The Hungry Man Eats

Monthly Archives: September 2013

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Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwich from Starbucks

An eggcelent sandwich!

What is the second best part of the workday? Lunch!

The best part is going home at the end of the day of course…

I have had success in the past with the sandwiches from Starbucks and a friend told me to give their egg salad sandwich a try. Now egg salad is one of those foods, at least for me that I really have to be craving in order to enjoy, so it took me a while to get around to grabbing one to try.

Egg salad has been one of those foods that I always remember liking, my mom would make it somewhat often, especially in the spring and summer and almost always when one or the other of my sets of grandparents would come to visit, it was usually served for the lunch on the first full day they would be in town. What made it distinctive was the way my mom would give the salad its kick and a bit of crunch were the pickles she would add. She would use the pickles out of the Vlasic Hot & Spicy Garden Mix Pickles. Apparently they are no longer making these pickles, but I remember that the only cauliflower I would ever eat for years was the cauliflower they would add to this mix. It made for a tangy slightly spicy egg salad that was always a family favorite.

The Starbucks egg salad sandwich does not quite meet the pinnacle of egg salad described above but it is the best pre-made egg salad I have come across in a very long time.

They describe it as: “This traditional lunchtime favorite is dressed with chives and arugula for a truly outstanding sandwich. At once creamy, tangy and bright, this superb egg salad, served on cider wheat bread, makes a deliciously substantial meal.”

I disagree with the tangy part, it was not bland so much as mellow, rich and mellow. Bright? Well, it does present well as seen above. It was a pleasing consistency, not runny at all like some pre-made egg salads, and actually quite thick, none of it escaped from the sandwich as egg salad tends to do.

The bread and lettuce combo was a winner just like it was in the BLT Chicken Salad Sandwich of theirs I tried a few months ago.

I paid $5.99 for this sandwich, which is a bit pricy for my blood for a mere egg salad sandwich, but it is very good quality. Not going to try to make a recipe based off of this one, it’s just not interesting enough and you don’t have to look to hard to find other egg salad recipes out there on the web.

If you are out there in the world and find yourself craving a pre-made egg salad sandwich, by all means, grab the one from Starbucks.

It Was Delicious, But It Was a Sad Desk Lunch…

My Chicken Salad Sandwich

You may remember this picture from my post back in July when I made my own version of the Chicken BLT sandwich from Starbucks.

You were amazed and delighted when I discussed the original sandwich prepared by Starbucks and nearly passed out from sheer ecstasy when I posted my own version of the sandwich (recipe included).

But while you were drooling over your keyboards and thinking if you had the ingredients on hand to duplicate the masterpiece, did you notice the background of the picture? Did the benevolent rays of the unfiltered sun beam down on my sandwich like a spotlight on the tender chicken? No. Did the cedar planks of the picnic table contrast nicely with the verdant greenery of the lettuce? No. Was there a bottle of wine and a beautiful lady blending in to the background? Oh hell no!

This was a lunch at my desk at work. (Cue the sad trombone.) My only companions were my desk phone, a highlighter, an electric stapler and a bedraggled notepad.

Fortunately I am not alone in my suffering, millions upon millions of people worldwide eat their lunch at their desk. Some eat there because they have no time to break away from their work, I eat there because I prefer not to spend any more time at work than necessary. An extra half hour seeking and eating lunch outside the office means an extra half hour stuck at work in the late afternoon, and a half hour less to do something useful outside of work, like making dinner.

The website saddesklunch.com chronicles the culinary attempts (some delicious looking, lots of leftovers and some that just have to be seen to be believed)

You may laugh and think that a sad desk lunch is something that only happens to other people, but I guarantee that it is only a matter of time till you are reheating Thai leftovers from the weekend out of the container they sent it home with you with a pink fork from that office birthday gathering back in May.

Knowledge and Wisdom in the Kitchen

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“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” Miles Kington

I was out shopping last week and saw this magnet, it was too good not to buy.

It got me thinking about some of the food combinations I have had over the years that just did not work out, some of them were self-inflicted and some of them were while eating out or at somebody else’s place.

I can think of three types of combination problems that occur:

  • The right food in the wrong quantity
  • The wrong food by mistake
  • The wrong food on purpose, usually because it sounds like it should work, but does not.

The right food in the wrong quantity can sometimes be fixed in the prep stage, but only if you need to add more of something that is missing. It is a lot trickier to deal with too much of something, you have to add more of everything else to compensate. Several years ago I tried to add some interesting flavor to a homemade pasta sauce by adding some nutmeg to it. I added way too much nutmeg and my sauce tasted like a combo of a delicious marinara and French toast. It turns out that ½ t of nutmeg is a good amount to add to 32-48 oz. worth of sauce, but I added that much to a single servings worth.

The wrong food by mistake usually occurs because of mistaken identity or a lack of familiarity with whatever you are creating. Think of accidently using baking soda instead of baking powder, mistaking the salt for the sugar and putting it into your coffee. Or perhaps this priceless gem from Friends where Rachel’s cookbook pages stuck together and she made half of an English Trifle and half a shepherd’s pie and combined them as the Thanksgiving dessert, it always makes me laugh.

The last problem above is the tomato in the fruit salad kind of problem. Just because it sounds good and may make sense from a food type standpoint doesn’t mean it will taste good. This happened to me on one occasion when I was over at a friend’s place and a salad was served. It consisted of mixed greens, French fried onions, ranch dressing and raisins. Let your taste buds imagine that combo in your mouth. Yuck!

Now, if you are the adventurous type in the kitchen, trial and error is part of the process and you never know what could lead to a successful combo, that’s how you get the wisdom to know not to put the tomato in the fruit salad.

One is Company, Two is a Crowd

 Breakfast Sandwich 001

I am a modern technologically with it guy, use my computer and phone to do stuff, you know, “the Web. Using a mouse, mices, using mice. Clicking, double clicking. The computer screen, of course. The keyboard. The… bit that goes on the floor down there.

However I still enjoy clipping coupons, you never know what savings may pop up on the next page, and you usually see coupons for new products as well.

One lazy Sunday afternoon I was flipping and clipping and suddenly the page scanned above appeared:

“Mmmmm, breakfast sandwiches, all the best parts of the meal all combined in a portable package, brilliant!”

I noticed that it was for Marie Callender’s, and they have a good reputation for decent frozen food and restaurants, and that the coupon that went with it was for $1.50 off a single box.

Then I saw the ad copy above: “With homebaked flavor so good, why stop at one?”

Oh Marie Callender’s, I am so glad you asked why stop at one, there are lots of reasons:

  • Look at the nutrition info on the front of the box, 390 calories, 11g saturated fat (55% of your daily value), 1260mg sodium (53% of your daily value) The calories are on the high side of reasonable, but you are half your daily requirement for two unhealthy things right there.
  • Now go ahead and have that second sandwich and watch those numbers double, 780 calories, 22g saturated fat and 2520mg sodium. Congratulations! You have already exceeded your daily saturated fat and sodium intake for the day, all before 9:00 a.m.!
  • There are only three in a box, you will only get two meals worth, one normal and one gluttonous. Or if you just want to be like that, one meal and one half size meal.

Now Marie Callender’s is not known and will likely never be known for their healthful food options, though they do promote their meals that have under 500 calories. But don’t go off and promote being a glutton, it’s just unhealthy, and expensive to be having to buy their sandwiches twice as often, likely without the benefit of nice coupons in the future too.

Go ahead eat one and enjoy it with some fruit on the side, but don’t eat two.

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