Tag Archives: Lunch

Cucumber Tuna Salad on Romaine with Roasted Walnuts

Hm, what to do when you’re hungry and your only source of protein is a can of tuna? And you want to eat healthily, simply, but still yummily?

You get chopping. That’s what you do.

For a doze of Omega 3’s, vitamins, and protein, try this salad. Or rather, salad duo, since the tuna salad sits on top of some shredded romaine in a lemon and cracked pepper dressing.

Super easy. Fairly quick. Ultra healthy.

Cucumber Tuna Salad on Romaine with Roasted Walnuts
serves 1

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tsp. for tuna salad
1/4 tsp. freshly cracked pepper, plus a little more for the tuna salad
enough onion salt to taste
1/2 can flaked tuna in water, drained
1/3 c. finely diced English cucumber
1 very small carrot, shredded
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

  1. To roast the walnuts, either use the microwave (a couple minutes on high and stir every 30 seconds, until fragrant) or the oven (400 degrees for 5 minutes, stir once, until fragrant). Set aside.
  2. Mix the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season with cracked pepper and onion salt to taste. Set aside.
  3. Mix tuna with the remaining olive oil, cucumber and season with cracked pepper and onion salt to taste. Set aside.
  4. Place shredded lettuce on a dinner plate and spoon the tuna salad in the middle. Sprinkle the shredded carrots around the tuna salad and drizzle the dressing over the romaine. Finally, sprinkle with roasted walnuts.
  5. Toast to your health!

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Filed under Lunch, Seafood, Vegetables

Handmade Noodles with Fried Tofu Curd

We had leftover dough from dumplings again. Usually it gets wrapped and left in the fridge until someone remembers it, then it gets transformed into green onion pancakes or handmade noodles.

The way I’ve always learned to make noodles is rolling out the dough until very thin, generously flouring, folding several times, and finally cutting into thin strips. I decided to play with the dough today and stretched the dough until the strands became thinner and broader. The texture is slightly different but definitely not something you can experience using storebought noodles, even storebought “handmade” ones.

The fried tofu curds come in a package and can be bought from an Asian food market. The broth consists of the tofu, bok choy, sliced green onions and minced ginger. A very satisfying lunch. 🙂


Filed under Chinese, Lunch, Vegetarian

Double Bean Fried Rice with Cashews

We always have leftover rice at our house. Always. It’s because no one like rice, except my brother. But my dad actually gets offended and yells at me if I give Franklin more rice at the dinner table.

That is why we always have leftovers.

Which is the blank canvas for a plethora of different kinds of fried rice. Lunch was fried rice with green beans and green soy beans (available at Asian food markets). Also toasted cashews, which adds a great nuttiness and crunch to every bite.

Double Bean Fried Rice with Cashews

2 c. leftover white rice, fluffed
1/2 c. whole cashews, coarsely chopped
1 c. trimmed green beans, cut in 1/4 inch segments
1 c. frozen green soy beans
1/4 lb. kielbasa sausage, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. oil
salt to taste

  1. Heat oil in a hot wok over medium high heat. Add green onions, garlic, and cashews.
  2. Toast, stirring, for about a minute. Add the sausage and brown for about a minute.
  3. Add the green beans and cook for about three minutes, or until tender.
  4. Add the soy beans and heat through. Finally add the rice and distribute evenly throughout the vegetables.
  5. Heat for an additional three minutes. Salt to taste.


Filed under Chinese, Lunch

Chinese Takeout…from Home

I whipped this together for lunch today. It was easy, healthy, and yummy. Helps you to be well on your way to getting your vegetables. My mommy made chicken meatball soup for dinner last night and we had some leftover meatball mixture. I panfried that in lumps that I’d like to call meatballs and roughly chopped it to include in my stir-fried noodles. If you would like to have this dish vegetarian, just omit the chicken and substitute panfried tofu.

Chinese Stir-fried Noodles with Vegetables
serves 4

8 oz. broad noodles (ShanDong La Mian)
1 small crown broccoli, broken into florets
2 small carrots, sliced on a bias
1 large stalk celery, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns
1 Tsp. finely chopped ginger
1 green onion, sliced
3 Tbps. light soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Chinese red vinegar
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce (I often use this sauce to add a touch of sweetness to dishes)
salt to taste
panfried meatballs, or tofu, or sausages, or nothing

Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water. Be sure to stir briskly to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Broad noodles especially tend to stick. After about two minutes of boiling, or when the noodles first begin to soften, add the broccoli, carrots, and celery to the boiling pot. Drain well after everything is cooked, after another few minutes.

In a large wok, heat the oil until fairly hot, on medium heat. Add the peppercorns and toast for three minutes, until very fragrant. Pour in the soy sauce, vinegar, and hoisin sauce. It will spatter, so be prepared and shield yourself with a pot cover, which is what I always do. Mix well and add a bit of water if the mixture appears to be reducing too fast. Add the green onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for one minute, then toss in the noodles and vegetables.

