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Where I try to get all fancy with my lunches

by John on November 17th, 2014
Ginger Beef Noodle Jar

Yes, the title is “Daddy Runs a Lot,” but I don’t run all that much, to be honest with you. When I do run, it’s typically for long distances, and I enjoy running — but, I don’t run like I once used to (I just don’t have enough time). I do try to keep myself fit, however . . . which is a necessity for someone who thinks about sex food all day long.

From the moment I wake, until the moment I pass out from exhaustion go to bed, I’m thinking about sex food1. That said, I’m fucking busy — week days, I’m up at 5. On an “easy day” I might get home after sunset from karate with CJ, and will throw together something quickly for dinner . . . other days? I get home just in time to head back to bed. This means, if I want to plan ahead & choose to eat healthy throughout the week, weekends are my only opportunity.

It used to be that I’d throw: chicken, spices, & chicken broth; pork, spices, & pork broth, beef, spices, & beef broth; or chicken, spices, chicken broth, coconut milk, & tomato paste in the crock pot over night Sunday or Monday evening, and pack everything up for the week, for a low-fat, high-protein, relatively low-calorie, and mostly-healthy lunch. But, that didn’t include much in the way of vegetables.

So, Sunday, before church, I started wrapping sweet potatoes in aluminum foil, let them cook while I’m off playing with my organ serving as church organist, so that I had sweet potatoes for a veggie, and then cook meat overnight, Sunday night, and wrap it all up in the morning, before dressing the kids, on Monday morning.

But, I really like to work out first second thing in the morning2.

So, the other day, my friend Cameron posted about her adventures with “noodle lunch in a jar” answer to the Serious Eats “just add hot water lunch” project. And, boy, did that look yummy. So I had to try it, myself . . . primarily because it could be prepared in MINUTES (the crock pot doesn’t require a whole lot of “on” time, but it does mean that I need to plan out when to put everything in the pot, and when to get everything out of the pot. This, I only needed to space out a single time.

Ginger Beef Noodle Jar

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon Better than Bullion, beef flavor
  • 6 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 6 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 bag of frozen, chopped broccoli
  • 1 bag of frozen snow peas
  • 1 bag of frozen, sliced carrots
  • 1 package beef jerky, cut into small bits
  • 8oz flat rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil
  2. As water is boiling, split the Beef stock starter, ginger paste, & garlic among 6 mason jars
  3. Split the vegetables among those mason jars
  4. Split the beef jerky among those mason jars
  5. By now, the water should be boiling, if not, wait for water to boil
  6. Place rice noodles in boiling water, cook for 3 minutes
  7. Drain and shock noodles with cold water
  8. Toss noodles with sesame oil
  9. Split the noodles among the mason jars
  10. Cover & close jars, store in fridge for up to a week.

When you’re ready to eat, fill jar with boiling water, shake, let sit for a few minutes, eat/drink.


Making six of these means that I have lunches set through Wednesday, when, through some fluke of my schedule, I’ll actually be home all night, so I’ll make another set for the latter part of the week.

Shrimp Pad Thai Noodle Jar

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon Better than Bullion, vegetable flavor
  • 3 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 bag of frozen snow peas
  • 2 heads of bok choy, chopped
  • 8 oz pre-cooked, frozen “salad” shrimp
  • 8oz flat rice noodles
  • 1 can bean sprouts
  • 4oz dry roasted, chopped peanuts
  • 1 bunch scallions

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil
  2. As water is boiling, split the stock starter, peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil among 6 mason jars
  3. Split the vegetables among those mason jars
  4. Split the shrimp among those mason jars
  5. By now, the water should be boiling, if not, wait for water to boil
  6. Place rice noodles in boiling water, cook for 3 minutes
  7. Drain and shock noodles with cold water
  8. Toss noodles with sesame oil
  9. Split the noodles among the mason jars
  10. Split the bean sprouts, peanuts, scallions among the mason jars
  11. Cover & close jars, store in fridge for up to a week.

Again, when ready to eat, fill with boiling water, shake, and allow to sit for a few minutes


The important things to note are that you can’t really count on the addition of boiling water to cook anything (there is talk about bacon being thin enough to cook in the hot water, but I’m not sure I’m going to trust that . . . that said, I’m thinking of using bacon jerky) . . . veggies that you put in, you need to either pre-cook or enjoy them raw. The meat needs to be pre-cooked – smoked meats actually work well, because they absorb the water, remaining “firm” without being “chewy.” The noodles need to be “ready to eat”.

In future weeks, assuming I’m not too tired of these by then, I plan to really experiment with different flavor combinations (lox & bacon & avocado to feature prominently in my plans, though, perhaps, not all at once). I’ll try to report back on what works & what doesn’t.

To eat, I plan to use chopsticks, and then drink whatever is left of the broth.


1 Yes, I’m thinking about sex, too. I consider discussing recipes as an advanced form of “talking dirty”.
2 Benji demands his walk once my alarm goes off . . . wind, cold, sleet, snow, rain . . . doesn’t matter, he wants his walk. So I have little choice but to walk first thing, every morning . . . but, after I’m done with that, before I dress the kids, I much prefer working out than packing up a week’s worth of lunches, as doing so just means more cleanup before coffee . . . and that’s no fun at all.

From → Eating Right, Recipes

6 Comments
  1. Quit making me hungry!!!

  2. I can testify to the tastiness and they are very filling for very few calories.

    • So glad you liked it . . . hope the variations I make go over as well.

  3. I wonder if bits of leftover roast or something couldn’t be used instead of jerky? Would be definitely tastier than bacon bits type stuff that I’m picturing. Like a dog jumping up screaming BACON. Gross.

    • Oh, they most assuredly can – the issue is tiny bits of roast, stored for a few days with wet ingredients, then left soaking in hot water for a few minutes . . . they might break apart. Jerky is dehydrated enough so that, through all of that, it actually resembled meat (surely not as good as something freshly cooked, but far superior to a TV dinner).

      And yay for the end of whatever commenting block was keeping you from here!

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