end of the week lunchbox meal

What do you get when you’re trying to clean out your fridge for Friday’s lunch because you know you’ll be eating out all weekend? A very random assortment of thrown-together sampler-sized dishes!

My friend is coming to Raleigh for his spring break…and St. Patty’s Day! I know we’re going to be grabbing dinner out {I need to introduce him to Raleigh Times pork nachos!}, as well as probably brunch and late night snacks 🙂

Sooo I was determined to clear out my fridge. Several things went into the freezer, several stayed put for next week, and most went into my motley lunch.

Cherry tomatoes and carrots with ranch dipping sauce

A mini marinated caprese salad

An Italian sausage sauteed with onions and peppers, drenched in Buffalo sauce, and served with potato wedges

A small cup of South African Smoke tomato leek soup {recipe to come!}

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Wondering what this South African Smoke thing I keep referring to is? Another Trader Joe’s gem, just like 21 Seasoning Salute! It’s a very well-priced seasoning grinder that, according to the link, “begins with African-grown paprika that is slow-smoked for 48 hours over a sustainable African hardwood called Acacia Saligna, commonly used as barbecue coals. This process enriches the paprika with a smoky, roasted flavor that evokes the South African braai, or barbecue.” It also contains sea salt, garlic and basil.

Image credit

Photo credits 1, 2, 3, 4

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marinated caprese salad

credit: foodporndaily.com

Here is a simple, easy twist of a traditional caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil).

Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Chop mozzarella into small cubes. Cut basil leaves into smaller pieces.

Combine in a lidded Tupperware or bowl with the following: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and Italian seasoning. Marinate overnight.

Caprese traditionalists might balk at this untraditional variation, but I think it adds the extra flavor that caprese salads often lack.