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.
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.
This lunch is my entry into the My Easy Cooking Thai themed first blogging event. After my success with nut butter in the last Daring Cook’s Challenge I though I might try my hand at making satay from scratch, but after picking up a small brick of tamarind pulp at the New Asian Spice Supermarket in Sea Point I finally decided on Pad Thai. For inspiration I turned to Chez Pim and her method of making Pad Thai.
- Pad Thai with
- chopped peanuts seasoned with a little chilli powder and
- a wedge of lemon
The first step is to prepare the Pad Thai sauce, but before I could do that I had to process my brick of tamarind pulp. For 250g of tamarind I used two cups of warm water letting it soak for a little while, then working the seeds and fibres from the pulp and finally straining the soaked tamarind to catch any bits I might have missed. This is the fun messy part 🙂
Once I had my tamarind paste I heated a 1/4 cup each of fish sauce, tamarind paste and unrefined brown sugar and 1 tsp chilli powder over a low heat until the sugar melted. This was enough for three portions. Now the sauce was completed I could move on to preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Ingredients (per portion):
- prepared Pad Thai sauce
- 1 tsp peanut oil
- 1/2 a chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1/2 a clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 egg
- 60g rice noodles (approx 1/6 of a 375g bag), soaked in water till pliable
- 6 prawns, cooked and shelled
- 6 sugar snap peas, cut in half diagonally
- 2 ears of baby corn, cut in half lengthways and then into thirds
- 1/4 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 spring onion, sliced diagonally
- chilli powder (for serving)
- Thai basil (for serving)
- chopped peanuts (for serving)
- lemon wedges (for serving)
- Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan.
- Add chicken, garlic and a spoonful of prepared sauce. Stir-fry until chicken is nearly cooked.
- Add noodles and another few spoons of sauce. Continue stir-frying until noodles soften.
- Push chicken and noodles to the side of the wok/pan, crack egg into empty side and quickly scramble till cooked.
- Add prawns, sugar snap peas, baby corn and yellow pepper. Stir-fry all ingredients together until vegetables are just cooked.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with chilli powder, spring onions, torn Thai basil, chopped peanuts and spritz of lemon.
Posted in Packed Lunches, Recipes
Tagged baby corn, chicken, egg, garlic, lemon, Pad Thai, peanuts, prawns, rice noodles, spring onion, sugar snap peas, Thai basil, yellow pepper
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
This is a lunch that I packed for myself awhile back using leftovers from a Meatless Monday dinner. I made this vegetarian stew by cooking up a bunch roughly chopped tomatoes with chunks of carrot, green pepper and spring onion with some smoked paprika and cumin. When everything was cooked I added some big chucks of smoked tofu and let it warm though.
- Tofu and vegetable stew with
I’ve been a little scarce on the blogging front lately. The combination of a broken camera and succumbing to the nasty bug that is doing the rounds has kept me from packing/posting any lunches. Today’s post is a lunch I packed last week that I photographed with the camera in my phone. It contains my first attempt at making a variation of Vietnamese Summer rolls. They didn’t turn out too badly, but are probably best eaten right after you make them and not left in the fridge overnight as I did.
- Vietnamese Summer rolls filled with smoked ham and julienne carrot, mange tout, red cabbage, baby corn and spring onions,
- a dipping sauce with soy sauce, umeboshi vinegar and some slices of spring onion and
- some baby tomatoes.
Three years ago today I posted my first post on Blogs24 (now Letterdash), it’s hard to believe but all the posts are all there to prove it. As I did last year I’m going to have a little giveaway to celebrate, so keep a lookout for a post on that this weekend sometime.
I found a punnet of red currants in my local Woolworths the other day. They were so bright and cheerful they just had to come home with me. I paired them with some roast chicken and feta cheese in a salad and it was very yummy indeed.
- Chicken salad with mixed leaves, cucumber, tomato, bean sprouts, feta cheese, shredded roast chicken, red currants and spring onions
- and a banana (not pictured).