My Turkey Sandwich

Not so much a turkey sandwich.

Everybody’s got one. That lunch you make day after day after day no matter how many days in a row it’s been. It’s that thing that doesn’t require cooking, just assembly. That thing whose components end up in your shopping cart each week even though every week you say, “I should really eat something else for lunch…” That thing that just never really gets old.

I like to think that for most people, that lunch rut thing is a turkey sandwich. For me, it’s these random bowls of… stuff.

Instead of bread… some kind of whole grain (rice, millet, whatever).

Instead of turkey… beans, tempeh, nuts… or all three at once.

Instead of American cheese… feta.

Instead of a limp leaf of iceberg lettuce… steamed kale.

It’s kind of the same, right?

People look at my lunch and they think it’s weird. That’s not true; they tell me it’s weird. First of all, who decided that it was appropriate for people to tell me my food is weird? Aside from the occasional uncontrollable visceral gag reaction to certain meats, I keep my mouth shut about other people’s meal choices. You know what I think is weird? Eating something like this:


[That's a Twinkie, y'all.]

Rant aside, when people are done telling me my food is weird, they also tell me that they don’t have time to make something like it because it’s so involved. But I assure you, they do.

So long as the grain has already been prepared, these bowls take me all of 30 seconds to throw together in the morning. They are my turkey sandwich. Except they probably take less time to prepare and are significantly cheaper.

What’s your “turkey sandwich”? Also, do you think my food is weird?

[Don't answer that.]

34 thoughts on “My Turkey Sandwich

  1. My “turkey sandwich” is a banana, cup of yogurt, grapes and peanut butter crackers. It take little time to prepare and I can eat quickly while getting the classroom ready for the afternoon. It’s not good to eat like that, I know.

  2. I think your food is great! I had your “muesli” this morning-it’s so filling and delicious.
    My “turkey sandwich” (when I don’t eat a tofurkey sandwich) is hummus on ww pita or a wrap with romaine and tomatoes. It’s light so I usually balance it out with a cookie or a brownie. Ya know, for balance.

  3. mmmm… polysorbate 60. i remember my grandmother used to grow that in the garden out back and we would help her pull weeds so that it would grow healthy and delicious…

  4. Is that seriously the ingredient list for a twinkie? Beef fat?!?! That is so completely disgusting.

    My go-to lunch is very similar to yours. I’ll either throw together leftovers from the night before (grains, tofu/nuts/beans, and veggies), or some sort of homemade veggie burger salad. I currently work from home, but used to work in an office where my co-workers were super judgmental of what I ate. I got a lot of rude comments and weird looks for my green smoothies and kombucha, in particular.

    At first it made me feel bad, but then I started to have fun with it and would play a game I called “find the most bizarre food at Whole Foods and eat it during the company meeting”. It was like a small f*ck you to my KFC-eating co-workers. And just recently, my old boss actually called me to ask for vegan recipes after his doctor told him his cholesterol was at 600. I didn’t even know it could go that high!!

  5. I get the same comments on my lunch, what gives!? Though yours looks 10x more delicious and I think I want your combination to become my turket sandwich too, so I’m going to copy it.

  6. YUM that looks good. My turkey sandwich is vegetarian chili- can o beans, can of tomatoes, peppers, celery, onion, bam. chili.

    on another note, i wanted to say that i’ve been eating my lunch outside lately (a la sweettater) and it’s rad. just… awesome. so thanks for the push.

  7. Ha, you told me not to answer but I will anyway: NO! Sounds like my kind of lunch. And people tell me my food is weird all the time…and I just take a huge, inappropriate bite in their face and moan over how good it is. Just kidding (kind of). My “turkey lunch” would have to be leftovers. I make big meals for dinner, so whatever I have leftover, I just carry with me to work/school the next day. Sometimes it’s soup, or vegan shepherds pie…either way, it’s always yummo!

  8. Your food is NOT weird. I am so sick of people judging my plate of food too. And the never ending list of questions of why I’m vegetarian, how I gave up meat, WHY I’m doing it, or did I mention their question about why I’m vegetarian? guh! it’s so annoying. But the most irritating thing is the look on their face! like I’m some weird alien.

  9. Ahhh it annoys me so much when people tell me my food looks weird, or gross, or they just plain wrinkle their face up at it. I keep my judgements to myself, why do I have to put up with theirs? Seriously.
    But hey ho. My “turkey sandwich” is pretty similar to yours too; basically chuck pieces of everything in the fridge into a plastic tub and hit the road. I went through a stage of being super organised and having everything pre-chopped. I need to get back to that.

  10. You go, girl (yes, I’m bringing it back)! I just recently had a run-in with a few co-workers about my green smoothies. I use to disguise them in colored glasses and drink them real quick so nobody would make annoying faces & comments. Now I drink them openly in a 32 oz glass mason jar and people react like I’m eating a baby or something. I finally said, “You know, it actually tastes like a Girl Scout thin mint cookie and for the record, I don’t make comments about the fact that you eat at McDonalds every single day and gulp down diet pop nonstop.” One of the coworkers said “point taken” and hasn’t said anything since. Why are people so scared of things that are different? I enjoy being unique and not being a follower…something I’ve coming to appreciate in adulthood. You keep on keeping on, girlfriend!

