My French Lunch Break

While studying abroad in Cannes I grew to appreciate the importance the French place on their "dejeuner" (lunch). French lunch breaks are commonly 2 hours in order to give people time to truly relax from work, cook and enjoy their most extravagant meal of the day. This blog is dedicated to the idea of taking some extra time in the middle of each day to truly appreciate the gifts of food, nature, friendship, family, art and health.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dejeuner de la Semaine: Ruby's Veggie Burger and Oreo Shake

Despite my love for my new Native Foods cookbook, my schedule this week simply did not lend itself to grocery shopping or cooking an elaborate meal. So, this week's Dejeuner de la Semaine is about (shh don't tell the French) a lunch out! (at a very American style restaurant nonetheless...) 

Monday was Ruby's Birthday Celebration and they celebrated by offering their classic RubyBurger and Fries for only $2.80! Surprisingly, my whole department at my internship was free to go to lunch together! So we all helped Ruby's celebrate and indulged in burgers (some veggie), fries, and milk shakes and shared stories about our weekends and our childhoods and anything else on our mind at the time. It was the perfect way to break up the day and enjoy laughing and relaxing with the people I work with every day. Definitely a lunch break worth blogging about :) 

<3 Lyssa

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dejeuner de la Semaine: Thai Spice Stir Fry

As promised, this lunch of the week includes my new favorite spice: the Thai Spice blend from Cost Plus World Market! I took a recipe from the Native Foods Restaurant Cook Book (which I just received in the mail and am so excited about!!) for Thai marinade, which calls for 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1/4 cup maple syrup (weird right?!) and added the Thai Spice for an extra kick. I marinaded my tofu in this very interestingly scented concoction while grilling up a plethora of veggies (onion, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, and carrots to be exact). I threw in some peanuts  for the special Thai touch and then added the tofu and remaining marinade to the mix. About 5 minutes later I plated this sizzling stir fry with Trader Joes Harvest Grain Blend and enjoyed a very unique and colorful Thai Spice meal. The verdict: while my veggie selection kind of eliminated the traditional Thai taste, I still cannot wait to make this meal again! And makes great leftovers for work lunches :) Next week promises to be a full recipe from my new cookbook, so check in next Tuesday!

<3 Lyssa

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Breath of Summer

Today I stepped outside at 8:45pm and my bare feet were pleasantly surprised to encounter concrete still warm from the heat of the day. I was bombarded by that heavy summer air, which I have decided to call the breath of summer, that just envelops you body and soul and reminds you to value the slower pace of summer and the heat of the sun on your back during the day and the perfection of summer nights under the stars. I was drawn in and decided to leave the comfort of my PJs and pillow on the couch and venture outside for a walk around a campus and town that I am so familiar with, but for some reason seemed so different on this first true summer night. It was the best decision I have made in a while, and I just thought I'd share in the hopes that some of you seize the opportunity to be outside these next few days and give yourselves time to really appreciate the breath of summer. You won't regret it.

<3 Lyssa

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dejeuner de la Semaine: Courgette Quiche (with a twist)

With my extra time this summer I've decided to indulge in a personal passion that is rarely realized due to busy schedules and limited funds: cooking! A french lunch break is nothing without the time and energy that goes into creating a meal that truly deserves the praise: "Magnifique!" At the ripe age of 21 I think it's about time to branch out of my 5-6 safe dinner options and develop my own recipe book and kitchen skill set. So I began this weekend with an indulgent afternoon at one of my favorite stores: Cost Plus World Market.  For some reason this store has a way of enveloping me in its unique and eclectic atmosphere and making hours fly by without notice. This time, I strayed into the food corner and found myself lost amongst the colorful arrays of spices on aisle three. After filling my basket to the brim with every spice I had come across in my Vegetarian cookbook I decided I probably shouldn't spend my entire pay check on spices I will rarely use, so I more strategically selected some spices I don't think my kitchen would be complete without. The bright orange Thai Spice is definitely my favorite! 
With spices in hand and cooking inspiration at heart, I went straight to work the next morning and created the Dejeuner de la Semaine (or Lunch of the Week): My very own "Courgette Quiche With a Twist." I drew from a recipe in my Vegetarian Cookbook and added my own twist by substituting a more Italian crust made with olive oil and adding tomatoes and crimini mushrooms to the veggie selection while removing the cheese (for all you new readers, despite my love for France, I must admit that I strongly despise cheese). The result...a delicious meal to start a Sunday with and watch Spain's victory in the World Cup over! And it only took about 2 hours total including prep time, cook time, and clean-up time! One recipe conquered, now on to incorporating that amazing Thai Spice next week!


<3 Lyssa