THE ART OF THE BROWN BAG LUNCH


I look ordinary don't I? But I'm holding a Turkey Wrap,  an Arugula salad
and a Cream Cheese and Ginger Snap dessert with brandied figs.

Many of us are trying to save money, and what better way than by taking a homemade lunch to work? Lunch at a restaurant can demolish a $20 bill, not to mention the gasoline to get there. And even a takeout sandwich with chips and a drink can set you back $10. You almost always save by bringing food from home. But let's be truthful: We want lunch to be tasty, healthy and easy, but do we really want to eat at work? YES!

When lunch out is l0$ anywhere minimum and homemade lunch bagging it is a buck, and you can save 9$ a day, 54$ a week, 216 a month, $2592 a year on lunches, --that's exclusive of coffee, which would cost another $1095 annually extra...and total saved if you brown bag it is $3687 a year and if you could invest that sum annually in your drip nephew getting a truck, some drip emitter pipe, doing Drought fixing Water budgeting  gardens and making l00k a year, your business, not his... he's your employee... you could be a millionaire inside of a year. Off BROWN BAGGING IT! How many nephews you got?

According to a recent study by the American Dietetic Association, seven out of 10 people eat lunch at the office more than once a week. You'd think that the three that don't are wasteful jerks. But the SEVEN who eat the brown bag lunch may be unaware they're pigging out as they feel deprived somehow. "Eating at your desk encourages mindless eating and overeating," says dietitian Susan Moores, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman. "You're most likely multitasking and not paying attention to the amount of food." Or as a regular habit, the night before, you pile the pounds of sandwiches and mayo and chips into the bag again... thinking to lift your deprived mood up.

Another possible peril: bacteria. Cleaning your desk daily with
disinfectant can eliminate some of the germs. Place mats help, too, by
providing a physical barrier. But keep them clean. Now, what do you bring to eat?

"There's a temptation to go with a lot of processed foods for the
convenience factor," says Brenda Jones, a registered dietitian at Baylor
Medical Center at Irving. "You don't want to have everything in
packages, like peanut butter and crackers or granola bars. It's easy to
overdo fat and carbs."

Ms. Jones, who often comes to work with leftovers ("something warm is
nice for lunch"), recommends that brown-baggers gravitate toward a
colorful menu. If you've made a turkey wrap, toss in bell pepper strips
and fresh spinach. "I also love sugar snap peas, cucumbers, celery
sticks and baby carrots to dip in hummus," she says. She's also a fan of
berries, apples and other fresh fruit. (The U.S. Department of
Agriculture recommends eating 2 cups of fruit and 21/2 cups of
vegetables daily.) YEAH RIGHT! But with those little plastic cheapie
carry alls, Which I WASH OUT after and re-use, you can stuff groovie
things like salsa, compotes, humus and cress into your lunch pail

Falling into a food rut can lead to eating an artery-clogging burger, so
plan and prepare to NEVER FAIL YOUR TESTBUDS!

"Packing your lunch has a lot going for it," Ms. Jones says. "With a
little planning, you can make lunch a healthy and satisfying break in
your workday."

Brown Bag Tips

    * If you have to make a lot of sandwiches, try the Brown Bag assembly line method: Lay out slices of bread, spread each slice with butter, mustard, mayo or any other spread you are using. Go down the line and add toppings, finish with top slice of bread, then wrap.
    * For easier spreading, freeze breads first, then make your sandwiches. This can also help keep foods chilled and it will be thawed in time for lunch.
    * Use frozen ice packs to help keep cold foods cold. Freezing drinks like juices and iced teas can also help keep foods cold, and who doesn't prefer a cold drink (keep in mind that the containers are likely to sweat while thawing, so wrap you food well so it doesn't get soggy).
    * For a nutritious and low calorie lunch, pack some raw, or lightly steamed (then chilled) vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower or carrots. Add a small container of dip (or individual package of salad dressing) and you've got a great snack or lunch addition.
    * Hummus, whether used as a dip or a sandwich spread is a great addition to any lunchbox.
    * Don't forget stuffed tomatoes! Stuff with tuna or egg salad or even potato, pasta or rice salad.
    * A thermos can keep things hot as well as cold, which opens up a host of lunchtime possibilities. How about soups, or pastas or even stir-frys? A wide mouthed thermos container can be the brown bagger's best friend. Just fill with piping hot food and seal. It will stay hot until lunchtime.
    * Tired of the same old sandwich? How about cold pizza for lunch? Don't forget salads instead of sandwiches (perfect for those cutting carbs).
    * What's exotic for us in normal fare in Japan. Sushi Rolls make terrific lunchbox fare.
    * Frittatas are great served cold and are perfect for packing in a lunchbox.
    * Savory tarts, pies and quiches can often be served at room temperature and add an elegant touch to any box lunch.
    * If you and your co-workers bring your lunches to work, why not start a Brown Bag Club? Divide the week up between 5 co-workers, each day a different person brings brown bag lunches for the group!
*   Store cold foods in the office fridge as soon as you arrive! NAME on it!
•No fridge at work? Pack your lunch in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack.
*Don't use a "community sponge" to clean your plates. Use paper towels and wash dishes in hot, soapy water to remove bacteria.
•Stock essential food safety supplies such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes or paper towels and spray cleanser in office desk.
* PUt the homemade vegie burger into sandwich frozen. 1/2 " thick, it thaws fine. Make vegie burgers two dozen at a time.

