Dreaming of Summer in what is supposed to be Spring. This cold snap we’ve been experiencing in the U.K has really got to me. When it’s Christmas i love it to be cold, freezing in fact, so that you’re forced … Continue reading
Gluten Free lunches are hard to do quickly without resulting to buying very expensive convenience products like gluten free bread and rolls. Salads are a great option but sometimes i feel like having something a bit more substantial which doesn’t mean you have to skimp on nutrients or taste.
The theory of making something that can last the entire week is a bold one, as over the weekend i made this Banana Bread to do just that but has already half been eaten. When you make something so tasty sometimes it’s impossible to resist that second helping. I’m hoping this is different with a takeaway lunch though, where you are stuck with one Tupperware box helping.
This Veggie-Kedge(ree), veggie in the sense that it can be full of any vegetables you please, is quick to cook at the start of the week and can be kept in the fridge and topped up with different things for a nice lunch alternative. I’ve also made this with quinoa which i would highly recommend as the nuttiness really works with the curry flavours.
You can use any veg you like so feel free to swap things around.
You can also add a couple of boiled eggs.
Makes around 4 lunches
Tablespoon of Oil
1 Red or White onion cut into cubes
2 Cloves of Garlic chopped
1 Tablespoon of Mild-Medium Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon of Chilli flakes or half a fresh chilli
1 Courgette cut into cubes
1 Red Pepper cut into cubes
1 Big tomato cut into cubes
1 large cup of Rice or Quinoa
2 Bay leafs
4 fillets of Smoked Mackerel or fish
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt and pepper
Handful of fresh Coriander and extra to serve (optional)
1. In a deep, non stick saucepan, fry the Onion and garlic in a tablespoon of oil on a medium heat until they start to sweat.
2. Add in the chilli, courgette, red pepper and tomato and sprinkle over the Curry powder. Give this a good mix and bring the heat down and cook for around 5 minutes. Boil a kettle for the rice/quinoa.
3. Add a cup of rice or quinoa to the pan and give the grain a good mix into the vegetables. Pop in the two bay leafs and add two cups of water to the pan. Cover with a lid on a low heat for 20-25 minutes until the water has almost all absorbed.
4. Whilst the rice/Quinoa is cooking, chop up your mackerel into chunk size pieces in a bowl and marinade in the juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper,a tiny bit of oil and some extra coriander (optional).
5. When your rice/Quinoa is reaching the 20-25 min mark, add the mackerel to the pan and mix well. Pop on the lid again for an extra 2 mins and take off the heat to steam with the lid on for a further 5 mins. This will allow the rice to get fluffy and absorb all the flavours.
6. Chop up some extra coriander, season with salt and pepper and serve.
To save for week lunches: As soon as you have cooked this allow to cool and immediately transfer to a big bowl into the fridge and wrap tightly with two layers of cling film. Keep chilled.
Feeling guilty lately?
I certainly am.
Not because i haven’t unpacked the last boxes of our big move to our new flat (Pics to come), but the enormous amount of indulgence in sugar that i have consumed with the stress of it all …
Not just for convenience sake either. I’ve been really craving. For anyone who has been following me lately on my Twitter @wbites i have been noting my bad habits and today i noticed it had gotten too far.
“It’s bad to eat M&M’s for breakfast. but they do have peanuts in. and people have peanut butter/Nutella on toast. I’m really trying here…”
So i am stood in my bedroom unpacking remaining boxes, nibbling M&M’s (other sweets are available), and whilst trying to work out the Feng Shui of it all…there was the guilt. Hit me all at once. If i can Feng Shui my bedroom, i really should be doing it to my internal body. Then there was @KymGertLush tweeting about how good she felt after the gym this morning, good endorphins and what not, so i just had to put dowwwnn the M&M’ssss and GET OUT; like the glass in the F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode when Phoebe tries to get Monica over Richard.
