The Edition: No. 215

Mar 9, 2021

You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on
your way. // Dr. Seuss

+ Women: What to do before, during and after a career break.

+ If you have an Instagram account, you need this sweatshirt.

+ Why Americans can’t quit Girl Scout Cookies.

+ This simple chain bracelet is fab. I also love it with the pearl pendant.

+ How to learn about company culture when interviewing remotely.

+ NYDJ makes my favorite blouse for wearing under a suit.  Also, my second favorite.

+ “Your tweet goes viral. Here are the companies who now want to give you their crap.

+ Snapped up this wrap top (so gorgeous!) and wrap dress from & Other Stories.

+ What to do when you have an employee who is totally checked out.

+ My favorite joggers are finally restocked!

+ We are all just pointlessly addicted to Chapstick.

+ This pretty floral dress and simple shirtdress from LOFT has me ready for spring.

Long Reads. Congratulations, You Own a Newspaper! (It’s always been a goal of mine to buy my local weekly paper.)

As I mentioned last week, I’m taking my lunch to work now.  It takes prior preparation, but it’s been great so far.  (Any tips for sticking with it are appreciated, however.)

My favorite recipe from last week were these BLT Chicken Salad Cups.  Used a grocery store rotisserie chicken for ease, and cut the bacon, for calories.  I also turned it into a chop salad because using your hands to eat food at your desk is problematic.  But it is a delicious recipe that’s satisfying and delicious.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

Workday Reading

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  1. Nadine says:

    I won’t be taking lunches to an office for a while yet, but when I did I was known for tasty lunches! One of my strategies is to meal prep staple ingredient like quinoa or rice and lentils or beans, even chicken breasts, at the beginning of the week. Then I can mix and match in a variety of ways. The ingredients stay fresher than they would if I prepped 4-5 complete lunches all at once, and I get less bored.

    • Cait says:

      This is basically my approach to all food! I cook big batches of a lightly seasoned grain (quinoa, couscous, or rice) and a protein (chickpeas, chicken, or lentils), and then mix and match for lunches and dinners for a week. Lunches are typically said grain and protein packed in separate containers and then dumped over salad at work with berries, dressing, or other topping. Dinners are the same grain and protein but with roasted veggies, soup, or in a stir-fry.
      It helps to have a few flavorful seasonings or ingredients for easy sauces on hand- I do a lot of homemade tzatziki, Trader Joe’s furikake seasoning, and various Indian chutneys.

  2. Sarah says:

    I’m back into the office a few days a week now and at first, I got away with buying lunch, but I know it’s better for my health and my wallet to starting packing it again. I always brought lunch before the pandemic–here are my tips:

    1) leftovers are your best friend–the easiest trick to make extra of whatever you’re having for dinner, but don’t eat it the next day, wait until 2 days later when the meal feels new again.

    2) Prep ingredients for lunches over the weekend–I’d pick a few recipes in advance just for lunches and prep the ingredients on Sunday. Then, the night before, I’d throw everything together. This works well for salads, grain bowls, and sandwiches.

    3) Pack snacks and other lunch extras. I found that I’m far more excited for my meal if there is something “fun”, like a bag of chips, a cookie. Even a piece of fruit to round out the meal.

    4) Keep a stash of utensils and condiments at work, so you don’t have an excuse not to eat what you brought (also one less thing to remember) and can liven up any disappointing meals with more salt, hot sauce, maple syrup, ketchup, whatever you like to have on hand.

    5) Don’t be rigid. Treat yourself to buying once every few weeks (or more often!) so that you don’t feel punished bringing your own lunches.

  3. Jess says:

    Soup. For at least as long as it’s colder out. Giant pot, lots of leftovers!

  4. H. says:

    Have you (or anyone readers) noticed quality inconsistency with the Colorfulkoala joggers? I ordered a medium, thought they were great but a bit snug, so sized up. But the fabric in the large that I was then sent was noticeably thinner/shinier/less soft (more of a stretchy synthetic than a jersey). So disappointing.

    • Monica T says:

      When I tried the CK leggings I felt like I got a completely different product than what was in listing and the reviews. The fabric was thick and shiny and uncomfortable. I returned them.

      I don’t know if the company is sourcing from different factories and not doing QC or what, but after that experience I just went back to my Beyond Yoga pocket leggings, made in California. Amazon products definitely seem to be YMMV.

    • Belle says:

      Weird. I have not had this issue, but maybe someone else has. I know some brands are having trouble getting material, so maybe that?

      • Mary says:

        More likely it’s the well-documented issue of fake products being rampant on Amazon. I recommend purchasing directly from CK.

  5. Monica T says:

    I always brought my lunch because I didn’t want to spend my precious break driving / parking / waiting for my food, I wanted to spend it working out and then EATING.

    I usually prepped my lunch the night before and leftovers were a big factor but also big delicious salads with TJs precooked Roasted Chicken Breast and full of black beans, roasted corn, spicy jack cheese and salsa ranch or hardboiled eggs, bacon, feta and creamy balsamic.

