Packed Lunch: The Post-Thanksgiving Edition

by Gena on November 27, 2012


It’s a non-stop week over here, as I head my last lab reports of the season and prepare for my finals. For that reason, you can expect a lot of lunchbox posts this week. On Sunday night, since I didn’t cook this year for the holiday, I decided to prepare a few dishes for the week ahead that had a faint Thanksgiving theme. This included a roasted corn and red pepper dish, and a roasted brussels sprout dish. Both were simple and turned out well, and I’ve enjoyed them with greens and grains since!

To prepare the brussels sprouts as I did, simply coat a pound of washed and dried sprouts (outer layers removed if they are at all brown or damaged) in a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a big spash of balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or so. Give them a quick stir with a wooden spoon, and roast for another 15 minutes, till the brussels sprouts are browning and fragrant.

To make the corn and red pepper dish, I chopped 1 bell pepper finely and mixed it with half a red onion, also chopped finely, half of a diced zucchini, and 3 fresh ears of corn, husked and kernels cut off. I tossed them with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and roasted them on a baking sheet at 375 till they were browning and tender (not long—15 or twenty minutes or so). I removed them from the oven and seasoned them with apple cider vinegar, a touch of dijon mustard, and green onions.

These were both easy, stress-free roast veggie dishes that are delicious hot or cold. I enjoyed them cold, on top of the lunch salad you see below, just as much as I enjoyed them warm!


The dishes got packed up with some of the raw almond and zucchini crackers I keep alluding to (still works in progress, still forthcoming) and some simple celeriac puree that I also made as a post-Thanksgiving, seasonal treat. It was delicious, but by the time I packed it there wasn’t a whole lot left! Sad face.

No matter: I had a ton of great flavors to keep me company:


As the weather gets cooler (and it’s downright winter in DC tonight), layer roast veggies over raw greens is a great way to combine the comfort and warmth of cooked food with the freshness and crunch of raw. A lot of my cold weather salads are a mish mosh of raw and cooked ingredients, and I find that they leave me feeling both energetic and grounded, especially when paired with other nutrient dense side dishes! I hope this post inspires you to think of some hot/cold salad fusion dishes of your own.

I wish I could linger on, but alas, genetics calls. Till tomorrow, friends!


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine (The Raw Project) November 28, 2012 at 12:39 am

This looks great! I add cooked ingredients to my salads too during the winter or have them with a piece of steamed squash.


Liz November 28, 2012 at 1:46 am

I love seeing these simple, beautiful lunchboxes. And I love the idea of a summer vegetable succotash for Thanksgiving. When plenty we have, plenty we should celebrate!


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Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie November 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

Your lunches always look so tasty – They always inspire me to get out of my food ruts and plan things a little more thoroughly. Thanks for the motivation! :)


Katie November 28, 2012 at 9:28 am

It’s so cold here, you’re right! (I’m in MD). I usually love the cold, but I’m not sure this year. It feels extra awful doesn’t it? Anyway I love brussels sprouts! yum. And your lunchbox looks so pretty :)


the delicate place November 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

that’s right…finals are rapidly approaching..good luck! i actually prefer roasted veggies cold over salads more so than when they come out of the oven! i think it’s the texture..sort of firm but soft on the inside?

genetics is beastly toward the end…esp cell signaling pathways and post-translation mods. ooph. after orgo, that was my next most loathed course haha. i think it’s probably due to the fact that my instructor didn’t teach the course in an intuitive way…kinda skipping around instead of building a nice story.


Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian November 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Mmm that is a nice looking salad. It sounds like you make your brussel sprouts just the way I do! I love it when they’re a bit crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I love eating them as a snack!


Christa @ Edible Balance November 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I just love how simple this lunch is, and the versatility of how you serve it! roasted veggies on spinach is one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers, it’s been too long since I’ve done it! I’m still working on that delicious curried golden berry millet bowl recipe… such an easy dish to grab out of the fridge to bring to work, I’m haldway through the batch and not tired of it in the least! Hmmm, I need to put that on a bed of greens!


Michal M November 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I love brussel sprouts, and I really like the way that you suggested preparing them. I’ve never thought of using balsalmic vinegar before to give it a different flavor. I’ll have to try it when I’m preparing them this weekend!


Lia November 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I’m going to have to ask you about that puree. I’ve been eating celeriac and trying to like it, so I’m needing new ways to try it out. I just throw it into soups to hide it, but I’d like to try more interesting things. Thanks and enjoy the studies!


Gena December 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I just roasted it with salt, pepper, and coconut oil, and pureed it in the cuisinart. Simple and easy!


Dr. Emil Hawary November 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm

I think kids will like this dish very much. It looks simple and I believe it will be delicious. Thanks for the share and do share some sweet, delicious foods like these. Once again Thank you.


KellyB November 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I’m wondering about your lunch container, does the lid snap on tight enough that the foods never run together. If applesauce was in there, would it leak?
I pack my kids’ lunch daily and need to find new lunch boxes for them. Researching on Amazon, there are so many choices, some being quite costly. If you have mentioned your lunch container in a past post, can I have the link.


Lynette December 3, 2012 at 1:29 am

I have found these packed lunch posts very inspiring! I have been working 12 hr shifts this week (and most likely until Christmas) and I’m determined to start packing my own lunch. I don’t want to spend so much $$ eating out. I am still learning how to cook so these simple but delicious posts look like they are right up my alley. My only concerns are that there might be foods that go bad bc I’m on road all day and do not have the luxury of keeping my food refrigerated. Is there anything you do not pack with this concern in mind? Thank you for any help, I know you have a full plate yourself.


Gena December 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Good luck, Lynette! That sounds like a grueling schedule, and I’m so glad my lunchboxes have been helping you.


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