Make mine a tuna fish sandwich–with a side of attitude

Tuna Fish Sandwich with a Side of Attitude

Tuna Fish Sandwich with a Side of Attitude

I work from home.  This presents me with the amazing opportunity to do what I love:  cook.  In between phone calls, studio work and sales calls, I can bake a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread or throw some ribs into the oven to cook until the meat is fleeing the bone.  

This work-from-home situation also allows my husband and brother-in-law to come home for lunch.  Some days are better than others, but they know there is always good coffee and a “side of attitude” being served.  Before you think of me adopting a sassy wise-cracking diner-waitress-persona(and believe me there is plenty of that), I want to introduce and define the “side of attitude” which I consider to be a point of personal pride. 

 A “side of attitude,” is a creative, nourishing, tasty and unexpected side dish.  The first time my brother-in-law saw a prepared lunch of Tuna Fish Salad served with Cottage Cheese and a Grapefruit Half, he smiled and joked, “Excuse me, but I ordered the unhealthy lunch. ” My husband loved the way that lunch looked when they walked in the door.  “Wow.  Honey, this is great.”  It was very diner-like, but so inviting, so simple and if I say so myself, thoughtful. 

A good side dish is thoughtful because that food eventually becomes part of the person who is eating it.  Now, this may seem a bit Polyanna, but I have been accused of that and worse.  In fact, my brother-in-law refers to me as, “Someone who is happy about the world,” where puppies can do no wrong and “ordinary life occasions can become big events.”  A side dish fits into this last observation as something ordinary that can bring a little unexpected happiness to a meal. 

Lunch in particular can be a tricky time.  People seem to slip into a fog when it comes to choosing a companion for their sandwich.  It’s not their fault.  The American pysche has slipped into a dollar-menu mentality when it comes to companion foods.  I am here to tell of a different way of life.  It is a world of foods that are fresh and tasty, quick to prepare and dazzling to the eye.  I am here to proclaim a higher standard for side dishes capable of  nourishing bodies and  being  included in the quick lunches America is forced to consume.

Allow me to further clarify.  French fries are a counterfeit vegetable.  Potato chips are not a side dish.  Lettuce covered in dressing is a cruel mockery to authentic salads every where.  And the rice/baked potato song and dance bores me to tears.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Take the challenge.  Use more creativity and take some pride in the long-forgotten side dish. 

Try these delicious lunch menus to get you started:  Turkey Sandwich with Mozzarella Cheese, Red Pepper and Pesto Spread with a side of Baked Zucchini Sticks; Grilled Cheese on Texas Toast with Tomato Soup and Seedless Black Grapes; Left over Spaghetti with Apple Slices and Peanut Butter.  It’s easy if you think fresh and fast.  Add a side of broccoli, cashews, carrot and celery sticks, an orange, yogurt and the list goes on…

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