    I really recommend getting a dedicated salad container if you are a fan, Amazon has several options, because having a dressing and crouton / topping section is what separates a limp yucky salad from a fresh crunchy salad.

    I also like that same precooked chicken breast with a simple can of soup and grated cheese on top, minestrone or lentil vegetable are both really filling and satisfying.

  6. jo says:

    Thanks for sharing that local news story – have you read the (very short) book Ghosting the News? See review here: https://www.niemanlab.org/2020/07/margaret-sullivan-has-written-a-brisk-and-useful-guide-to-the-horrifying-decline-of-local-news/ It’s depressing but informative on the plight of local newspapers (and possible responses). Best of luck to the two women profiled in that piece!

  7. E says:

    Dedicated lunch bringer. I’m big on leftovers, that way I can just grab a tupperware in the morning. Second soups or making large tossed salads that can last for a couple extra days.

  8. Diane says:

    For 10 years pre-COVID I went out for lunch with my coworkers (mostly men in their 60s who were not going to pack themselves lunches) for the networking/relationship-building benefits. I’ve revereted to bringing my lunch now, and have liked the health and financial benefits, but miss talking with everyone about non-work stuff.

    I have a number of soups on rotation that I make in double batches on the weekends and then freeze in individual containers. I make a different variety every other week or so, and then have some options so I don’t have to eat the same soup every day. I have several favorite recipes so I look forward to eating the soup, and always try to make ones with lots of veggies. I also prep baby carrots into little containers for the week, and berries, oatmeal and canned pumpkin (my new hack to get an extra veggie in at breakfast) into little containers as well. My only week day prep is putting all of containers and an apple in my bag in the morning. I agree with the poster above on packing a treat. I keep some snacks at work (nut and dried fuit packs, microwave popcorn, Epic jerky bars, Greek yogurt) in case I’m still hungry, but have to make sure the on-hand snacks are not so appealing that I eat them all when I’m really not hungry.

  9. Rachel says:

    tip for work lunch: if you have a reasonable fridge, make lunch at work. I bring in a variety of veggies and a box of salad mix and just leave them. I replenish mid week. I will also make something like lentils or farro to add to a salad and leave in the fridge as well. Ill even grab a can of chickpeas or something on the way out the door and just deal with it later. Obviously this works if you have time and space, but I find the 5-10 minutes putting this together at work is much better than trying to do it at home. My office colleagues also do a good amount of lunch assembly, so its totally acceptable in my work place.

  10. strin012 says:

    I make a batch meal on Sundays and have the leftovers for the rest of the week. I tend to do a rotation of the following (links where I could find them; happy to share recipes if anyone wants them)
    – Chicken Tortilla soup (https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a25401821/instant-pot-chicken-tortilla-soup/)
    – Life-changing Beef Stew (https://pinchofyum.com/instant-pot-beef-stew#tasty-recipes-36226-jump-target)
    – Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas (I make cilantro lime rice to complement; https://damndelicious.net/2019/07/24/sheet-pan-chicken-fajitas/)
    – Spicy black bean and sweet potato chili (insanely good; https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1021555-spicy-black-bean-and-sweet-potato-chili)
    – Mexican Street Corn Soup (I feel like you shared the recipe, which I can’t find)
    – Greek Chicken Souvlaki (sheet pan recipe; https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/best-easy-greek-sheet-pan-chicken-souvlaki-and-potatoes/)

  11. Heather says:

    Do your life a favor and invest in a SouperCube tray! It makes meal prep a dream. They are silicone 1 cup ice cube trays, you can freeze anything- soup, rice, oatmeal, individual lasagnas, etc and 8 perfect 1 cup bricks fit neatly in a gallon ziplock bag making storage so simple. It’s the perfect solution for a single person or small household to make big batches of something and freeze for later, that way you don’t have to keep re-eating the same meal over and over again. It also makes packing a lunch way easier bc you don’t have to worry about a ice cube or soup spilling like a container of soup would!

  12. Lauren says:

    Love this BLT chicken salad recipe – I made it a few weeks ago and was shocked by how good it was!

  13. Elizabeth Tulasi says:

    I didnt know about your newspaper goal! my old boss was in the newspaper business for 20 years, often the first woman publisher in the markets where she worked. She’s from Idaho and at one point owned her own paper in Washington. If you ever want to talk someone whose been there, I’m sure she would be happy to chat with you!

  14. caitlin fff says:

    My favorite for meal prep right now is: roast veggies, whatever protein (tofu or tempeh or chicken or soft-boiled egg) + rice + Pinch of Yum’s peanut sauce. I personally add furikake or nori sheets, and some chopped cucumber that I keep separate.

    This way, I can go totally crazy at the farmer’s market on the weekends, have a ton of vegetables through the week, and also drown my work anxieties in peanut sauce!

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