Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Refried Roll-ups

This Week's Photo


* Steamed Yams
* Refried Roll-ups
* Jicama Sticks
* Salsa
* Fresh Organic Blueberries

Preparation Notes

Loved by both adults and children, this nutrient-rich lunch is fresh and delicious. Blueberries are in abundance this time of year, and they add balance to the orange, white, red, and green of the surrounding colors. Notice the variety of textures as well: crunchy jicama, juicy blueberries, crisp spinach, and creamy yams. It's got the word satisfying written all over it!

Peel, cube, steam, and chill the yams.

Peel and cut the jicama into sticks.

Add salsa to the dip container to be used with the roll-ups and jicama sticks.

Place a handful of blueberries in one of the medium containers.

Prepare the roll-up as follows: Place a whole wheat tortilla or lavash on a cutting board. Layer evenly with the following: refried beans, sliced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, fresh spinach leaves, and shredded cheese (optional). Roll up tightly and slice crosswise.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Simple Caesar Salad

This recipe is a very quick version of the classic Caesar, and it tastes great!

Makes 4 large servings

1. Place the following dressing ingredients in a large salad bowl:

* 1 large clove garlic, pressed
* 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tbs lemon juice
* 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2. Stir dressing well.
3. Add 20 romaine lettuce leaves, torn into bite-size pieces and toss.
4. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese.
5. Toast 1 slice of whole wheat bread, cut it into cubes for croutons, and sprinkle on top of the salad. (optional)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Breakfast for Lunch

This Week's Photo


* Garlic Potatoes
* Garden Tomato Salsa
* Fresh Apricots
* Whole Wheat Biscuits
* Scrambled Eggs

Preparation Notes

It's fun to change it up a bit at lunchtime by packing breakfast for lunch. Kids, in particular, seem to get a real kick out of this surprising change in their routine. Whole wheat biscuits are quick and easy to prepare, especially when making them with a friend or family member.

Prepare the potatoes as follows: Shred two potatoes, saute in a small amount of olive oil, add minced garlic and saute until cooked all the way through. Then add fresh scallions and herbs. (Parsley or basil works well.) Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.

Add two apricots.

Bake the biscuits. (We love the recipe from the Tassajara Cookbook http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isbn/978-1-57062-089-8.cfm.)

Scramble two eggs the way you like them.

Spoon some salsa into the dip container to enjoy with the potatoes and/or the eggs.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Bento Colors!

We've just added some brand new bento colors: black and orange, black and purple, and pink and purple to our Web site at http://secure.laptoplunches.com/AMAZING/items.asp?Cc=BENTO&Bc=. We've put together about 100 in each color combo--just for fun. When they're gone, they're gone. Please check them out when you have a moment!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tangy Yams

This dish is so good!

Makes about 4 servings.

1. Cut a large yam into 3/4-inch cubes.
2. Cut 1 medium onion into medium-size pieces.
3. Mince 2 garlic cloves.
4. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large fry pan and add the minced garlic. Heat until pungent.
5. Add chopped onions and cubed yams, and saute until tender.
6. Season with garam masala (available in the spice aisle) to taste.
7. Sprinkle with 2 tbs orange juice.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lunch From the Farm

This Week's Photo


* Fresh Watermelon
* Steamed Fresh Green Beans
* Carrot Sticks
* Herbed Bread Sticks
* Soft Goat Cheese

Preparation Notes

Expecting some heat this summer? Toting this fresh, colorful lunch will surely cool you down during the hot summer months. Soft goat cheese makes a delicious dip for bread sticks, carrots, and green beans, and juicy watermelon is a delicious finish to any fresh meal. Need we say more?

Cut up the watermelon.

Steam the green beans.

Cut a carrot into sticks.

Add a handful of bread sticks.

Fill the dip container with soft goat cheese.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Periwinkle Color Option to be Discontinued

Our periwinkle color option will be discontinued in the next few weeks. We still have some in stock, but when they're gone, they're gone. If you've been thinking about ordering this product, now is the time!

Look for some new color options later this summer...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Asparagus Vinaigrette

This simple dressing complements the flavor of fresh spring asparagus beautifully.

1. Steam asparagus spears until tender but not mushy.
2. Prepare dijon vinaigrette dressing:

* Mix 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard with 3 tbs balsamic vinegar, and stir well.
* Add 2 tbs olive oil and stir again.
* Add 1 tbs water and mix until smooth.