So a counterbalance was in order. The brighter the food the better it is for you. Then i had thought. M&M’s were bright. This is where someone needed to slap me.
The first is classical; Insalata Tricolore, my husband Rob’s absolute favourite. Although the mozzarella and avocado combo is not completely good for the waistline, use less and add salad greens like i did to make it a very nutritious lunch; full of potassium, B-vitamins and Folic Acid. This was Rob’s plate i made..avocado, fresh baby tomatoes, silky mini buffalo mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. The best you can get.
My favourite salad of late must be however, my
Fresh Spinach, Sweetcorn, Cucumber and Fried Halloumi with a Garlic, lemon and Tarragon dressing.
For the dressing: put one garlic clove, the juice of half of a lemon and two strands of fresh Tarragon into a mortar and pestle and grind to a paste.
Pour 100ml of olive oil into the paste and leave to infuse.
Fry your Halloumi in thick slices in a flat skillet with no oil, until brown on either side whilst you prep the rest of your salad ingredients.
Mix a bunch of Spinach with chopped cucumber and freshly boiled – off the cob sweetcorn and drizzle over half the dressing. Mix well.
Place your Halloumi and pour over the remaining dressing.
Sharp, tangy and sweet, with excellent textures of crunch from the sweetcorn and cucumber with the chewy Halloumi and Spinach.
Now for cake.
When watching endless amounts of repeated, Christmas F.R.I.E.N.D.S episodes over the years I never really knew what a yam was until I read a few recipes referring to this ingredient that looked identical to a sweet potato. A staple of comfort food, and naturally my staple for comfort television was indeed F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
There is a thread of articles on The Guardian U.K website at the moment about ‘What comfort food means to us’ and how food will always in some way lift your mood, and in some way change the way you feel. So, aptly I’ve come to blog about what this category of food means to me.
The essence of a really great comfort food is simplicity for me. It does not necessarily have to be unhealthy, but it really has to aid that really depressive state we get either after a hard day of work, or waking up to a torrential downpour. My comfort food would ultimately start with two slices of toast. It really is magical because of it’s diversity to be whatever you want it to be a massive cheese toasty or the ultimate sugar fest of peanut butter and nutella. (Being gluten-free I can’t thank the brand Genius enough in the U.K, for releasing convenience –edible- bread) But sometimes it’s about the ingredient, and sweet potato does hit the comfort food nail on the head.
I made a salad.
I wanted to make something all in one go that would have a self sourcing dressing when cooking the sweet potato, so the flavour would transmit all around the different textures.
The garlic-cooked whole in the roasting tray turns sweet and then counterbalances with the lemon drizzle later on.
The chickpeas provide a nutty undertone, which brings it all together.
Comfort food is ultimately about adapting for yourself, what I’d love to know is what you would change about this recipe to make it ‘comfort’ for you?
L’Amour looks something like yam salad
1 Sweet potato
Bunch of cabbage greens (dependent on how healthy you want to feel)
½ a Lemon
Good quality Olive oil
2 or 3 Cloves of garlic
A handful of tinned or prepared Chickpeas
Salt and Pepper
Preheat your oven to 230c (that’s 450d for you peeps overseas)
Peel and cut your sweet potato into cubes and place into a well olive oiled roasting tray; you will use the oil later for your salad dressing.
Pop in two cloves of garlic whole. Season well with salt and a tad of pepper; I tend to season it with pepper at the end to avoid bits burning and what not.
Pop the tray in the oven for about 20-30 minutes (dependent on how roasted you want them)
After 5 minutes put your cabbage greens into simmering water for 15 mins; you want to keep their freshness and crisp.
Dress your plate with the sweet potato leaving the oil in the roasting tray…
…add the chickpeas and cabbage.
Squeeze over half a lemon and then give all a good merge. Mmm.
Crush the whole garlic’s in the roasting tray so all the juice runs out, give this a stir and pour over the salad.
I finish the bowl and feel completely satisfied.