"You know," she said. "Every culture has its favorite foods ... those that are family traditions." (Michelle is of Greek extraction.)
"For example," she said, "I have my mother's original recipe for a yummy Greek dish called 'Pastitsio.' And I'm changing some of the ingredients to make it healthier.
"Did I show you my 'salad on the go'?" she said holding up a wide-mouth Mason jar layered with colorful ingredients.
"You need wide-mouthed, quart-size jars. I suppose you could do a pint jar -- but that's not a whole meal."
"Put the dressing (fat-free preferred, or a little olive oil and balsamic) on the bottom. Add spices if you like. Then layer the heaviest veggies: broccoli, snow peas, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, shredded carrots.
"Next add tomato, crumbled feta, bacon bits. Then layer sliced hard-boiled eggs and 1/6 of an avocado. Add red-leaf lettuce or whatever you prefer. And top with grilled chicken breast.
"And I add a dollop of Greek yogurt," she said. "I make four (jars) at a time and keep them in the refrigerator. When lunch time rolls around, I shake it up."
Very cool! It's colorful! And healthful! And ... cultural. And fit for eating at your desk.
Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian. Email: bquinnchomp.org.
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