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.
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
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
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.