Hello out there! Is there anyone out there? I really hope so, it’s been way too long since there was a new post around here. With this post (and more to come) I’m hoping to revive my dear blog and also healthier lunchtimes for me. So without further ado, here is what’s in today’s lunch box.
- A salad of nectarine slices and goats milk chevin
- on a bed of mixed salad leaves, red cabbage, sugar snap peas, shaved carrot and baby tomatoes .
While I was constructing this salad in it’s bowl I was gently reminded of performing similar activities years before. When I was young(er) and my parents would have guests over for a braai I was often entrusted to make the green salad that would accompany our meal. This was a job that I took most seriously. I remember spending ages chopping and slicing the ingredients laid out by my mom. Finally (and most importantly) I deliberated over how to arrange said ingredients into intricate patterns, trying not to repeat arrangements previously used. I guess some things haven’t changed.
- Salad with mixed leaves, smoked chicken, baby tomatoes, feta and spring onion.
Wow, I can’t believe it has been nearly five months since my last blog post. How absolutely shocking! They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I can’t say that these past few months have been that exciting. Maybe it’s just a sign that I’m getting a bit older? My return has been somewhat inspired by an invitation to a bloggers get together being organised by the lovely Betty Bake and Being Brazen. The invitation got me thinking, if I want to be thought of as a blogger then I should blog right? So, I’d like to renew my blogging license and here is a blog post to prove it.
- Chicken cooked in a sticky plum sauce,
- stir-fried carrot, courgette, mange tout, spring onion and fresh corn kernels and
- egg noodles.
As much as I try to keep my lunches healthy and lean sometimes it’s nice to break the rules a little. Who can resist a piece of yummy bacon anyway? I think I struck a nice balance between the sweet, smoky, crispy bacon and the lentils and other crunchy veggies in this salad.
- Lentil and bacon salad with mixed lettuce leaves, red onion, carrot, mange tout and baby tomato,
- some grapes and
- a plum.
When I saw this recipe for a chilled-spiced beetroot soup in the current (Jan/Feb 2011) issue of Pick n Pay‘s Fresh Living magazine I knew it make a great packed lunch for a warm Summer’s day. The flavours and vibrant colour would provide a welcome midday break and ensure I could forge ahead with the afternoon’s tasks.
- Chilled beetroot soup,
- some grapes and
- a mini Babybel cheese.
Last week a group of friends and I had dinner at Keenwä, a newish Peruvian restaurant situated on the Cape Town fan walk in Waterkant Street. We where one of a handful of tables in the restaurant that evening and thus got to speak with the hostess and owner at length about the menu and general intricacies of running the first Peruvian restaurant in South Africa. An interesting example being the two staple and readily available ingredients in Peru, limes and quinoa, are the two most expensive ingredients for them to source in South Africa.
We tasted dishes including Cerviche, Tiradito, a reinterpretation of Aji de Gallina and of course quinoa. Today’s lunch is inspired by the quinoa salad we shared, although I used the vegetables I had on hand instead of trying to recreate the dish we had that evening.
- Quinoa with mixed salad leaves, red peppers, spring onions, pomegranate arils and mange tout.
Pasta salad is one of those dishes that is perfect for packed lunches. It’s meant to be eaten chilled so you can prepare it in the evening and stick it in the fridge. Then in the morning pop it into one of those lunch cooler bags with a little ice brick and it’ll stay perfectly cool until lunchtime. A great summertime lunch that is also a wonderful vehicle for a few of your daily fruit and veg servings.
- Pasta salad with mini pipe rigate, yellow peppers, cucumber, spring onions, baby tomatoes and feta cheese all tossed in a light tomato sauce.
So here we are, a couple of weeks into 2011 and probably just getting the hang of writing 1 and the end of the year instead of that mischievous 0. By now we are all trying to make the transition from holiday mode to work mode whether we had an end of year break or not. For me work mode also includes getting back into my routine of packing lunches for myself. For the first packed lunch of the year I chose a basic almost school lunch combo of tortilla wraps and fruit. Perhaps not very exciting but it fulfilled it’s destiny of filling my tummy and helping me stay awake during the late afternoon slump.
- Caprese wraps – tortillas filled with baby tomatoes, slices of mozzarella cheese and lettuce,
- a grape, apple & rooibos juice box,
- a doughnut peach and
- some grapes.
I had these dumplings hiding out in my freezer begging to be freed from their icy home. I finally gave in to their demanding little voices and heated them in a makeshift steamer* before popping them into my lunch box.
- Chicken dumplings (with the beautiful plaited pattern on them),
- pork dumplings,
- edemame beans,
- baby tomatoes,
- shredded cabbage and
- a little bottle of soy sauce.
*a colander set over a pot of boiling water and topped with the pot’s lid
This salad came together quite by accident with a few pantry staples and the lovely broad beans that have been frequenting my veggie box recently. A rather happy discovery on my part that I’m sure to repeat often this Summer.
- Bean and tuna salad with tuna, broad beans, red kidney beans and spring onion tossed with a dressing of capers, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper,
- a slice of brown seed loaf and
- some baby tomatoes.