Lunch Swap!

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Sometimes, just a little change in the week’s routine, some small reprieve from daily chores, can provide a big lift. Like my neighbor dropping off a couple of lunches for me, in containers ready to go.

Michelle and I had a dinner swap when our kids were young. It motivated both of us to try new recipes, new ingredients, and put a little extra effort into cooking on those nights. As our kids and schedules grew, it became less practical. Now, about 10 years later, we’re sharing meals again, but just for the two of us.

We both work full time at busy jobs that require us to snatch time when possible for lunch, and we were already making our own packed lunches. My routine for several years has been to prepare salads for 2-3 lunches on Sundays, and portion them in containers, ready to grab in the morning. I suggested that we alternate weeks to prepare a couple lunches for each other, and it’s been fun so far…

Week 1: I made a quinoa-grilled vegetable salad, and delivered 2 sandwich-sized containers to Michelle

Week 2: She made a broccoli-wild rice salad, and brought my containers back to me, filled

Week 3: My turn again.  With the first threat of frost Friday evening, there were tomatoes in everything we ate this weekend!

Fresh Tomato-Broccoli Salad (about 4 servings)

About 12 oz broccoli, stems, leaves, and florets, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped, juice and all
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
2/3 c long grain brown rice, cooked al dente in 1 c water and cooled
½ c finely minced fresh Italian parsley
½ c finely diced Asiago cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 T dried basil
2 T olive oil
1 t balsamic vinegar

Mix it all up! The tomato juice creates part of the dressing, and the rice will absorb some  liquid.

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