Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So, What's For Lunch Today?

Lisa from Books, Lists, Life invited me to join {which I did} a new group blog that she started up a week or so ago where participants post what they ate for lunch. She wanted a place to turn to when she needed inspiration for lunch ideas. How to re-use leftovers from dinner in new ways for lunch, a new sandwich combination, and even some near gourmet lunches that got pulled together when the pantry was nearly bare. So if you're looking for some inspiration, stop by So, What's For Lunch Today and see what everyone else is having. If you're interested in joining, you can drop Lisa an email and let her know. You can find her email address on the sidebar of the lunch blog.

Most days I have the same old same old boring turkey on whole wheat, and when I realized I was posting the same thing over and {yawn} over on the lunch blog, ... I decided I needed to make a conscious effort to mix it up a little! So yesterday I made a quesadilla with chicken and cheddar with homemade guacamole and some store bought smoky peach salsa. Today, I had one of my all time favorite salads, inspired by the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad from Panera (yum!). I came up with this simple, short cut version that has a very similar taste and texture and possibly even healthier.

Mixed Green Salad with Chicken & Pear

3-4 cups loosely packed lettuce or baby greens
4 oz. grilled chicken breast,
or cooked left over chicken
1/2 medium crisp pear, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette

Assemble lettuce greens on a plate. Arrange chicken on top, add the pear, and sprinkle with cranberries and pecans. Drizzle vinaigrette over top of salad just before serving.

Add other vegetables to the salad base as desired, such as cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumber and red onion.

For a vegetarian version of the salad, substitute 1/3 cup crumbled feta or blue cheese for the chicken.

The dressing truly makes this salad, so definitely look for the Champagne Pear Vinaigrette at your Trader Joe's store in the refrigerator case. If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, you are so out of luck because this dressing is fabulous. And once you read the nutrition facts for this dressing, it will become your favorite, too. A 2 tablespoon serving has only 45 calories and 2.5 grams of fat (0.5 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat). It is a little on the sweet side, but it's still only 4 grams of sugar per serving. There is gorgonzola blue cheese in the dressing, but the pieces of blue cheese are very small crumbles and are not strong flavored at all. So even if you're not a fan of blue cheese, I think you would still like this dressing. So good. In fact, you had better buy two bottles if the trip to your Trader Joe's is more than 20 minutes.

So what did you have for lunch today?

What do you usually have for lunch?


  1. I was thinking it needed a little blue cheese before you said it. I guess since the dressing is refridgerated you can't really send me a bottle, which is a pity cause it sounds great.

  2. Caitlin : It was delish! I'll probably have it again tomorrow! :)

    Lisa : I was thinking the same thing about sending you a bottle of the dressing when I saw your comment on the lunch blog that you don't have a Trader Joe's near you. But the refrigeration thing is definitely a problem. :(

    Perhaps I need to re-create the dressing in my lab. .. err... kitchen and come up with a recipe.

  3. Those quesadilla's sound yummy and the salad looks delicious!

    I'm usually to busy to eat lunch on a regular basis (a very unhealthy habit that gives me nasty headaches). By the time I realize I haven't had lunch, it's dinner time! I'll have to visit the site for inspiration.

  4. I'm a boring lunch person. I just don't take the time to cook for myself. Today's lunch was crackers and cheese. *G* And my usual lunch? Um, don't have one. But the crackers and cheese is my favorite. The quesadilla sounded great! Wish we had a Trader Joe's here as well. Heck we just got our Whole Foods about 2 years ago. Have fun in your kitchen lab! *G*

  5. Wow, that looks great! Yum!!

  6. It really looks good :) However, not sure I'm that adventurous LOL.

  7. Your food always looks gorgeous Christine!

    I have the same food every day, but that's because...well, I don't like change. Just a ham & lettuce sandwich!! Will make a note to check out the blog!


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