I was reading through all the vegan mofo posts (over 1000! I go away for one weekend...) and I came to a realization about myself. I was like "ooh sandwich recipe!" "ooh that would be a good quick lunch."
Lunch is my favorite meal of the day. Let me explain why. You'll agree. Maybe.
1. Soup and sandwiches are the shit.
Soup is (obviously) one of my favorite foods. It can be a vegetables about to go bad sinkhole. It can be an "oh my god I need to get 5 servings of veggies in today and I am failing because I ate a cupcake for dinner" lifesaver. You can freeze it and make enough for a week. And SANDWICHES! You can make really plain, comforting sandwiches, like peanut butter and jelly on wheat (though I prefer PB&Banana), more practical, sandwich-y sandwiches like lightlife bologna with vegenaise, tomato and lettuce on rye, or you can get fancy and gourmet and make my favorite kind of sandwiches-- the pretentious $8 sandwich. The one I made on Saturday (which was seriously a treat I wasn't expecting, but I played a 3 set tennis match and decided I deserved it) was as follows:
2 slices fresh pumpernickel rye bread
2 tbsp tofutti better than cream cheese mixed with some chives and onion powder (I wanted it to be really rich)
1/2 avocado, sliced
two beefy heirloom tomato slices
1 super thin onion slice
generous helping alfalfa and clover sprouts
4 slices smart deli bologna
4 slices smart deli turkey
Assemble. Cut in half. Eat half. Be really full. Eat the other half anyway, because it was mad tasty.
What's not to love?
2. Lunch Menus
I love lunch menus. I'm a big sucker for the tasting menu at restaurants, but usually do not have the confidence in a chef to make a whole vegan meal, nor the money to compensate him for it. (an incredible exception was in London, where I was able to partake in a vegan tasting menu at Nahm, which was the best thing I've ever done. Although it would've also paid my utilities for 2 months.) But the lunch menu usually offers some sort of wonderful small-portion combination, which comes with a drink and an appetizer for about 3/4 the price of a dinner entree. Not to divulge too much information about what a sick little foodie I am, but sometimes when I'm trying a new restaurant, I'll order two lunch entrees so that I get to try more stuff. Sometimes that doesn't work out so well (cough cough the recently deceased Pao Lim) but hey! What's not to love about the special dividing plates? One of my favorite places for that was Zen Palate in NY, who had a really cute "prix fixe" lunch thing, which came with a smaller portion of an entree, a cup and a half of rice or potatoes, two taro rolls, a (kind of excrutiatingly small) salad, a drink and a small taste of dessert.
3. Making Lunch
I make my lunch every morning. It's boring (I usually just make a sandwich and a soup or salad), but sometimes I'll be hit with a little pizzaz and I'll make a more exciting sandwich or salad. Really, I just like that the first thing I do in the morning after the getting up, brushing my teeth etc is chopping vegetables while watching 20 minutes, but it's still nice. Plus, on the preparing food end of things, it's probably the lowest anxiety food prep I can do. Dinner is always more of a production and breakfast...truthfully I've started just eating half a sandwich =). Most people don't mind a simple salad or a cold sandwich for lunch, though. On weekends, I usually wake up just in time for lunch, which means I can spend an hour making something really sassy.
4. Going out for Lunch
Then you have leftovers for dinner. Or for lunch.
5. Lunch Buffets
Again with the tasting menu. I've found Indian places have the best lunch buffets ever, but most chinese places have lunch buffets too. I kind of don't trust omni Chinese food anymore, but I can appreciate the joy of a good lunch buffet.
6. The ladies who lunch
Don't you feel really important when you have a "lunch meeting" or a "lunch date," like you live such a busy and important life that you are going to take an hour in the middle of your day and indulge in delicious food? I do. And it doesn't harbor all of that obnoxious date-y stuff. People know that when you're out to lunch, it's for good company and good food, not because you're trying to get laid. And there is absolutely no danger of one of those traveling musicians or flower salesmen trying to guilt you into giving them money. Not that it happens a lot, just saying.
So yeah. Lunch. Hip hip hooray.