lunchbox life: “here’s the the ladies who lunch” sampler


I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m a huge Broadway fan.  I wish I could say that I was the type of theatre fan who always knew about the next big thing, the off-, off-, off-Broadway underrated gem, or the best low-budget, high-quality show that everyone on the inside knows about, but alas, I’m a part of the majority.  Give me the blockbusters: Les Miserables, Into the Woods, Wicked, Cabaret, Chicago, and all the others, and I’ll turn up my car speakers to maximum volume (mostly so I cannot hear my own horrid voice) and turn into Eponine, the Baker’s Wife, Elphaba, Sally Bowles, or Velma Kelly–at least in my mind.  There is a fabulous song from Stephen Sondheim’s Company called “The Ladies Who Lunch,” and it outlines a disenchanted woman’s thoughts on wealthy women who don’t work, living a life of leisure, who have the privilege of dining out with friends midday.  It’s a fabulous song that’s fully of salty one-liners and a biting tone, and it’s especially fitting if you’ve had a crazy day at work and need to get some frustration out of your system.  On a personal note, I don’t begrudge “ladies who lunch” in the slightest; it sounds like a fabulous way to live to me!

This week’s lunch is inspired by ladies who lunch, particularly the Southern country club set.  I’ve included a small scoop of egg salad and a small scoop of chicken salad on a bed of local greens with a few nasturtiums (edible flowers) for a fancy look befitting the leisurely set, plus a side of fresh fruit with cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple.  The eggs, greens, chives, and nasturtiums came from this week’s box from our local CSA, The Dirt Farmer.  We have sung the praises of this weekly subscription ever since we signed up, but I’ll say it again: they’re amazing!  Unfortunately, they’re not taking any new customers at the moment–a good problem to have since they’re currently at customer capacity.  If you’re interested, I suggest going to their website and contacting them to get on the waiting list–totally worth the wait.

As usual, I’ve substituted 0% Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in both the egg salad and the chicken salad.  This week’s egg salad is similar to the egg salad I posted a few weeks ago, but I’ve added chives and dill relish here.  The chicken salad gets a special depth of flavor with the addition of some soy sauce.  It doesn’t taste Asian, and it almost makes the chicken taste more chicken-y (weird, but it’s a thing, kind of like how coffee makes chocolate taste more chocolate-y).

WW info: 5 PP per lunch (1/3 cup egg salad, 1/3 cup chicken salad, greens, and fruit)

Egg Salad

24 eggs, boiled and peeled

4 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped

4 Tbsp. dill relish

1 cup 0% Greek yogurt (I recommend Fage brand)

1/2 cup yellow mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

Chop the eggs into small cubes and place in a mixing bowl, then add the chives and relish and mix to combine.  In a small bowl, add the Greek yogurt, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir until combined and smooth.  Pour the dressing over the egg mixture and fold in.

*I used about 1/3 cup in my lunch, which would give you approximately 24 servings in this recipe.

Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts

1 Tbsp. dry minced onion

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. red pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. white pepper

1 cup red grapes, sliced in half lengthwise

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt

1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

You can cook the chicken in any way you like, but here is my low-and-slow favorite preparation:  Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks (about 1 inch by 1 inch) and place in a small pot.  Cover the chicken pieces with water, add the spices, then bring to a boil.  When the water begins boiling, place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to low.  Now, go do laundry, do the dishes, take a nap, etc.  When the two hours are up, remove the chicken chunks from the water and place on a cool surface.  Let the chicken cool for about 10 minutes, then, with your hands, shred the chicken and place it in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the almonds and sliced grapes and mix to combine.  In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, soy sauce, salt, and pepper, then pour this dressing over the chicken mixture and mix to combine.

*I used about 1/3 cup in my lunch, which would give you about 8 servings for this recipe.


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