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It’s in the light

by Meghann on January 12, 2012

Lunchtime meals are easy to photograph.

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There’s plenty of natural light, plenty of colors, and the food just looks so good.

(Especially when it’s a tempeh, pumpkin butter, goat cheese, and arugula sandwich with a side of cherry tomatoes and carrots – YUM!)

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Snacks are ok to photograph.

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Of course, it doesn’t help when you try to take the photo in a dark parking garage on your way home because you’re too hungry to find better light. ;)

But, dinner? Dinner?! It’s just plain awful.

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No amount of photoshopping could save my attempt at photographing tonight’s chicken fried rice. Dear 7:00pm sunshine, I miss you.

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Despite the lack of creativity in photos, this meal was good.

Derek and I spent the early evening playing with our niece, so dinner was quick and easy once we got home. I immediately started cooking the chicken and veggies (carrot, broccoli, and corn) in a pan while a bag of Steamfresh brown rice ‘steamed’ in the microwave. So many minutes later, I added the rice to the pan, cracked an egg, and doused everything with sesame oil and soy sauce. Done and done.

I’ve sort of become addicted to steam-in-a-bag frozen veggies and brown rice. They just make life so easy and taste almost as fresh as the real stuff. Don’t knock it until you try it!

No comments for my dessert photography.

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That Reeses was staring at me for too long and I have a one track mind. :)

What’s your favorite meal short cut? I can’t tell you the last time I spent 20 minutes making rice. Steam-in-a-bag rice all the way!!!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio January 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I like to cook big batches of things, like various grains and then use them through the week.
Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio recently posted..Whole Living Detox Day 10: Kale Yeah!

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2 Christine @ BookishlyB January 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hey, I had a bag of steamed broccoli the other day for snack. Sometimes fresh is too expensive or inconvenient (like when it’s gone bad). Better than potato chips!
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3 Casey @ OatsAndNanners January 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm

I’ve become addicted to microwaving everything! Like spaghetti squash that normally takes 40 minutes in the oven will only take 10 minutes in the microwave… Side note, have you tried quinoa fried rice instead of brown rice? It changed my life! And it has so much protein!
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4 Ari @ Ari's Menu January 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Who needs sunlight? That dinner looks delicious!
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5 Lyka Ricks January 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Yummy Lunch Treat! When running out time, i do some reheating. But for a quality family time, it take long hours and experimental recipes.
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6 JessicaE January 13, 2012 at 12:28 am

Especially now that I am pregnant I need healthy meals quickly :D There are so many great frozen entrees nowadays that are lower in sodium and have no preservatives, so my short cut is taking a healthy frozen meal and bulking it up with extra veggies.

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7 Kristen January 13, 2012 at 12:32 am

I’m also a fan of planning ahead. I’ll make a big meal on Sunday (pasta, casserole, etc) and then cut up a ton of veggies for snacks and for tossing into a salad. My biggest problem is planning ahead for breakfast…I get up with juuuust enough time to get to work (by 10am *ahem*) so quick, healthy breakfast food is what I need. I do a lot of overnight oats but I’ve kind of ODed on that…need something new.
Kristen recently posted..Getting my American-ness back on track

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8 Kate January 13, 2012 at 12:52 am

I’m all about microwaved sweet potatoes for a fast meal. I prefer roasted, but when I walk in the door after work or class, I don’t feel like waiting an hour to eat!

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9 Alex January 13, 2012 at 5:51 am

Salads are definitely my choice when I am super hungry and need food NOW. I usually have the pre-washed/cut bags of salad in the fridge and just top it with whatever leftovers or soon-to-go-bad veggies and fruit I can find. It might not always look pretty in the end but it (usually) tastes great and I avoid throwing food out.
Lately I am also having Edamame a lot, those little steam bags that you pop in the microwave for 3 minutes. A piece of leftover pizza thrown in the broiler for 5 minutes and dinner is done yet again :-)
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10 Julie January 13, 2012 at 7:01 am

