Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lunches The Last Two Weeks - Oops

Bad Yennifer. I have excellent reasons for my tardiness though, I swear! 

Last week, I had an event (honestly, the very best part of my job), so there was the mad rush to get it all together, then the event, then the mad rush to clean up, thank, collate, etc. 

I'm going to gush a bit about it, so bear with me, I will get to the recipes, etc. I promise! There was a luncheon and then also a panel, in which I partnered with The Office of Military and Veterans Services at my university. The events last week were actually the second time in seven months in which we've partnered with them, so I think part of my enjoyment of the planning portion was, we recreated certain elements from an event in September, and with most of the same people on board, there wasn't a lot of rushing before hand. 

Anyhoo, our special guest speaker is one of the most amazing young women I've ever met (and brag, I've met some really incredible young people in my time in Higher Education....). Captain Jenna Grassbaugh is finishing her Juris Doctorate, and will join JAG after she graduates next month. She is also a Captain in the U.S. Army, and sadly, for being so young, a Gold Star wife

Here's the kicker: Jenna took the insurance money she received from her husband's death, and started an endowment fund, which provides legal assistance to veterans. They don't have to be affiliated with my university in any way to receive the assistance and/or don't have to be combat veterans - simply have served their country in any possible way, and need help. And the law school here is working to match her original endowment amount. 

WOW. Talk about impact. Talk about a perspective moment.
And holy flarking follow-up: she enjoyed it enough to write about it herself.

Moving on, before I gush even more.....Spring finally hit the Midwest and boy howdy. My allergies have gone bonkers, so I haven't been quite myself for the last few days. 

So - two weeks' worth of lunches and a recipe. Here we go. Thank the baby Buddha for MyFitnessPal, otherwise I'd not be able to give you any detail. 

Monday, April 7: my hacked version of the hacked recipe for Spinach Feta Casserole, which was my last post + one of the last servings of my tomato, roasted veg bake that I hacked from the week before (that's the recipe that will be posted below, so keep reading). In short, leftovers. 

Tuesday, April 8: my event, so I ate better than I normally do. Super delish meal though:
The portions of meat were small - 2 oz. - so very reasonable combined with the sides and veg. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Wednesday, April 9: my daddee's birfday....another serving of the recipe I'll post below. 

Thursday, April 10roasted tomato and veggie bake + 1 cup homemade yogurt and 1 cup sliced, organic strawberries. 

Friday, April 11: my protein shake + greens supplement. 

Monday, April 14: leftover pizza from my dad's birthday lunch on Sunday. It was a delicious white spinach version with roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes. Delish. 

Tuesday, April 15: protein shake + greens supplement.

Thursday, April 17roasted tomato and veggie bake + 1 cup homemade yogurt and 1 cup organic blackberries.

Friday, April 18roasted tomato and veggie bake + 1 cup homemade yogurt and 1 cup sliced, organic strawberries. 

Recipe for my Roasted Tomato and Veggie Bake....

- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- 8 oz. Crimini mushrooms
- Container of sweet mini peppers
- Fresh garlic (I used 5 cloves)
- Half of a shallot
- 2 medium zucchini
- Olive oil, balsamic glaze, sriracha
- Ricotta cheese
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
(not pictured: parmesan cheese, sea salt and pepper)

Optional: if you have any other veg that you want to add, just make sure they are steamed / roasted / cooked slightly before you add them to the bake.

Halve or quarter the grape tomatoes, then chop mushrooms, sweet mini peppers, garlic, and shallots and place all in a large bowl. Drizzle a nice sized dollop of olive oil, as well as balsamic glaze over the veggies and stir until all are coated. I added a wee bit of sriracha sauce too, because I like a little kick. Sprinkle salt and pepper over to taste. 
Detritus from veggies in handled measuring cup - ready for the compost bin!!

Put in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. I did stir things up about half-way through. 

When done roasting, set aside to cool slightly, then transfer to a smaller bowl (to use when you assemble the Bake). 
While the veggies are roasting, slice the zucchini into 1/4" rounds and lay out in a single layer on another baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Set aside and let cool until you can handle the rounds without burning your digits.
Take a 13" x 9" x 2.5" baking pan, and cover the bottom with a bit of the roasted tomato/veg mixture (just to there's a coating on the bottom of the pan). 

Cover them with a layer of slightly overlapped roasted zucchini. Cover the zucchini with the rest of the tomato & veg mixture. 

This is where I used the remaining asparagus, I had steamed the week before. I spread it on top. (Probably about 2 cups total).
Add small dollops of ricotta all over, until it looks like enough. I probably used 1/3 of the container. Add enough shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses to cover the pan (maybe 1/3-1/2 cups each). At this point, I also sprinkled a bit of the North Market Spices Spicy Italian Mix over the whole thing. 

I covered the pan in aluminum foil and cooked the casserole for 55 minutes at 350 degrees, removing the foil with 8 minutes left, so the cheeses have time to brown & bubble a bit. 
Cool it down, cut it up, go to town. I had 8 servings - four of which I put in the frig for lunches, and four of which I froze for future lunches. 
The Jeni's container holds 2 servings. I ran out of containers. 
Really delicious, and because it's mostly veggies, no pasta, and just a bit of cheese, I calculated each serving is 130 calories. BOOM. Even with the added cup of yogurt and cup of fruit, still a lunch of 410 calories.

Life gets a little more steady from here, so should be able to keep up with myself. 

Hope Spring is treating you well where you are and
if there is still snow, that it is disappearing rapidly!!!!

Since I may not be back on until after, Happy Easter! Or Ostara
Or as I like to call it:
Feel free to pray for my heathen soul. 

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