  11. My “turkey sandwich” is basically the same thing as yours! It’s always different, but yet it’s always the same formula of grain, bean, veggies (sometimes whatever is in the freezer), and mustard or salsa or soy sauce or something like that.

  12. mine is the same, too – grain, veggie, bean + sauce. when i have no cooked grains & no time to cook them, i use uncooked couscous as the “grain” and by lunchtime, all the liquid is absorbed and it is “cooked.” win!

  13. My vegan “turkey” sandwich is: Tortilla, hummus, chopped green olives, tomatoes, one or more of either chick peas/black/kidney beans/tofu, sprouts and spinich, and roll it up! I eat this pretty much every day.

  14. My turkey sandwich is spinach with chick peas, roasted red pepper, carrot, and pickles in pita bread. I also eat exactly half of an apple, every damn day. I’ve never tried a twinkie. The weird gooey texture of the sponge always weirded me out.

  15. I used to get a lot of looks and comments, but I’m at a really great point where when I bring my lunch in to my internship, people come over to see what I have and say, “I wish you would make me lunch — that looks so good!” It’s probably just a more accepting environment and people there know that I cook a lot. :)

    My go-to lunch is probably roasted veggies with rice and hummus or feta. I just do some prep work the night before so in the morning I can just pull out containers of chopped veggies and then roast them for 20-30 minutes while I’m getting ready.

  16. My lunch today was acorn squash, broccoli, and almonds, so no, I don’t think your food is weird at all. Every once in a while I’m reminded that I eat quite strangely compared to other people. When I have to explain what’s in my lunchbox, people look at me like I have three heads, which is why I shut my office door during lunch. But that damn Twinkie is pretty strange so there! I actually do not have a turkey sandwich because my food is random every day. :)

  17. First comment! First of all, I LOVE your blog – I think your writing is hilarious and awesome.

    I get made fun of for my “weird hippie food” too…and it really bugs me when people give the “oh I wish *I* had time to make something like that,” implying that those of us who cook our own lunches have endless hours to twiddle our thumbs in the kitchen while they slave away doing far more important things. You said it: preparing your own lunch is usually faster and cheaper.

    • hey kristina! thanks for stopping by! excellent point. it makes me crazy when people try to imply that i must have all kinds of free time to eat the way i do. i barely have time to shower these days and rarely ever sleep. i continue eating the way i do because food is a priority for me that i’m not willing to sacrifice. some people really need 8 hours of sleep to function; i really need three solid meals and several snacks. to each their own, right?

  18. hi! i just found your blog after watching you and caitlin and brittney! i have two questions about these bowls you throw together because i often try to do the same thing.

    1) what do you use to “bring it all together”? do you use a dressing of any kind? oil? honey? would love to know.

    2) do you ever have them with raw veggies or do you think steamed is preferable?

    so happy i found your blog thank you!!

    • hi, jen! thanks for reading! my favorite flavor combination is kind of a different one: liquid aminos and nutritional yeast. if you’ve never had them, liquid aminos basically just taste (and look) like soy sauce and nutritional yeast (or nooch, as it’s commonly referred to in the blog world) is a yellow flaky powder with a nutty, cheesy taste. i also add a drizzle of oil for fat and just to bring it all together. i generally build these kinds of bowls with raw veggies but always pop them in the microwave at work for two minutes to steam them. i just prefer my veggies cooked but you could certainly do raw if it appeals to you. hope that helps!

  19. “Your food is weird” and even “You’re weird” are the story of my life! (I’m in high school and bring my lunch in a bento box every day. Yesterday someone asked, “What the he** is that?” and I replied, “Chickpeas!” Their response: “What the f*** are chickpeas?” Me: Garbanzo beans. You know…like they use to make hummus…okay I’m just going to enjoy my delicious-more-nutritious-than-your-pizza meal now.”

  20. wow this definitely helps thank you so much! i actually use both liquid aminos and nutritional yeast very frequently… but never together. if you don’t mind one more minute of your time could you help me with proportions? like if i used 1 tsp of olive oil how much each of nutritional yeast and liquid aminos would be good? thanks again! yay i am so happy i found a new blog that is so helpful :)

    • hi jen! sorry for the delay… i don’t really measure anything (terrible, i know!) but i’d say i probably use 1 tablespoon of liquid aminos, 1 tbsp oil and a generous sprinkle of nooch (probably 2-3 tablespoons). hope that helps!

      • thank you SO much for getting back to me! i really appreciate it when bloggers answer questions even though they are so crazy busy. i’m really enjoying your blog for veggie ideas and hope you don’t mind some more questions along the way. have a great day :)

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