Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My (Second) Favorite Lunch

I'm having a bit of an internal culinary struggle when it comes to lunch.
It comes in waves.

I used to blame the kids, and I don't even know why.
Because they're short? Sweaty? They like to tie all their toys together? (don't ask)

Doesn't seem fair.

All I know is, they go to school.
I'm here every day for lunch. Solo.

And all I want is Taco Bell.

If you think this is your chance to rage on TB, I suggest you reconsider.
Not even playing.

I love their menu.
Love the squirt-tube of sour cream.
Love the fountain Pepsi. (Though I usually have water because I'm a stinking health nut.)
And the new tostada thing with nacho cheese.

I don't eat there every day. Not even close.
Maybe once a week.

But it often crosses my mind.
Except on Wednesdays, when dollar tacos from San Marcos cross my mind...
And Fridays, when I get all "TGIF!" and want Hacienda.

I almost always talk myself down from the ledge, but by the time I've come to, I don't even have time for Plan B and lunch is a complete wash. 

Oh my gosh, I get so sidetracked about tacos.

Have you wondered what my days are like with all the kids in school?
Wonder no more.

I'm trying to be committed to eating normal person food.
Free food.
On a normal person schedule.

Maybe I am capable of normaldom.
Maybe this is the key.

It seems like it could be, since I had it three days running last week.

Toasted english muffin, whipped cream cheese, chopped basil, sliced tomato, basil salt, coarse pepper.

And I'm sorry, but I couldn't be bothered to sweep the crumbs off the plate before photographing this juicy beauty. Here's a quarter, call someone who cares.

Actually, I'ma need that quarter back.
3 more and I could make a run for the Border...

I think you should try my open-faced tomato basil sandwich of freshness, at least on the days you aren't scarfing chips and salsa at the island. Or downing a bean burrito with three packets of Hot sauce. (cough cough)

What's your favorite normal person lunch food?
What's your guiltiest lunch pleasure?

Don't leave me here alone, people.

Just don't.

** This post is not sponsored by Taco Bell. BUT OH MY GOSH HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?????


  1. I'm a grilled cheese girl. LOVE a good grilled cheese. I can totally do white bread with processed American slices, or crusty sourdough with fancy Gruyere. Add a little garlic salt, and maybe some roasted peppers or asparagus. DELISH!

  2. I tend to not want to spend too much time making, either a bowl of cereal or celery & hummus or a tortilla w/hummus/kale/cabbage/onion & I'm good. I often eat the same thing over & over, not much variety!

  3. I like to make soups for the week and have that as leftovers. Or homemade sandwiches on bread my darling husband bakes fresh.

    Also. A TB is opening 5 minutes from my house, finally. PRAISE THE LORD!

  4. I so wish you had TB as a sponsor. Their nachos are all this pregnant mama wants to eat. And their Dr. Pepper slushies (not the vanilla kind, don't be crazy). SO very very very good. Maybe I go and order 3 orders of nachos and a slushie at 3pm. Or 9:30 pm. Or 10 am. Whatever. SO GOOD.

    Favorite good behavior food? Grilled chicken salad with french fries, cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing. OH MY WORD, I'm starving right now.

  5. I think you lunch sounds YUMMO! 'Cause fresh tomatoes? And basil? (And cream cheese?) Can't go wrong. In the summer I we eat salads for lunch (just chop up whatever we have) & in the fall & winter it's usually soup or pasta. But we're big fans of nachos & taco stuffed baked potatoes, too!

  6. Oh the word mentioned Hacienda - and your killin' me - with memories. I haven't eaten there in a coon's age...

    Now I just might have to swing into Taco Bell, as well for ole time sake. While living in Goshen, IN and on a VS salary (working with Gospel Echoes...there!) - - you made that minimal dollar or so a day work for you, I'm telling ya... and TB was the "cheapest" thing on the line... so we'd make it stretch... and it was all good.


    Your lunch here sounds just as delish... at least by the looks of it all...

    I'm thinking - what's for dinner?? I don't know... it might have to be something Mexi...


  7. usual lunch? salad every day. with all kinds of stuff on it. but ALWAYS avocado and caramelized onions.
    fav lunch? besides chipotle? a HUGE soft pretzel from Sam's club.

  8. My usual breakfast and lunch is leftovers from the night before. My favorite lunch is a FRIED AVACADO TACO from Torchy's, a chain that started in Austin. It's the best taco eva.

    And that sandwich looks delish.

  9. Good lunch; that same chicken salad Mariah's having except NOT with ranch
    Bad lunch; cheddar bacon fries at the pizza restaurant next door to my office. What am I supposed to do? It's right next door.

  10. I AM your girl for this meal! I AM HER!!!! I have long held an affinity for orange and yellow tomatoes. I get this from my Grandpa Sanders. Also, I thought the cracked pepper looked like capers, so I'm thinking try capers now. I love capers. Can't wait for a lunch date at chez Martin. I think the last time you served us quesadillas. Ps. The 7 layer burrito holds my heart forever. Xoxo

  11. yumm!!! i do this with cream cheese, tomato, arugula, avocado and a fried egg! yummy goodness

  12. Taco Bell is the best. I would work there just to have a free lunch, but would probably get fired if I had to work the Drive-Thru!