Kid Friendly Feast of a Lunch
    * Core an apple and stuff the inside with peanut butter. Top with raisins, nuts, sunflower seeds or toasted coconut. The filling will keep the cut apple from turning brown.
    * Cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, or spread bread with cream cheese and top with dried fruits like raisins, apples or apricots.
    * Mash a banana together with cream cheese and top with fresh apple, pineapple or peach slices.
    * Pack fresh fruit with yogurt dip.
    * Make fancy sandwiches by cutting shapes out of the bread with a cookie cutter (use the crusts and scraps to make breadcrumbs or croutons). Kids love the novelty and will be more apt to finish their lunch.
    * Use lunchtime as a bonding opportunity with your child, include a special little note with each lunch. If you need inspiration check out this wonderful book Napkins: Lunchbag Notes from Dad

ROASTED RED PEPPERS AND BASIL TUNA SANDWICH
2 (6-ounce) cans chunk light tuna packed in water, drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup jarred roasted red peppers, thinly sliced (make once a week, frying in olive oil with jalapeno, onion, garlic, jarring it up.)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
24 slices pumpernickel party bread (we used Pepperidge Farm, which is 2x2 inches)

In a medium bowl, combine tuna, olive oil, pepper, red peppers, basil and vinegar. Spread the mixture on bread. Makes 12 sandwiches, or 4 servings.

PER SERVING: Calories 332 (16% fat) Fat 6 g (1 g sat) Cholesterol 53 mg Sodium 918 mg Fiber 7g Carbohydrates 36 g Protein 30 g

WHITE BEAN AND AVOCADO SANDWICH
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon home made seasoning  salt Blend stuff, celery powder, pepper, garlic powd.
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8 slices whole-wheat bread
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced

In a medium bowl, combine the beans, oil, salt and pepper. Roughly mash the mixture with the back of a fork. Place the bread slices on a work surface. Divide the mashed beans among the slices. Top with onion, cucumber and avocado. Makes 4 servings.Ge ta half price bent can 49c you fed four kids for a quarter each

PER SERVING: Calories 617 (34% fat) Fat 24 g (4 g sat) No cholesterol Sodium 518 mg Fiber 22 g Carbohydrates 80 g Protein 26 g
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SOUTHWESTERN BEAN AND PASTA SALAD

1 (16-ounce) package dried orzo pasta
1 ½ cups of any low-fat creamy dressing (we used Newman's Southwestern Dressing)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (83/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Combine pasta with dressing, toss gently. Stir in remaining ingredients and refrigerate. Makes 8 servings.

PER SERVING: Calories 325 (12% fat) Fat 5 g (No sat) No cholesterol Sodium 788 mg Fiber 6 g Carbohydrates 64 g Protein 11 g
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SPINACH AND BEAN PASTA SALAD
2 cups small seashell pasta (dry)
1/3 cup Italian-style salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
1 cup spinach, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse pasta in cold water. Place in a large mixing bowl and add dressing and salt; mix well.

Combine pinto beans and black beans in a colander; rinse with cold water and add to pasta. Add spinach, tomatoes, dried red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste; toss lightly. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 6 servings.

PER SERVING: Calories 301 (20% fat) Fat 7 g (1 g sat) No cholesterol Sodium 545 mg Fiber 8 g Carbohydrates 47 g Protein 11 g

MINTED CITRUS SALAD

1 small orange, peeled and sectioned
1 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
Mix all ingredients in a bowl; refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 2 servings.

PER SERVING: Cal: 83 (1% fat) No fat No cholesterol No sodium Fiber 3 g Carbohydrates 21 g Protein 1 g
 

GINGERSNAPS AND CHEESE
6 thin gingersnaps
3 small slices of white cheddar, thinly sliced
Layer the cheese between 2 cookies. Makes 1 serving.
Serve with soaked dry figs. Cheap at Arab grocery. I soak 3 split figs at a time in lemon/water. It makes its own syrup. You can add shot of brandy.  Put cream cheese INSIDE them!

