What is a penny pinching lazy gal to do when faced with needing to prepare lunches for the work week ahead? Woodman’s is out of paneer AGAIN, so I can’t go to my usual fall-back. I’m trying to prepare as many meals at home as I can for physical and financial health, so I didn’t order from the super fabulous healthy meal service in Eau Claire. I need to eat more veggies, so I want to avoid meat and cheese sandwiches. What to do? What to do?
The answer my friends, is blowing in the wind. OK, not really, but it was in People Magazine’s Summer Grilling special issue!
I made a variation of Tiffani Theissen’s Summer Orzo Salad. I took out the cucumbers, because yuck, replaced the orzo with couscous, and left out the arugula because I didn’t even think of adding it. Stuff happens, or in this case, doesn’t. I swapped sun-dried tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes, and added frozen peas and chopped red bell peppers. I also only used one can of chickpeas instead of the two called for in the recipe.
I’ll warm it up a bit in the microwave for lunch and then stir in my feta cheese. I have some plain feta for tomorrow, the rest of the week I’ll be using tomato and basil seasoned feta. I have enough to last my four work days, and with the flavors in the salad, I don’t think I’ll get tired of it.
The whole process of prepping and cooking only takes about twenty minutes, and we had many of the ingredients on hand. With needing to only buy couscous, peppers, and more feta, the whole dish cost less than $5.00 for four days.
Now I’m thinking of all of the former child and teen stars that have their own cooking shows and lifestyle blogs. Tiffany Theissen, Tia Mowry, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Haylie Duff, Lauren Co, I think Blake Lively had one going for a bit too. I’m totally jealous. But I’ll keep writing and I’m sure eventually Old Navy will approach me to star in their ads and Coach will name a style of bag after me and Urban Decay will design a line of eye liners inspired by me. 😉