Leftover Queen

Eventhough I know it’s better for my wallet, I have been seriously averse to packing my lunch lately. Buying something is just more fun – plus I can choose whatever I’m craving and not be tied down to a boring sandwich. I tried to be good on Thursday and I packed a peanut butter and banana sandwich, but when lunchtime rolled around…I.just.didn’t.want.it. I think food should be enjoyable, so rather than force myself to eat what I had packed, I bought what I was craving – a giant salad with blue cheese, granny smith apples, and butternut squash. Yum!

But I also hate wasting food, so I diligently packed up my sammie and brought it back home. With a little help from my stove top, I turned a plain sandwich into something special.

PB-Banana French Toast (with maple syrup drizzle)



  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 egg, splash of milk, shake of cinnamon
  • tsp butter
  • maple syrup for drizzling


  • Make a pb-banana sandwich as usual, set aside.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk together the egg, milk, and cinnamon. Soak sandwich in egg-mixture (about 2 minutes on each side).
  • Meanwhile, heat a tsp of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook the sandwich until insides are warm and outsides are brown and crispy. Serve with warm maple syrup.

This sandwich (and you know, the 1/2 pint of Ben & Jerry’s that I had for dessert…) fueled me for an early bird run with Kelly this morning. We were up and running around the reservoir before the sun. I ran about 8 miles and the time passed so quickly with company!  And eventhough it was cold and dark, I really liked finishing my run so early. It left me with plenty of time to shower and get ready for work. I even had time to mop the kitchen floor and stop at Starbucks! It’s the small things, really…

Question: Do you bring your lunch to work or buy it? How do you keep it exciting?

  • Jessica

    i have those exact same plates 😀

    I don’t know that the pB & banana sandwich would have been enough for a lunch for me 😛 i’d be grumbly and crashing from my sugar high by mid-afternoon for sure! I try to make extra if I make dinner the night before, or if I can’t scrounge up enough for a whole meal, then I bring enough mid-afternoon snacks (ie. carrots, yogurt, fruit) to make sure I don’t get hungry and start sneaking towards the vending machine.

  • i bring and i do not keep things exciting. i just hope that whatever food around the clinic is going to be exciting.

    holy yum! i think i know what my dinner is going to be!

  • I bring lunch about 90% of the time and I’m not sure how I’d do it without Trader Joe. 😉

    If I’m going all out and legitimately COOKING something for dinner (like the baked mac and cheese I made the other night) I usually have plenty left for the next day’s lunch.

    But my work lunches are usually easy, like frozen burritos or tacos (with added guac and a melted cheese stick!) frozen spinach lasagna (wayyy better if you actually bake the night before and reheat vs. microwaving from frozen for 12 minutes), frozen veggie pad thai, etc. Of course I pack other stuff, like an apple, yogurt, and mini bag of popcorn for the rest of the day, but each “main course” is usually only $2 or so at TJs. 😉

    My office also has a toaster oven; once in a while I’ll bring a cold cheese sandwich to “grill” and eat with tomato soup. 🙂

  • I LOVE working out in the morning before work! It is just so hard to get motivated and get up, having a friend really helps!

  • I almost made today French Toast Friday because that’s my favorite breakfast, but I didn’t have good bread for it. Tragic.

  • Oh my word, look at you being all crazy-productive! With the cold weather, it is just a small victory that I workout before work. Mopping floors will have to wait for the weekend 🙂 And that’s impressive that you really listened to what your body was craving, but still put your sammie to good use!

  • Looks delicious! What a great way to use those leftovers!

  • Yay, great running with you!! Hahaha, i can’t believe you had time (and motivation) to mop the floor. I pack the same lunch for work literally every day (pb&j, yogurt, fruit), but actually amaze myself at how excited I still get to eat the PB&J. I guess it is the little things, right?

  • great job make’n that sandwich into something different! i always bring my lunch because i work in the middle of no where, ergo no where to even buy a lunch! it’s hard to get in variety though with no refrigeration and heating!

  • you are so crafty with your lunch-overs! i totally hate wasting food, but day old pb&b sandwiches are not-so-fab. very nice!

    i myself am a lunch packer for financial reasons. i’d totally eat salads with a ton o’ stuff in them if i could get it discounted like at your office! instead i am all about the pb&j, sweet potato and almond butter combos, and whatever random things i can put together in the two minutes i have while i’m rushing out the door.

    by the way, i’m considering getting a part-time job at just salad for salad discounts. thoughts? i’m also considering hostessing, for free meals. kind of a cheap-y food whore? maybe.

  • Haha, it’s crazy how similarly I’ve been feeling lately. Normally I’m really good about bringing my lunch and being somewhat excited to eat it. In the summer, I’d chop up various veggies for the week and have wicked salads for lunch that all my coworkers were jealous of. Lately I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to cook during the weekend or during week nights. As a result, I was bringing a lot of boring foods, that would cause me to give into temptation more often than not and eat out. I hate wasting food too so it’d end up in the freezer or eaten that night/the next day. Sometimes it just gets so overwhelming to be single (nobody to take on the duties here and there!), working full time (with hours that go far beyond the standard 9-5 m-f schedule), and trying to maintain an active lifestyle outside of work! I know, wah wah right? 😛

  • Though it’s been over three months since I worked (just had a baby and am now a stay at home mom) I would mix things up with crazy sandwiches and weird fruit. It is definitely hard to keep things interesting so I feel you sister.

  • I used to pack a lunch every single day. When I’m on the road I find myself being pretty boring with peanut butter sandwiches and fruit… Not that I’m complaining. I’m pretty sure I could eat a peanut butter sandwich every day for the rest of my life and feel pretty good about it.

  • When I worked in an office, I packed my lunch every night along with tons of snacks. Now that I’m working in a restaurant I don’t really have a traditional time for “lunch;” when I do eat, it’s around 4:30 and if I’m not working at night, it sort of screws my dinner plans. So I pack a lot of snacks.

  • I bring my lunch pretty much everyday with the exception of a staff lunch out here and there.
    But yeah. Sometimes I look over at what other people decided to buy in the cafeteria and get total lunch envy. And I’m not above saying “screw the salad” and buying a panini or something there. Even if it is horribly overpriced.

  • I make a similar version of that sandwich, but I don’t bother to “French” toast it. Just slather some Nutella on whole wheat bread, add banana slices, smoosh it together, and pop it on the George Foreman for a few minutes. It’s done JUST before the Nutella starts oozing out to make a mess of your grill! I like it b/c the outside is crunchy but the inside is gooey.

    As far as buy vs bring, I LOVE bringing my lunch and did it every day when I was working locally – it’s just so much easier to be healthy when you’re preparing the food yourself! Unfortunately, I’m working on a client in DC right now, so bringing my lunch isn’t an option – I have to buy lunch every day. My waistline is suffering for sure!

  • Yu-um! to the French toast/pb sandwich!

    I’m a little spoiled when it comes to lunch as my husband makes mine every morning, but sometimes I do miss the days when I could walk over to the German deli for a surprise treat there … it’s on those days that I tell my husband to relax at home, I’m going out for lunch 😀