Toss together well, adding more water if the noodles are too dry. Turn off the heat and season with salt. Serve and congratulate yourself on being healthy!

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Filed under Chinese, Lunch, Vegetables

Crispy Tofu Sandwich with Sweet Soy Mayo

This was surprisingly good. I’ve never been the one for vegetarian sandwiches and have never had a tofu sandwich. This was a good little experiment to start making them more often. It’s a tasty vegetarian sandwich with an Asian flair.

The tofu is brushed with a soy sauce and hoisin sauce concoction, coated with seasoned flour, and panfried until crispy and browned. The leftover sauce is mixed with a bit of mayonnaise to spread on toasted whole wheat bread. Yum!

Oh, and the best argument I’ve heard on being vegetarian is the global food crisis. I can understand that, and even became a vegetarian for a few months a while back, for that reason.

Crispy Tofu Sandwich with Sweet Soy Mayo
makes 4 sandwiches

2 large blocks of firm (or extra firm) tofu, cut horizontally into 4 slices
3 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. corn starch
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
a few tablespoons oil, for frying
8 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
8 lettuce leaves

Pat the tofu slices with paper towels until dry, set aside. In a microwavable bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, and corn starch. Mix together until blended. Put the flour, salt, garlic powder, and pepper on a plate. Mix well with your fingers. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, drizzle in a couple tablespoons oil. Take a slice of tofu, brush with the sauce on both sides, and coat well with the flour mixture. Place on the hot skillet. Repeat with all tofu, you may need to do this in batches. You will have leftover sauce, reserve. Fry the tofu slices for about 5 minutes on each side, or until crispy and well-browned. Remove from pan and place on a separate plate.

Put the leftover sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Mix together with mayonnaise. Spread one tablespoon on each of 4 slices of bread. Take the other 4 slices of bread, layer with lettuce, two slices of tofu each, and place the bread with mayo on top.

Serve immediately. Leftover sandwiches will no longer be crispy, but they are still quite flavourful.


Filed under Lunch, Vegetarian

Penne with Sausage and Tomato Sauce

We had this for lunch yesterday. It was very easy, relatively quick, and pretty darn tasty. Italian sausage is simmered with crushed tomatoes with basil, onion, and a bit of butter. Then tossed with whole wheat penne. Good stuff.

One thing about tomato sauces. I used to be a super herby kind of girl. I tossed herbs of every kind into my tomato sauces. Of course everything do not always taste good together. That saying something along the lines of “if you use a lot of good tasting ingredients, you can’t end up with something other than good tasting food,” unfortunately, isn’t always true.

Since then I’ve abandoned the herbs approach when it comes to tomato sauces. I became more of a purist. I tried the three-ingredient tomato sauce from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking. I became a believer. That simple sauce is unbelievably good for something that takes next to zero effort to put together. Heck, my kitchen un-savvy boyfriend can make it. All it takes is butter, onion, and tomatoes! You don’t even need to chop the onion! Seriously, if you’ve never tried it, you simply have to.

One 28 oz can tomatoes.

Half a stick of unsalted butter.

Half an onion.

Don’t chop anything. Don’t brown anything. Toss everything in a large sauce pan. Simmer for about half an hour, or until the tomatoes break down and your kitchen smells heavenly. I eat the sauce with spoon. And the onion with my fingers.

This recipe is inspired from that. With a couple of changes.

Penne with Sausage and Tomato Sauce
serves about 4 for lunch

1/2 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes with basil (don’t worry about the basil part, use plain crushed tomatoes if you like)
2 Italian sausages (I used sweet, but use hot if you like the heat)
1 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
1/4 medium onion
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. whole wheat penne, cooked al dente

Remove the sausages from their casings. Heat a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Brown the sausage, breaking them up into small pieces. Do this until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the pan. Add the onion, unchopped, the butter, and the half can of tomatoes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for half an hour. Stir and check every 10 minutes or so.

Toss the pasta into the sauces, season to taste. Serve with a tossed salad and some good bread.

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Filed under Comfort Food, Dinner, Lunch, Meat

Tuna Sandwiches for Lunch

My brother was requesting tuna sandwiches. Whining about it really. So I had no choice. Here it is.

The addition of finely chopped celery and sweet Vidalia onions gave the tuna salad texture, and the garlic gave it just enough flavour punch. The lemon juice perks it up. Use freshly ground black pepper, if you can.

Tuna Sandwiches
makes 2 sandwiches

1 can light tuna, in water (I used flaked tuna just because that’s what I had on hand, feel free to use white tuna)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
3 Tbsp. finely chopped Vidalia onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
salt to taste
a couple squeezes of lemon juice
Lettuce leaves
4 slices sandwich bread (we like whole wheat)

Chop, mince, drain (make sure you drain the tuna well). Mix all together. Season to taste and add lemon juice. Take into account the salt in the mayonnaise and in the canned fish. Don’t over-salt. Toast the bread (or not) and layer with tuna mixture and lettuce leaves.

Enjoy your lunch! 🙂

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Filed under Lunch, Seafood