Home sweet lunch

Sometimes I have to take a day off. Here’s what I had for a special lunch one day when I was not at work (this fed four):

Homemade (vegan) arrabiata sauce, Barilla pasta, focaccia.

Salad made of organic baby spinach, kalamata olives, real mozzarella, tomatoes.

I may have gotten choked up when I started eating.
Great company + terrific food = good for the soul

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20 thoughts on “Home sweet lunch

  1. Looks delish. . .well, except for the olive part. Everything else looks awesome. Glad you get a day off occaisionally. Just wait. . .summer's coming!

  2. Oh my god! everything looks so delicious! can you post the recipes please? especially for that red sauce over the pasta! I'm a vegetarian and I would really appreciate that. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Just found your site ..it
    s really interesting. I share the same feeling about school lunches here. Your lunches look slightly more interesting than the slop they feed the kids here in the Washoe School District !!

    I'm originally from New Zealand. There, most kids take a packed lunch. When I mooved over here, my daughter was rather excited about having school lunches 'The American Way'. She'd seen examples of kids eating in the school cafeteria in American films and TV programs and she thought it all looked rather exciting. Reality quickly sunk in and within about 2 days, she was begging me to make her a packed lunch, just like I did 'back home' 🙂

    One of the really scary things about school lunch food, apart from the high sodium and fat content, is the fact that for many school pupils, the only nutrition they get, is what is provided at school!!

    Here in Reno, especially at the school I'm at, a majority of the kids eat breakfast AND lunch at school. Many of them are also in the after school program, where they have dinner, which is the same thing they got for lunch!!

    Napoleon once said that an army marches on it's stomach … meaning that a soldier had to be well fed to perform well, both physically and mentally.

    It's no wonder that American pupils are starting to slip back in elationship to other countries scores. They are certainly not being fed what it takes for them to 'march' successfully !!!

  4. I will get the exact recipe from my family member and post it at some point in the future. Thanks!

  5. sorry for my bad english, but there's too much sauce… I'm Italian and we never put so much sauce on the pasta!

    great blog… and here the kids almost never eat lunch at school!

  6. I'm really just playing around here…but what made me chuckle a bit ~ is the critique of this meal…

    I dunno Mrs. Q ~ I see 'double starch' with the (white!) pasta and focaccia..and loads of salt with the cheese and olives ~

    Like I said…just teasing!


  7. P.S.
    AND double tomatoes!!

    …on the salad and in the sauce…everything is the same color!


    really ~ your lunch looks delish!

  8. I am sure you had a legitimate reason to be off and not just taking a vacation day.

    Nothing better than someone who works 70% of the year taking a vacation day. You know when your breaks are at the beginning of the year, please plan accordingly.

    And this is coming from someone who works in a school and whose wife teaches. When people do this, it just makes it harder on the rest of us in the school world.

  9. Paddy — Feel free to email me at fedupwithlunchATgmailDOTcom — I can give you the gory details about any absences. Actually I believe taking time off jeopardizing the project so why would I do it? It was absolutely unavoidable. I can assure you that I would have preferred to have been working than doing what I did. The school district gives us days for a reason.

  10. Dear Mrs Q.

    As an Italian citizen and a cook I feel deeply offended for your use of the term "arrabbiata" to refer to your recipe (just joking! :P).

    It looks as something totally different.
    Please contact me at potatoes69(at)inwind(dot)it for the original "arrabbiata" recipe and other recipes you may want to try.

  11. Late to the party, but what's with all the comments critiquing the pasta??!

    Last time I checked, this site was about school lunches, and this post is a comparison between lunch at school and lunch at home. This is definitely not a cooking blog, nor is Mrs Q purporting to cook traditional Italian food. For heaven's sake, focus on what's important, which is the nutritious, fresh, lovely meal!

  12. Sauce for Pasta Arabiatta:

    *Chop up (into disks) one ENTIRE BULB of garlic and put in large saucepan

    *Add at least one pinch crushed red peppers

    *Add enough extra virgin olive oil to lightly cover the garlic and peppers

    *Turn on heat to medium-high, and cook until garlic turns light brown (do not leave the kitchen while the garlic is frying)

    *Add two large cans (28oz. each) of crushed ITALIAN tomatoes ("di Napoli" or "il Duomo" brands are usually good)

    *Turn down heat and simmer the sauce

    *Add salt to taste (it will probably need quite a bit)

    *After the sauce is hot, add a handful of torn fresh basil (or frozen, but NEVER DRIED basil)

    *Cook until the basil is wilted (about 5-10 minutes), and serve!

    **Note: you can begin to boil the water for the pasta before starting to make the sauce – it's that quick!

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