  13. You're onto something with the English muffin. I mean slap some PB and jelly on one and it's somehow high class, melt some mayo, tuna, basil and cheese on top and it's comfort food galore, top with your favorites and it's an adorable tiny pizza. Maybe this is why you love Earl Grey tea. You're secretly an English girl (and no I don't just mean not Amish!) :)

  14. I don't like tomatoes but I love avocado's squished on toast with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. That or any leftovers. In autumn my favourite is split pea soup with some crusty bread. Or a nutella sandwich. Depends on the day.... :)

  15. bean burrito served with blue corn tortilla chips Greek yogurt mixed with Rotel or salsa verde. An apple and cheese slices or tuna red pepper flakes lemon juice and mix with pasta

  16. omg. I have always adored you. but THIS?! this takes the cake.

    I am easily distracted by tacos. and I recently discovered pupusas. Game changer right there.

    I am now hungry for nothing I have in my house to eat. So thanks. ;)

  17. Taco Bell is the best fast food deal out there. We love it! My guilty lunch pleasure is a local chinese dive's "moogoogaipan." You gotta say it in one swift mouthful. My kids love their General Tso chicken. We gladly pass by about eight other Chinese dives to get there. YUM!

  18. You is a goof.

    I eat this too much. All the time right now actually, because the tomatoes are all in 'cause it freezes hard up in these part at night. Mine is usually for breakfast, and it's lacking the basil - but same thing. If it's lunch, I throw it between bread and add bacon and scratch the cream cheese for mayo.

    I would know no self denial if there was a Taco Bell in somewhere less than a hundred mile radius.

    Your food photography skills are great, dear lady, but what I really wanna know is did you select that purty blue plate to show off your fancy pants sandwich? 'Cause it's reeeal nice.

    My favorite is that you can talk sandwiches and public school, this is why you are the same as the rest of us and we just love ya to pieces. You are awesome.

  19. Bacon, lettuce, tomato, sliced cheese sandwich. If I'm ever on death row, this is what I'm requesting for my final meal. When there are no tomatoes, it's sad....

  20. Guilty: checkers! They send these coupons out that bait me into indulging in burgers, seasoned fries, and strawberry Fanta for the low low price of $1.99 and endless hours at the gym

    Normal people food: salad greens, medium salsa, mango/pineapple salsa, and hard boiled egg.

  21. "BUT OH MY GOSH HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?????" Literally LOL here... girlie - you crack me up! Haters gonna hate but seriously - you may have a Taco issue? #ButYouAreNotAlone We have a TB down the road - as in - less than 5 minutes walking distance, but I can't remember when the last time was that I went there... I love their Fresca menu because - cilantro and fresh(er) salsa! Hello? I am lazy... so often, Lunch is just really left overs from dinner the night before (or coffee, if I am 'working' and being honest!) But I love spring rolls (the frozen variety - because, I already pointed out that I am lazy!) or cottage cheese with avocado and fresh chunky salsa... (with a ba-- um, side of chips - maybe... probably!) I also love a big salad... Seinfeld style. (or tacos... but I digress!)

  22. I sometimes go to Taco Bell when my husband is not around. It's so easy -- just a little drive through, some change from the cup holder...nobody ever has to know. Except for I always tell him. Guilt gets me.

  23. Once Upon A Time I was pregnant and on a walk with my husband - for my health and the baby's well being...I saw a Taco Bell cup in the ditch. We had already had dinner, but that cup was enough to start my mouth a-waterin'. I will never forget the look in my husband's eyes - bewilderment, disbelief, disgust?? But, like a good husband does, he lowered his eyebrow and took me to TB. The end.

  24. I love this post!! I love to eat leftovers for lunch, but if I had my way I'd get to have a burrito in a bowl from my Mexican sisters at Mestizos here in Cumming. I'll take you there if you want to come visit ME and not Becca and Lori when you stop through ATL. Hoosiers unite!

    There's no shame in eating the same thing day after day, Shannan. Why not? If it's good,it's GOOD--why not enjoy not having to think in order to eat?

    Such a pleasure to meet you today. Thanks for letting me hang with you and your friends and not have to pull up my big girl panties and sit by myself.

  25. I don't know if it's just Taco Bells north of the border, but Canadian TBs do NOT have a good reputation. I've tried TB three times over the years, and three times I've been stuck on the toilet. Yep, Canadian Taco Bells give us the runs.

    Typical lunch? Living in the boonies, I don't have any worthy restaurants nearby. Lunch at home usually consists of leftovers, a big ol' pot of soup with enough for the week (today I made a pot of red lentil soup from an old hippy cookbook) or a curried tuna grilled wrap. If I've got company, maybe a frittata to use up all the leftover veggies in the fridge.

