I’m getting back onto the lunch packing horse again. I’ve been very naughty lately and eating convenience food or (even worse) not eating at all at lunchtime. After a phase of not doing something the anticipated chore always seems worse then the actual undertaking. So here I go again…
- Japanese Curry with carrot, potato, sweet potato (those delicious orange fleshed ones), onion and strips of beef,
- short grain brown rice and
I didn’t like how the curry looked in my bento, so I took another photo after warming it up at work. Much more appealing do you think?
Leftovers from this month’s Daring Cooks challenge made for an excellent lunchtime treat, especially with the freezing rainy and snowy weather we’ve been having in the Cape recently.
- Butter chicken,
- basmati rice with fried onions,
- carrots and
- green beans.
This chili con carne is one of my go to meals and there is always some hanging out in the freezer patiently waiting for it’s time to shine. It has made many appearences in my lunch box over the last few years so I thought it was about time I shared my recipe with you.
- Chili con carne,
- basmati rice and
- a mixed salad with lettuce, cucumber, yellow peppers and baby tomatoes.
Here is the recipe
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
- 1 onion – finely chopped
- 500g ostrich mince
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp dried crushed chillies
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 250ml beef stock
- 10g dark chocolate (this is a rough estimate I usually use two blocks of a Lindt 35g chocolate bar)
- 400g can red kidney beans
- Heat oil, add onion and garlic and cook till browned.
- Add mince to the pot and stir to brown breaking up any clumps that form.
- Stir through the paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander and crushed chillies.
- Add chopped tomatoes and stock and let simmer for about half an hour or until liquids are reduced
- Add chocolate and red kidney beans and cook for a further five minutes or so to heat beans and allow chocolate to meld into the chili.
- Serve on rice or tortillas accompanied with tomato salad, sliced avocado and sour cream or plain yoghurt.
Makes 4-6 servings
I often see okra in my local Checkers but, not knowing how to cook it and having read tales of how slimy it can be, have usually avoided buying it. After a little internet research I discovered cooking okra with tomatoes reduces the slime factor. With this knowledge I took the plunge, bought some okra and devised this lentil and okra curry.
- Lentil and Okra curry,
- brown rice with sun dried tomatoes,
- coriander yoghurt,
- dried mango and
- some grapes.
Here is my recipe for Lentil and Okra Curry.
- 1 cup of black lentils
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 tablespoons curry powder
- 4 tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 cups tomato puree
- 1 cup water
- 300g okra topped and tailed then cut into 1cm rounds
- 1 green pepper cut into strips
- Cover lentils with water and leave to soak (overnight is best, but I only soaked them for four hours and this was sufficient).
- Fry onions and garlic in olive oil till the onions are translucent.
- Add curry powder and stir to coat.
- Add lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and water and leave to cook for 15 minutes.
- Add okra and green pepper then cook for a further 5 minutes.
Service over rice with coriander yoghurt.
Makes 4-6 servings.
I have plenty of leftovers from this month’s daring cooks challenge, so you know some inevitably land up in my lunch box. Both versions seemed more tasty after sitting over night letting all the flavours mingle.
- Mushroom risotto,
- sausage, pea and red pepper risotto and
- a salad with lettuce, cucumber, baby tomatoes, red pepper and spring onions.
Posted in Packed Lunches
Tagged cucumber, lettuce, mushroom, pea, red pepper, rice, risotto, salad, sausage, spring onion, tomato
I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since my last blog post. I’m quite upset with myself for allowing this to happen, but I won’t go into all my reasons and excuses for not posting. Instead I’d like to share with you my submission for this month’s Daring Cooks challenge.
The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.
I have made risotto many times before so for me (and I hate to admit this) the real challenge was making the requisite stock from scratch. I used the chicken stock recipe supplied with our challenge and must say was really impressed with the end result. Once I had the risotto base completed I divided it into two and flavoured one half with a combination of sautéed portabellini and oyster mushrooms and a little Geo Watkins Mushroom Ketchup. The other half I flavoured with spicy sausage (debreziner), red pepper and peas. They both came our really well and there where lots of leftovers, some of which found it’s way into my lunch box the next day.
You can find all the recipes for this month’s challenge here.
The little panda shaped soy sauce bottle in today’s lunch is part of a small package of bento goodies a friend brought back from Japan for me after a recent visit. I’ve been eyeing these little bottles for awhile, but the price of buying them over the internet is a big prohibiting factor. Especially when I know that they are not that expensive to buy in Japan itself. I feel very lucky to have gotten my hands on some now and am going to have lots of fun using them in the future.
- Chicken and mushroom fried rice with short grain brown rice, shredded roast chicken, sliced mushrooms, diced yellow and orange peppers and some chives,
- a panda bottle filled with ponzu and
- some grapes.