Chili and Change

At work and in life, we’re urged to accommodate change as if change were the point. As if people should want it to be, want life to be a whirl of new elements or new spins on what we know, because the world is more interesting that way.

Where I work, the news is a persistent burst of new whatevers that are … not your father’s whatever. Oh my, it’s new!

But as Buckaroo Banzai said, “Change ain’t lookin’ for friends.”

So when jumbled schedules and new assignments kept me from my weekly chili construction, I looked around warily for lunch alternatives. Make that easy lunch alternatives that work with a nod toward Weight Watchers, a constant presence in our house.

(Some recipes follow the jump if you’re interested.)


It started Sunday night when I grilled off five split bone-in chicken breasts. (Why do packs of chicken breasts always come in odd numbers?) We had two for dinner with garlic broccoli and I stuck the rest in the fridge for later.

Monday morning I made tuna salad, which is a challenge because I don’t like jarred mayonnaise. Instead, I use mustard as a binder for the tuna, chopped celery and onion. Then I pound some capers with minced garlic in a mortar and pestle and fold them into the tuna-mustard stuff with a splash of lime juice. Open faced on dry whole-wheat toast, it is savory and satisfying.

(I sort of like not knowing which one is the mortar.)

That night I made Black Bean Torte, which leaves easy luncheon leftovers, and a big honkin’ green salad — spinach, radicchio, tomatoes, red onion, cremini mushrooms, cucumber and anchovies.

Tuesday we had leftover salad — yeah, it keeps for a day — with strips of grilled chicken and a vinaigrette dressing. Wednesday we had the Bean Torte leftovers, Thursday a fresh salad with chicken strips.

Today, Friday, I’m walking down to visit my friends at the Subway in Strawberry Square, probably the nicest bunch of underpaid fast-food workers in America.

That’s how I made it through the work-week without making a large pot of chili, or what is more popularly known as UUs 2B Chili.

Change was my friend.

(some recipes here and here.)

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