Make Lunch Now – Even if it’s 11 p.m.

26 Feb

 asparagus cover

Here, I show you how to make a salad and a cooked vegetable side in several simple steps and with shared ingredients…this is not a Martha Stewart recipe, but rather a desperation lunch for the time-starved. And don’t fret, fresh, simple foods are actually quite yummy.


Okay so it’s actually 11:23 EST and I’ve just completed making an avocado, tomato and cracked pepper salad…oh, yeah and some asparagus. I really didn’t want to make anything at all right now, but I forced myself, and so should you. After work today and before yoga, I ran into my local Whole Foods and noticed that avocados were on sale (they are apparently in season, even though they are from Mexico, thus not really in season or doing anything to help our carbon footprint here but whatever). So, I impulse bought some avocados and cherry tomatoes with no real plan in mind. And while I’d rather be checking out ‘House of Cards’ or some foreign film on Netflix, I made myself lunch instead!

Here are some photographs and a quick (read really quick recipe of what followed):

1 teaspoon of Canola Oil with Omega 3 DHA

6 red and green pepper slices

4 cherry tomatoes

1 avocado sliced

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon juice to taste (I got mine from a bottle but feel free to squeeze some lemons if you’ve got ‘em)

Grab a plastic storage container. Get all your ingredients together. Slice the avocado open and pull out the giant pit, I usually loosen it with a fork and then pop it out. I cut around the periphery with a butter or steak knife and make slices down the center. I then turn the avocado’s skin inside out to shake out the pieces.


After you’ve cut the avocado, toss it in your plastic lunch container. Chop your peppers and toss your cherry tomatoes in….do I seriously need to tell you what to do next? I kind of feel this is all so intuitive that it would insult your intelligence to indicate that the next steps are. But if you must know, you then toss all the other ingredients together and shake it up a bit.


Not super sophisticated, but it’s actually kind of good.

And now for some Baked Asparagus (this is quick, too, I promise)


You will need:

a baking sheet

10-12 stalks of asparagus

fresh pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon of salt

fresh or bottled lemon juice

PAM or Canola oil

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. While the oven heats, rinse asparagus and gently towel dry. Break off the very ends of the asparagus to ensure you’re only cooking the ripest part. Asparagus will naturally fracture at the point on its bottom end where it is least ripe. Gently do this to each stalk. When finished, place each stalk on your cooking sheet. (Cover the cooking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil if you wish to avoid messy clean up later.)

Spritz the asparagus liberally with PAM (ewww, I know, I know…it’s kinda gross, and you’re thinking that nothing should ever be sprayed liberally with PAM apart from squeaky doors, but it works and it’s not really bad for you, either), or use a half a tablespoon of canola oil just to get the asparagus nice and glossy. Next squeeze on lemon juice to taste.

After, shake on a liberal heaping of pepper and a little bit of salt. Shake it all up by gently shifting the cooking sheet from side to side. Then, you’re off to the races. Toss those bad boys in the oven and let ’em roast for 15-23 minutes depending on the strength of your oven and the thickness of your asparagus. Keep monitoring them intermittently (now is a good time to read the news, grade your students’ papers or prepare a presentation for work) until they are golden brown and the ends are no longer juicy and white.

Let the asparagus cool off and then cover. Enjoy for lunch and/or dinner tomorrow. Unlike the haphazard avocado salad, this is actually something you can serve to other people (e.g. house guests). It tastes fancy, but no one has to know how much time it took (or didn’t take) you to whip up.

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