Today we made lunch for the staff of the Colbert Report. It was great fun, and hey, it looks like I’ll get tickets to the show! Being a bunch of comedy writers, we heard some good-natured but snarky comments throughout the day as the staff got acquainted with today’s “healthy” lunch menu: “What’s quinoa? How do you pronounce that?,” ” The soup is room temperature? Does that mean this room or another room?,” and “The caterer will not be offended if you heat the sandwiches in the microwave. I repeat, she will not be offended if you heat the meatloaf sandwiches in the microwave.”
Some staff members passed over our spread, and opted for peanut butter sandwiches or microwaved pizza, but most people seemed excited to have fresh, colorful food, even if they weren’t sure what it was. We got a lot of thank you’s and positive comments, and people coming back for third helpings. Upon being asked what he and everyone else thought of the lunch, one choice bit of feedback we got from a staff member was, “I really liked lunch and I thought it was great, but I don’t think the people that sit next to me like vegetables as much as I do.” On the whole, everyone was really sweet, and happy to use their comedic skills to make us laugh.
Of course, the day’s highlight was when Stephen came in. As he is probably my very favorite TV personality, I’ll admit I was starstruck. When he asked me about the eggplant puree, I could barely remember what was in it, but managed to breathe and say, “It’s made with yogurt and toasted walnuts.” He replied that it looked great, and according to Joy, my wonderful cook and partner for the day, he filled his plate and did a little “happy dance.” That was worth all the hard work we put into it.
Today’s lunch menu:
Creamy Red Kuri Squash Soup
Winter squash, caramelized apples and onions, and spices blended into hearty fall soup
Rhoda’s Homemade Turkey Meatloaf
Free range turkey, sautéed mushrooms, carrots, onions, and celery, baked golden brown and served with sliced bread, homemade pickles, and ketchup
Mixed Greens Salad
Fresh greens with balsamic vinaigrette and salad toppings: shredded carrot, red cabbage, sliced chicken, toasted walnuts, sliced scallions, hard-boiled eggs, chickpeas, French lentils
Roasted Eggplant Puree
Smoky and rich puree made with paprika and yogurt, served with pita bread.
Quinoa tossed with diced beets, radishes, scallions, toasted nuts, and dried cranberries
Pears, clementines, Lady apples
Lucid Granola Power Bars
Nuts, dried fruit, almond butter, dark chocolate, and granola spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey