Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lunch Week 30: Pesto Brown Rice with Roasted Vegetables and Tuna

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided. So my lunch for the week: Pesto Brown Rice with Roasted Vegetables and Tuna Healthy is the idea for lunch this week. I packed this week's dish full of vegetables and very lean protein (tuna). Also, I added some brown rice for filling and carbs. So I start off my chopping up a bunch of different vegetables. You can use whatever you like to eat. Just make sure they're remotely cut the same size for even roasting. A little salt, pepper, and oil mixed all into a baking sheet and into the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Halfway through the roasting, you would want to mix the vegetables a little in order to get even cooking. While that roasts, I cooked up some brown rice. I always cook rice in an electronic cooker. It's truly one of the best set-it-and-forget-it gadgets. Brown rice calls for lots of water. A quick note: servings of brown rice is usually smaller because they're much more filling. Also, use stock instead of water for extra flavor. And while the rice cooks and the vegetables roast, I prepared my tuna steaks. I love buying fish in bulk. It's not the freshest fish you can get but I'm not eating them right away. Usually, I like my tuna steaks rare but this is going into a rice dish so it's going to be fully cooked. A little salt and pepper and into a hot pan with oil. Sear until it's browned on both sides and the middle is cooked through. This will take a couple of minutes. A good way to test when meat is well done is to press on it with your finger or spatula. When it's hard and doesn't really bounce back, then it's fully cooked through. A little rest and I chopped it into bite sizes pieces. Surprisingly not dry at all. The vegetables are nice and cooked with a slight char. Throw everything together at the end. I added a little pesto to the rice for some extra flavor. But not too much to overpower the flavor if the vegetables. Lastly, some freshly chopped scallions for some freshness. And everything is done. Be sure to mix too violently or you'll break up the tuna. The dish is pretty filling. With the vegetables, they're really flavorful. The rice works well with the pesto and lets this dish become a little hearty. The tuna is good but is overpowered in flavor by the other components. However, the texture comes out and is welcomed. This dish wouldn't be as good without some kind of protein. In the end, not one of my favorites but good enough for being healthy.

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