The days have seemed longer and longer ever since I applied to my dream graduate school. The only thing that I know is that sometime this month, they’ll send out their decisions to prospective students. The later that it gets in the month, the more I worry that I’ve been rejected. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but this is the program I’ve had my eye on since before I even graduated from college.
In the meantime, I’ve been working on my personal website, in addition to developing recipes at home. Both of those are great ways to occupy my time, and of course, my husband is pretty happy with eating the results of my experimentation. In recent weeks, he’s been treated to vegan bolognese and pasta, banh mi burgers, stuffed spaghetti squash, red velvet cheesecake, quinoa burrito bowls, and salads, among other things. He also recently celebrated his birthday, for which he got to choose whatever he wanted for dinner. That ended up being a bit of a diet cheat day — while the bulk of the food I ate was definitely in my diet, the burger that was part of dinner definitely wasn’t (however small it was)!
My husband is off working at a local university most days, meaning that I can really make sure my lunches are healthy and satisfying for me. As much as I love my husband, and as easy as he is to please, I feel like I keep underfeeding him! Sure, a salad will fill him up, but in a couple of hours, it’s like his body has burned all that fuel, and he heads straight for a cup of yogurt. He’s luckier than I am genetically; both of his parents are naturally slender people, and he can eat pretty much anything he wants. I make sure our meals at home are healthy, but while he’s out of the house, he is free to pursue the odd burger or chicken fingers if he so pleases. During the summer, he’s home almost every day, meaning that the bulk of his lunches are eaten with me, and I always feel a bit guilty that he’s not getting some of the foods he’d normally like to eat. He never complains, but I’m sure at least a small part of him looks forward to the times when school is back in session so that he can eat whatever he likes during the day and come back to a healthy dinner and dessert every night.
The bulk of my diet has also been primarily plant-based, as well, since I lost my job in January. Vegetable dishes are often cheaper than ones that contain meat. My husband still wants meat dishes as often as he can get it, so I’ve been adding the occasional meat dish to our dinners, and he’s come around to me using adaptable, inexpensive TVP in stuff like a bolognese sauce. Since he is gone during the day, salads and smoothies are a big part of my daytime menu, and they keep me going until dinner. I woke up a bit late today (11 AM — oops!), so I skipped breakfast. Instead, I opted for a banana, spinach, and flax milk smoothie with some meal replacement powder mixed in, and I added a lovely hummus and cucumber sandwich to it to sort of round it out.
I discovered how wonderful hummus sandwiches were when we started regularly grabbing one lunch a week (usually Sundays, after our weekly shop but before I’ve had a chance to cook for the week) from a local bakery chain. When I’m not getting my usual breakfast sandwich (I know, a bacon and egg bagel isn’t the usual lunch fare), I tend to get hummus on sourdough with some other vegetables and toppings. It sounds odd, but I always get them panini-pressed. I just love toasty bread with some hummus. But today, because I didn’t feel like pulling out the Foreman grill to mock a panini press, and because my smoothie was already nice and cold thanks to a frozen banana, I decided that a cold sandwich sounded best.
Our local grocery store carries various hummus flavors. This week, I opted to buy a tub of the spicy chipotle flavor, and because I know how spicy that can be, I wanted to balance it out and sort of “put out the flames,” so to speak. I had some cucumber left over from a different recipe, and I thought it would be wonderful to add that to my sandwich.
All in all, the sandwich added only 150 calories to my lunch. And it was delicious! Perhaps next time, I’ll try it with some spinach.
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