Thursday, May 26, 2016

Potluck Time


One of the many things I enjoy about where I work is that we seem to find plenty of reasons to have a potluck. Personally, I don't think you should really need a reason to have a potluck. Gathering together around a couple of tables full of food is really enough reason in itself.

Well, tomorrow we're having another potluck at work. Or, as I like to think of it, see how much food a single paper plate will hold...per trip to the table. To be honest, the only thing I don't like about potlucks is trying to figure out what to bring. I'm not really sure why that bothers me since 99.9% of the time it's my wife putting something together for me the night before when I finally tell her about it. 

Since I am known wide and far as a healthy eater, I thought I should give it a little more thought this time around. (Or was it that I'm seen as wide from far because of my eating?? I always mix those up.) I wanted to see what I could come up with that might be a healthy option. Believe it or not, I actually brought a fruit tray last time.

I grabbed a couple stalks of celery to sit and ponder this a while. Once I added a few nice sized globs of peanut butter to the celery, I was ready to think. Of course the first thought that crossed my mind was that I wished I had some raisins to make ants on a log. My wife said she was surprised I didn't want to use chocolate chips for the ants instead. (Great idea! My wife is really smart.)

If it was a bit later in the year, perhaps I could utilize part of my tomato harvest from the garden. Tomatoes are healthy. They're quite delicious too. I mean seriously, my mouth is already watering just thinking about a slice of tomato stacked on top of a slab of pepper jack cheese melting on a half pound medium rare hamburger patty. 

Avocados are also pretty awesome. Not only are they great sources of potassium and fiber, they are also good for lowering your cholesterol. The tough part with avocados though is deciding whether to cut a few slices for my burger or whip up a batch of guacamole. I do have to say guacamole is one of my favorite burger toppings. It also has the added benefit as a tasty dip for chips while you're waiting to eat your burger. 

Cucumbers are another fine choice for a vegetable. Although I do vaguely recall having my fair share of cucumber sandwiches growing up, that wouldn't be my first choice. I'm fairly certain that cucumbers are primarily designed for making pickles. Pickles are great when sliced and carefully balanced on your burger. (Note: You can use guacamole like a natural mortar to hold the pickles in your burger.) If by chance you don't want to risk the pickle falling out of your burger, you can always drop it in your beer. It adds a nice salty flavor that really helps a "light" (ewwww) beer. 

Bell Peppers are a favorite in our household. We use them in a wide variety of ways. My favorite, which I am now realizing we haven't had in far too long, is a stuffed green pepper. There are a few benefits associated with beef-stuffed green peppers. For one, it's always a great go-to when you want a burger, but realize you're out of buns. My favorite is to have the beef-stuffed green pepper as a side with my hamburger. Besides adding a bit of healthy veggies to your meal, you can say you only had one burger.....but enjoy the benefits of two. 

I realize bacon is not technically a vegetable, but it does deserve an honorary mention in the vegetable category. My lack of knowledge on raising pigs may give me away, but I can only imagine pigs eat a lot of vegetables when they're being fattened up. (Yep. Google says corn and soymeal is popular.) So there you have it. Bacon is about as near to a vegetable as you can get without actually growing up from out of the ground.

To finalize my list of healthy options, I am going to end with a fruit. Watermelon is an all time favorite summer fruit in my book. I guess it usually tastes pretty good, but that's not why I have fond childhood memories about watermelon. Watermelon seed spitting is where the real pleasure comes from. Not only can you have a game of spit for distance without getting dirty looks, but also receive a good ab workout while trying to spit for distance. (Probably not enough of a workout to counter the pound of meat you just had with the burger and stuffed pepper though.)

Even though my thinking about healthy options like vegetables and fruits got me craving a thick, juicy guacamole burger, I knew that the burger option isn't viable for my work potluck. (No time to grill.) I have decided to bring Reese's peanut butter cup flavored Oreo brownies instead. Not just because that's what my wife had on hand and was willing to make for me. It also has some healthy ingredients like flour, a grain based product that's rich in magnesium, and eggs which are full of nutrients. 

I'm excited to see what everyone else brings in tomorrow. I've been trying to ignore all the chatter this week leading up to the potluck so I could be surprised tomorrow. I'm going to sign off now so I have time to plan my six, ten-minute "lunches" tomorrow in an effort to maximize my potlucking performance and effectiveness. Until next time....