I totally use the frozen veggies and rice in a bag!! Our meal last night was the same pretty much, some quickly sauteed chicken, frozen veggies, and a bag of microwave rice that took 60 seconds! Can’t beat a quick dinner meal :-)
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11 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life January 13, 2012 at 7:05 am

I love slow cooker meals, but it’s a pain when so many of the recipes call for pre cooked ground beef, ground turkey, etc. When I have free time, I like to brown up a large batch of meat, let them cool, divide into ziplocks, then place in the freezer. This way when I want a meal, I just grab a pre made bag and throw it in.
Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life recently posted..Winner Chicken Dinner

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12 Hillary January 13, 2012 at 7:13 am

Steam in the bag rice and veggies are fabulous. I do prefer fresh veggies, but in a pinch, you cannot beat the frozen ones!
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13 Hope January 13, 2012 at 7:34 am

Your dinner looks great! I love the bowl that it’s in. Frozen veggies are so great. I love to store a bunch in my freezer in case I can’t figure out what to make for dinner. :)
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14 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 13, 2012 at 7:57 am

My quick meals usually contain beans, cheese, and cut up veggies to make a quick quesadilla or wrap. Everyone is happy and we can eat rather quickly!
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15 Megan @ bump on a log learns to jog January 13, 2012 at 8:04 am

I attempt to do most of my cooking on Sundays so that all I have to do during the week is pop it in the oven to cook or microwave it. It helps me a lot when I go to the gym after work and don’t feel like cooking when I get home.
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16 Lee January 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

I have really bad natural light in my house at all times of the day. Lots of trees. Photoshop is my friend!
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17 Amanda January 13, 2012 at 8:46 am

One of my favorite “meal” shortcuts is when I make quick-serve sugar free pudding – add powder and milk to a tupperware container – shake shake shake = snack snack snack!
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18 Kristen @ notsodomesticated January 13, 2012 at 8:48 am

At least you have a super-awesome camera to take your pictures with!! That certainly helps! I struggle with bad lighting for my dinner pictures, too. Plus, my poor husband is always waiting for me to take pictures of our dinner before he can start eating haha. So I always try to hurry! ;)
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19 Margaret January 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

Ohhhh, I totally agree, steam-in-the-bag rice is the best ever! And steam-in-the-bag butternut squash is pretty amazing too :)

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20 Kathy January 13, 2012 at 9:03 am

did you really just have one Reese’s? Way to go if so….they are so small I always tend to pop too many in my mouth. ;-) (Probably why my thighs are about 15 pounds heavier than yours…ha!ha!)
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21 Katie G @ Just Roll With It January 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

Def. steam in a bag veggies! Ha, I had a Reeses craving last night too after a long day…ended up dipping dark chocolate into the pb jar…was pretty satifying!
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22 Cait's Plate January 13, 2012 at 10:13 am

Ugh I hear ya. I don’t even want to blog dinners because the photos are so bad!! I think you did pretty good though, at least compared to what my dinners look like!
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23 Megan January 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

I just bought the Granola thins with dark chocolate yesterday… and it’s taking all my will-power not to eat the whole box. So good.

Favorite meal shortcut: Trader Joes frozen already cooked, breaded eggplants and spicy marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh loaf of bread. Slice open the bread, insert all the rest, bake in the oven for 15-20 min= heaven.
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24 Ashley January 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

I always buy the prewashed containers of salad. For some reason, I dread washing lettuce. :)
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25 Jena January 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

I recently bought a bag of the birds eye steamed veggies – I haven’t tried it yet, but it was 50% off at Publix, so we’ll see how that goes. I also bought the edamame in the steamable bag, haven’t tried that yet either. – I did microwave a sweet potato the other nice – i think I saw that here on your blog somewhere. I think I nuked it for to long, bc it was more mushy than I wanted, but besides that it was pretty good.
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26 Emily January 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Especially that rice. Oh my gosh, hello convenience!
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27 Allison January 15, 2012 at 9:03 am

Salad, soup, and sandwich is my quick go-to meal after a long day- simple and satisfying! My go-to dinner time saver is boil-in-bag brown rice, never have tried the microwave kind… Or microwaving potatoes before putting them into the oven!
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