Love Lives in a Tupperware

August 30, 2018

                  Bear witness, yo. The human pretzel leg.^^Apparently, it’s a trademark move.



My husband teases me a little that I’m the Food Police in our house, and when it comes to him, I guess I am. Guilty. I’m a little more lenient in the dietary department with the girls, because they’re still growing teenagers, with the metabolism that comes with it. A certain amount of junkity junk is bound to pass their lips…but that guy?

He’s a frigging adult.

An adult who works super long, hard and (sometimes) weird hours. An adult who is genetically predisposed to high cholesterol a few other worrisome things. An adult whose whole family counts on to live long and prosper.

I could just keep my nose out of it and let him do his own thing, since he is *ahem* an adult. And as far as his exercise routines and doctor’s visits go, he’s the master of his domain. But when it comes to what he puts in his belly on a given day, I run interference.

I’m a nutritional busybody. So sue me.

Unless he’s got a work meeting at the crack of dawn, breakfast is eaten at home, cooked by yours truly, and he’s sitting down to eat it. No breakfast croissant gulped down in the car. It will have protein and whole grains and a vegetable or two. When he leaves for work, he’s got “Wife Lunch” waiting in the refrigerator. He comes home to a crushingly boring, nutritious dinner that’s again stuffed with the mountains of vegetables and whole grains.

He’s got the occasional wiggle room in there for a burger and fries or some pizza, but it’s just that. Occasional. He enjoys his most favorite of treats–chicken fried steak and fish and chips–maybe 5 times a year. Maybe. That poor, poor man.

But hey. I love him, I like him, I want him to live, okay? I am fully aware that I’m annoying, but I’ve been married to the man long enough to know that he won’t complain.

Things get a little dicier when he works bizarro hours, like he did this past week. He was on the dreaded swing shift for what seemed like a bazillion days. The swing shift is an incredibly busy and shitty shift that lasts from early afternoon to late night. He’s not home for his Puritan-esque dinner, nor does he necessarily have time to even heat up something I’ve sent with him.

It sucks.

It’s also a prime opportunity for him to shove some crap down his gullet. I don’t want him to do that, though. He’s going to feel like roadkill anyways and fueling himself with garbage isn’t going to help matters.

I could send him to work with a sandwich, some carrot sticks and an apple, and I sometimes do that. But I feel guilty about it. How depressing is that dinner? That dinner is grim business. Nobody wants that dinner. It’s still too warm outside for soup and like I said, he often doesn’t have time to heat it up anyway.

Enter the Dinner Tupperware of Love and Devotion. In other words, the noodle or hearty grain salad. It’s got carbohydrates to keep him satisfied, protein to keep him ticking, and vegetables to keep the wife happy. This particular one has Asian-inspired dressing that ties it all together and crushed peanuts and zingy Wasabi peas make things interesting. And kind of addictive, to be honest.

I first used the crushed peanut/Wasabi trick in this recipe, and I’ve become kind of obsessed with the combination. I’m sprinkling that crack dust on everything, even my night time bowl of popcorn (you guys. It’s genius on popcorn). Crack dust! On everything! I’m weird!

But it really does make life fun, and it works wonders in this salad. If you’re packing it up to send with someone you love, send a little extra container of salad dressing and a separate bag/container of the crack dust to add at the last minute. Crack dust is not nearly as delicious if it’s soggy, so keep it separate. It’s an anal-retentive and kind of fussy detail but it’s worth it.

One slurp of this noodle salad will make anyone feel taken care of, and that is definitely worth it.





Crack Asian Noodle Salad

serves 4


12 ounces buckwheat soba noodles or rice noodles

1/3 cup minced fresh basil, Thai basil or cilantro

1/4 cup minced fresh mint

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1 medium English hothouse cucumber, seeded and sliced

2 medium carrots, shaved into ribbons (optional)

1 jalapeno or Fresno chile, seeded and chopped

1 pound cooked, chopped protein: shrimp, chicken, steak, tofu, etc. (your pick and yes, optional)

3 tablespoons crushed hot Wasabi peas

3 tablespoons chopped roasted, salted peanuts


Dressing (you may not need all of the dressing for the salad):

1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons warm water

2 tablespoons fish sauce

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 cloves grated garlic

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (black or regular)


Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water and drain well again.

Combine the noodles with the basil, mint, scallion, carrots, cucumber, chile and whatever protein you wish in a large bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl. Toss the noodles with about 3/4 of the dressing mixture and let sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. If salad seems dry after that, add remaining dressing and chill another few minutes. If packing up the salad to eat later, send a little container of extra dressing along with it.

To serve, toss the noddles again and top with the crushed Wasabi peas and the chopped peanuts.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Arnebya September 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Well. I have my lunch idea for tomorrow, since I’m heading to the store. And since I’m the one responsible for my lunch (and the goal is to keep from buying lunch that can range from $8-$20+ A DAY near work) this is both yummy-looking and doable.


Dana Talusani September 19, 2018 at 4:57 am

Arnebya, I often wonder why I took Mama’s sack lunches for granted. Sometimes we all want our lunch fixed!


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