3. Pour dressing over asparagus and serve hot or cold.
4. Garnish with hulled sunflower seeds or sliced fresh red bell pepper.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Grilled Panini Lunch

This Week's Photo


* Fresh Papaya
* Grilled Panini
* Jicama Sticks
* Baby Carrots

Preparation Notes

Grilled paninis seem to be all the rage these days. Pack them full of vegetables, and grill them in a very small amount of olive oil. Don't be discouraged if you don't happen to own a panini grill. Use a waffle iron or grill them in a large skillet with a heavy, smaller skillet on top. (Place a full tea kettle in the top skillet for extra weight.)

Peel and cube the papaya.

Make your panini on ciabatta or francese bread. Slice the bread and spread with some mustard, pesto, or garlic aioli. Add layers of vegetables. Spinach leaves, marinated red peppers, red onion, and grilled or sauteed mushrooms, eggplant and zucchini all work well. Finally, add a slice of lowfat mozzarella cheese, close up the sandwich, and grill on both sides.

Cut the jicama into sticks.

Add a handful of baby carrots.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Spring Cleaning

We're doing a bit of spring cleaning at our warehouse this week and have decided to free up some space by offering some of our overrun medium containers in red, teal, and periwinkle for only 25 cents when purchasing 10 or more of one color. They can be used for many purposes--like organizing your belongings, for example:

1. Organize your office. Place these colorful containers in your desk drawer or on your desk for paper clips, erasers, push pins, etc.

2. Organize your kitchen. Arrange these treasures inside cupboards and drawers for easily lost items like birthday candles, twist ties, spices, rubber bands, and small gadgets.

3. Organize your bathroom. Tired of searching for your hair ties, cotton balls, Q-tips, and make-up? These little containers could be just what you've been looking for!

4. Organize your toddler's socks. Line these cute boxes up inside a dresser drawer and place one pair of little socks in each one.

Check them out at http://secure.laptoplunches.com/AMAZING/items.asp?Cc=MISC&Bc=.

While supplies last!

Monday, June 1, 2009

5 Ways to Save $500 a Month: The Green Way

Learn how you can transform green habits into green dollars.
By Karen Siegel-Maier
October 16, 2008

Challenged by the current financial crisis and recessionary woes? While the world is watching Wall Street, many of us are struggling to preserve our own check book on Main Street. There doesn’t appear to be a quick fix for the economy, but there are some things you can start doing today that will have a real impact on your personal finances as well as the health of the environment. We've found five easy changes that you can make which will save you $500 or more each month, all while helping to conserve energy and reduce waste.

1. Share a ride: Save $60.

Car-pooling can save a boatload of money, and you don’t have to own a new model hybrid to realize the savings either (although it would be a big plus).

Let’s say your current vehicle gets a fuel mileage that’s middle-of-the-road for today’s averages, or about 23 miles per gallon. Let’s also assume that your daily two-way commute is 40 miles per day, five days per week. Your average cost of solo driving is about $117 per month. However, if you share the task of driving to work with just one other person, one day a week, you could save more than $60 each month. Commute with three people and your savings will go up to more than $80 per month.

Here’s how:

Locate available commuters at work through the use of email lists and company bulletin boards. Check with your neighbors and friends to see if you can coordinate scheduling. In addition, see if your employer will allow you to work from home one day a week, or stack your schedule to work 40 hours in four days instead of five.

2. Go with a lower flow: Save $48.

The average American household runs four, eight-minute showers per day, requiring about 20 gallons of heated water at the rate of 2.5 gallons going down the drain per minute per person. Instead of turning the main water valve off on your kids when eight minutes are up, you can reduce the water output from your showerhead to save on energy costs.

Here’s how:

Install a newer low-flow showerhead to reduce your hot water consumption to 1.59 gallons or less per minute per shower. If you’re concerned about sacrificing water pressure, don’t be. Today’s efficient low-flow showerheads preserve water and pressure by mixing air with the water flow. They’re also easy to install yourself, so there’s no need to hire a contractor.

3. Brown bag your lunch: Save $60

Buying your lunch everyday during the workweek can seriously dent your budget. Even when exercising frugality, the average cost of a meal and drink comes to at least $6 per day, or $120 each month.

According to the U.S. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, bringing lunch to work costs about 45-50 percent less than buying it. That means you can pare down your workweek lunch expense to less than $15 per week.

Here’s how:

Buy only what you’ll consume during the workweek to avoid wasting food by the weekend. In addition, select a variety of sandwich fixings, whole grain breads, and ready-to-go fresh fruit and vegetables to avoid boredom. Rinse and reuse sandwich bags to reduce waste and save even more. Alternately, tote your lunch in glass or reusable containers, whenever possible. Use a cloth bag or a shopping bag that’s easy to reuse.

Read the rest of the article at: www.ecomii.com/articles/5-ways-to-save-money.