I’m a little behind on my Friday lunch post. On Saturday, we drove down to Santa Barbara for Princess Day at the Santa Barbara Zoo. If you have a daughter (or son) who is into princesses, or if you were ever into princesses, Princess Day is awesome: colored drapery, lots of luverly young ladies dressed up as princesses, makeup and hair booths, castle bouncy houses, you name it. I love the Santa Barbara Zoo, except for the food. Like most zoos, parks, museums, kid-friendly venues, the food is both over-priced and atrocious. Seriously, I don’t want to have nachos, churros and Coke for lunch. The first time we visited the Santa Barbara Zoo, I noticed that most of the organized, well-prepared moms were carting in their own picnic lunches (at least the zoo allows this and there are many gorgeous picnic spots complete with views of the ocean in the distance). For Princess Day, I knew I had to pack a princess-worthy picnic. So, I made chick pea salad wraps, tuna pasta salad, and peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies. Sadly, I neglected to photograph this elegant picnic. You’ll just have to trust me that is was delish.
Since I was in a flurry of picnic-making on Friday, I completely forgot about Friday’s lunch: meyer lemon chia pudding with spinach tortellini, strawberries and kiwis. Usually, when I make two packages of totellini, there is just enough left over for two small lunch portions. For lunches, I skip the marinara sauce and just toss the pasta in a little good olive oil and parmesan. The meyer lemon chia pudding was an experiment, because, between our neighbor’s and our meyer lemon trees, we have meyers coming out of our eyeballs.
Meyer Lemon Chia Pudding
- 2 cups of milk
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- the juice and zest of one medium-sized meyer lemon
- a little vanilla extract
- shredded coconut
Combine everything except the shredded coconut and refrigerate in a cover container overnight (I use and old pasta sauce jar). If you think about it, periodically shake the container to evenly distribute the chia seeds. The chia seeds will plump up and thicken the pudding. Serve with a little sprinkling of shredded coconut, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a dollop of whipped cream if you’re feeling fancy and want this to be more dessert-like. The pudding is light and refreshing and not too sweet.