At least the days are uber long -- today sunrise is at 5:05 am and sunset is at 10:05 pm (which means the sky stays blue-ish until close to 11 pm!) -- which somehow makes studying a little less soul-sucking.
|5:30 am skies|
When I'm busy or running short on groceries (um the past few days) one of my staple lunches is banana oat bars. Essentially they're those two-ingredient cookies you've seen floating around the web, shaped into bar form. I first started making them on my emergency rotation in med school and found it so convenient that they were dense (a high calorie to time-spent-eating ratio), transportable, and kept just fine out of the fridge. They're also cheap and quick and easy to make!
While living out of a suitcase in random people's rented rooms while on fourth-year electives I packed banana oat bars along for lunch pretty much every day. This is also my go-to eat-in-the-car meal -- you're not going to end up wearing it when you go to shift gears (not that I wasn't eating yogurt and granola while driving just last week...living on the edge).
I tend to make two lunches worth of banana oat bars at a time, by using:
Because I'm lazy when it comes to doing dishes, I just use one large plate for both preparing and microwaving the bars. I use a fork to mash the banana (+/- dates) on the plate, then pour on the oats and fold them in with a fork (admittedly this step would be easier in a bowl...). I add in any additional ingredients (sometimes none) and use the fork to push the oat mixture into the shape of a large rectangle, about half an inch thick. Using the fork, I slice the rectangle into four smaller ones, push them apart from one another, and push around their edges with the fork to ensure that each is densely formed.
- 1 cup oatmeal (large flake or quick oats)
- 1 large banana
Then, depending on what I have on hand, I may add in:
- dates (my favourite! -- I mash them together with the banana)
- raisins (carefully -- I've had these burn with microwaving!)
- chopped almonds
- desiccated coconut
- chocolate chips
|ready for the microwave|
I pop the plate into the microwave for two minutes, then take it out to flip each bar and push around their edges again with the fork if they're falling apart (careful, hot!). Then back into the microwave they go for another minute. I let the bars cool on the counter to set before sticking them in a ziploc or tupperware for lunch. Easy!
|all done (chocolate chips = a little messy, but so worth it!)|
I find that two oat bars, plus some veggies or fruit, makes a good-sized lunch for me. I know it doesn't look like much (I was once reproached by a nurse for not eating enough) but there is half a cup of oats in two bars, which is enough to fill me up when it comes to oatmeal. Plus I always have plenty of snacks on hand to eat when I need to!