Foodie Tuesday: A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

A light lunch is often just the refresher needed to get me through the afternoon. Nothing heavy to dull me terribly and make me too somnolent to get anything useful done after 1 pm, and enough protein and pizzazz to fuel me without being boring. Bits and bites. Snack-sized items. A good mix of the five tastes, whenever possible, and I’m good to go.

 

Photo: Lunch Bunch with Crunch

A lunch bunch with crunch: homemade sausage patties sauced with spicy balsamic-tomato dressing, bacon chips, apple-almond truffles, bacon chips, and cardamom-maple yogurt.

Having a couple of friends over for said lunch is a fine time to practice this method, not only because it allows for a variety of preferences to be served but also because I know that many of my friends have the same wish to stay awake and productive in the afternoon but without losing out on a quick collation of varied treats.

Photo: Blackberry Chia Pudding

Blackberry chia pudding is a terrific happy-flavored dish for any meal of the day. Doesn’t need much more than pureed fresh berries, water, honey, a pinch of salt, and chia seeds to make my mouth cheer right up for the afternoon.

Today, it was a combination of savory quinoa cakes, warm and served with butter and honey and, for salad, one from my ever-lengthening list of sprightly green-and-crunchy ‘nottawaldorf’ salads, this time, cucumber and apple, fresh mint and celery, snap peas and candied ginger all chopped, tossed with a pinch of salt, and dressed with lime juice and ginger syrup. Some sliced Jarlsberg cheese and smoked wild salmon to nibble along with the quinoa cakes, and sparkling water to wash it all down with the equally sparkling presence of my friends.

Photo: Tuna Salad & Co.

Tuna salad is an old stand-by favorite in our household, and it doesn’t have to be sandwiched to please: here, with nut-and-seed crackers, cheese crispies (nothing but slow-melted and cooled flat cheese pieces), a fresh salad, an apple…fun and done.

And for dessert, another happy variant: chia pudding, this one a very slightly thickened slurry of nothing but ripe, sweet strawberries and coconut milk with the tiniest pinch of salt, sweetened with elderflower syrup and pureed thoroughly before stirring in a handful of chia seeds to chill together overnight. Bright, intensely strawberry-fruity, and just the thing to jazz up a super simple lunch. That was already pretty jazzy, thanks to the good company, that is.

Photo: Strawberries and More Strawberries

Really, can there be many things more luscious than perfectly ripe seasonal fruit in an uncomplicated preparation to cleanse the palate and lighten the heart?

Beings without Substance

The measure of a human is not in her wealth, or success, or any of those worldly attainments to which we so happily ascribe great value in the popular realm, but in her simplicity. So much can be accomplished by the reduction of focus on unimportant things, the removal of distractions, and reverence for the smaller and more ephemeral stuff. This, this is how we shine.Photo: How We Shine Best