PER SERVING (Three sandwiches no figs): Calories 245 (53% fat) Fat 9 g (4 g sat) Cholesterol 60 mg Sodium 695 mg Fiber 1 g Carbohydrates 32 g Protein 17 g More calories per fig you add. ALSO VITAMINS!

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HAM AND PINEAPPLE SANDWICH
1 teaspoon hot honey dijon mustard
2 slices rye bread
3 slices maple-smoked ham
1 slice Muenster cheese
1 pineapple ring

Spread the mustard on both slices of rye bread. Top with ham, cheese and pineapple slice. Makes 1 serving.

PER SERVING: Calories 381 (31% fat) Fat 13 g (6 g sat) Cholesterol 37 mg Sodium 1054 mg Fiber 6 g Carbohydrates 48 g Protein 18 g
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BLUEBERRY-ORANGE COMPOTE

2 cups orange juice
¼ cup sugar
1 pint fresh blueberries

In a medium pan combine orange juice and sugar, bring to a boil and reduce to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in blueberries. Makes 2 servings.

PER SERVING: Calories 292 (2% fat) Fat 1 g (No sat) No c holesterol Sodium 4 mg Fiber 4 g Carbohydrates 72 g Protein 3 g

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SALAD ROLL

2 large Romaine leaves
1 teaspoon sweet mustard
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 thin slices of smoked turkey
2 dill pickle spears

Remove the rib from a Romaine lettuce leaf. Spread with sweet mustard, top with a thin slice of cheddar cheese and 2 thin slices of smoked turkey per lettuce leaf. Place the pickle in the middle. Roll tightly and secure with a pick. Makes 2 servings.

PER SERVING: Calories 129 (60% fat) Fat 9 g (5 g sat) Cholesterol 38 mg Sodium 853 mg Fiber 1 g Carbohydrates 3 g Protein 10 g

ROTISSERIE ROLL
1 (8-inch) spinach tortilla
½ cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
¼ cup canned black beans
1 slice pepper jack cheese
Salsa (home made cuz it's deadly costly) I toss makings together in those cheap plastic containers for leftovers

Place the cheese on the tortilla, top with shredded chicken and sprinkle with black beans. Add salsa to taste. Roll tightly and wrap with wax paper. Makes 1 serving.

PER SERVING: Calories 379 (34% fat) Fat 14 g (6 g sat) Cholesterol 79 mg Sodium 1,039 mg Fiber 6 g Carbohydrates 32 g Protein 29 g
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CHEDDAR AND APPLE SANDWICH
2 slices of whole-wheat bread
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard (or mango chutney, or herbed cream cheese, or apricot spread)
1 ounce thinly sliced cheddar
Several pieces of thinly sliced Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples
Spread each slice of bread with mustard. Top one slice with the cheddar and the apple slices. Sandwich with the remaining bread. Makes 1 serving.

PER SERVING: Calories 284 (36% fat) Fat 11 g (6 g sat) Cholesterol 30 mg Sodium 480 mg Fiber 5 g Carbohydrates 31 g Protein 15 g

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TUNA AND PESTO SANDWICH
2 (6-ounce) cans chunk light tuna packed in water, drained

¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons pesto
8 slices whole-wheat bread preferably BIBLE bread Ezekiel 14. Flourless.

In a medium bowl combine tuna, pepper and pesto. Spread mixture on bread. Makes 4 servings.

PER SERVING: Calories 283 (18% fat) Fat 6 g (1 g sat) Cholesterol 55 mg Sodium 669 mg Fiber 4 g Carbohydrates 24 g Protein 31 g
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AVOCADO/ HOME MADE SALSA Sandwich with CHEDDAR CHEESE.
Bible bread toasted, mayo and salad to keep damp tomatoes in salsa from soaking into bread.
SALSA - cut tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno. Avocado and cheese cubed.

By LISA MARTIN / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
Recipes by JANE JARRELL / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
and part by FABULOUS FOODS.com and POSTED by ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ
Images chosen by her and purloined from the net.
 
 
child cooking with mom
All Those Gourmet Lunches will turn your
child into a major gourmet cook!
Easily married, a frugal provider,
maybe one day a gardener on
a big acre mansion her gourmet husband bought her?
Who will teach her own children to cook!

*   *     *     *     *      *   *     *    *     *      *   *     *     *     *      *   *     *     *     *      *   *     *     *     *

Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, mother of 4  and career Astrologer. Catch up with her websites  TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The  FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! FRUGAL LIFE STYLE TIPS,  HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also ARTISANRY FOR EXPORT, EARN EUROS....* Anita is at astrology@earthlink.net ). Get a FREE natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic! No smarter, more accurate career reading out there!

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