury duty I don't feel shady writing about.

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