    … or let's be honest. Somedays it's a couple of cookies. Or a muffin and a smoothie.

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  27. We are habitual taco eaters having grown up in California-- But for 12 years when our kids were young, we lived in Spain. And believe it or not-- there is NO Mexican food in Spain!! So on a trip to London, as we were walking up the steps at Victoria Station, I spied a Taco Bell cup!!!! It took some doing (pre-internet days) but my husband tracked down that place, a long metro ride out of town and we took the kids for a glorious feast!! Tacos at last! Forget Buckingham Palace, those tacos were the highlight of the trip!

  28. I hate lunch. (Sorry it had to be said.) My favorite "normal person lunch" is taking leftover bbq chicken from dinner and making it into BBQ chicken nachos. So good and easy. Guilty lunch pleasure - Kraft Mac n Cheese or chili cheese dog from Sonic with a Vanilla Dr. Pepper.

    Also - my five year old is constantly taking shoe strings (for his little brother's motor skill activities) and tying up his toys to make "inventions." I find Ninja Turtles, Mr. Potato Head, legos and other things hanging from door knobs and handles around the house.

    One more thing - I have been having an English muffin perfectly toasted with butter and an (at home fakey) iced coffee almost every morning for over a month now. I apparently love English muffins.

  29. my favorite lunch.... ummm... left over soup???
    i stink at eating by myself.
    guilty pleasure lunch... chipotle. every time.
    THE SALAD! ha ha ha

  30. Ok, one of your funniest posts ever! Love it! Your lunch looks awesome. I try to have leftovers from night before. It encourages me to make a good dinner and alleviates what to have for lunch because I, too, could be trying to decide long after the lunch hour :)

  31. I could also be tempted to run for the border almost daily; alas, my small town doesn't have a TB; I have to drive 6 miles to get to one - and in the opposite direction of where I normally go. Whew!! So, as of late, I've been making a bowl of fresh salsa and eating that with chips. THAT is totally YOUR fault, because of your frequent rhapsodizing about that particular culinary delight! (Sorry, didn't mean to shout... and you are right, of course.)
    On a side note, back in the day when my hubster worked weekends, I'd drive thru TB on the way home from church where I could feed the boys and I for under $5. That come to an end when my eldest, a middle-schooler at the time gave me his order. "I'll have five soft tacos, a burrito supreme, an order of nachos..." Oh, and then there was the time I was playing with my $5 bill, and dropped it into the window opening, just before pulling up to pay - but that's another story).
    Thanks for making my day - again!

  32. I suggested Taco Bell on a late night food run at the Wild & Free conference and nearly got laughed out of the car. I don't know what they do to that taco meat (and I reeeeaaally don't want to know) but it's so.dang.good. I love when I make taco chicken in the crockpot. I'll make chicken tacos (with the cheese all melty in the toaster oven) and throw some salsa and avocado on there every day til the chicken's gone.

    1. My phone does not do well with blog comments. Anyway, another brainless lunch meal around here is a can of tuna mashed with half an avacado. It's so good. And you could make a melt out of it. But yeah, if I don't have leftovers in the house, I eat chips and salsa or yogurt with granola. (And chia seeds. Because, then, you know, it counts as a legit meal.)

  33. I love a black bean burrito from Taco Bueno, do you have them?? That is the bomb! and they have these cinnamon chips which are so good! YOu can get that combo with a large ice water for $3.78!!! WHAT?? My favorite normal person lunch is a salad with jalapeno peanut sauce from Trader Joes(the bomb!) or a peanut butter orange marmalade sandwich. I love your english muffin pizzas though. They look tasty! -Wendy

  34. I love Tuscan tuna bean salad. It's not a lunch for one but it keeps for up to a week in the fridge and we love leftovers. Take two cans of light tuna in olive oil (Italian brands are best) and 1 can of very small white beans (you can use canellini if you can't the the really small ones). Take about a third of a large sweet onion and slice it up finely. Mix together with balsamic vinegar to taste. (No mayo because it already has the oil in it.) Garnish with fresh basil if you have some around. Love the fact that it's a pantry meal--even if you've run out of everything fresh, you can still make this delicious meal.

  35. This is all kinds of awesome! Wendy's Pretzel Pub Chicken....I won't say how many times I ditched my incredibly nutritious, homemade, and yummy lunch to go get one last month! I have recovered my sanity...but oh my.

  36. I am just flat out home alone and empty nester. (This is not saying that I want a full time job so that I am exhausted and behind on everything all of the time like my bestie.) I have an 11 hour day everyday and it is long. I eat very weird things for lunch but I never go out because then I would have to go out and we live 'out'. A frequent lunch here if the fridge does not yield leftover bits is fried eggs cause I am the only one who has ever liked them here and I love them. I have never eaten at Taco Bell and I am becoming more and more convinced that I should never do it. Our middle son, 25, claims that fast food has crack in it so that you keep coming back. When we get up in the morning and decide to go fast food for breakfast hubby asks me what crack house I want to go to. :)