Chez Madeleine

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Healthy Lunch Club


My colleague, Katie, is very healthful. She eats lean meats, and lots of veggies, and usually says no to sweets and sodas. She's the model of someone who cooks healthily for her family. She also works out regularly. She is also always trying to make the world a better place. Katie has a vision for our Admissions Office-that we can learn to be healthier, and encourage each other through eating, sharing tips, and restricting certain habits at the office.

I mean--let's be real--how many of you work in an office where people food dump cookies and cakes and chips and candy from their weekend parties? Then, a few minutes later, Little Unassuming You goes into the kitchen for your morning cuppa and you leave having consumed your daily caloric limit? You weren't planning to have pound cake for breakfast, but the temptation got the better of you. Food dumping is a common practice in office settings, and combined with our sedentary schedules, its a not so healthy way of living. I am just as guilty of food dumping because I love to cook, but don't want to eat I bring it in for someone else to consume.

So-a few months ago, Katie started conceiving of ways that our office could adopt better habits. She talked to Julie, our boss, and they brainstormed incentives and ideas for programming. With a little inspiration from Cooking Light, The Healthy Lunch Club was born.

The guidelines are as follows:
Guidelines (loosely adapted from Cooking Light:)
• Two HLC members will sign up to bring in lunch.
• One person will be the “Head Chef” and the other the “Sous Chef.” The Head Chef will set the theme and make the main course and the Sous Chef will make a complimentary salad, side dish, bring fruit, etc.
• Each HLC member must be a Head Chef and a Sous Chef in a sign up period.
• We will start out with 1 lunch/week on Wednesdays and then vote to see if we want to add more or change the day.
• Sign up sheet will be stored on the S drive.
• Each lunch should have no more than 500 calories no more than 15 grams of fat, should contain whole grains and at least one serving of fruits and vegetables, list of ingredients, recipe. We should prepare enough for 10 (we have 8 in the group).
• We will keep all of the recipes on the S drive.
*Note: Food allergies and sensitivities include: nuts, fish, artificial sweeteners, and dairy. Please be sensitive to colleagues by avoiding these ingredients or indicating when they are a part of a recipe.

So, Wednesday was our 2nd HLC lunch day, and I was the Head Chef! All of my dreams had come true. I decided to do Lettuce Wraps because they seemed like a great way to eat veggies and consume less calories. I found a great recipe for Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps on Caroline signed up to be my sous chef, and she brought in the most gorgeous array of breadsticks, hummus, and fruit.


Here, you can see the spread. I brought the lettuce leaves, and then people filled them with the chicken (marinated with garlic, ginger, soy, sesame oil, orange zest, rice vinegar etc.) and bean sprouts, carrots, mint leaves, peanuts, and a sauce made of the same ingredients as above.


Here's Libby about to eat her lettuce wraps-she said she'd had similar ones at PF Changs!


And here are some other HLC members, (r-l)Caroline, Julie & Emily:


And finally, Caroline brought fortune cookies to go with the asian theme. They were a sweet ending to our lunch. SO--if you work in an office environment, I encourage you to start a Healthy Lunch Club. Its easy, fun, and a great way to share recipes, tips, and great food.



Blogger Momma M said...

that is a really good idea. I just wonder if it can be done with only two people in a group. I have another lady on my desk who wants to eat healthy too. So we're trying to brainstorm on this idea!!

10:52 AM  

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