Eating 'Al Desko' - The Lunch Crunch
Couscous Salad with Chickpeas, Feta & Mint
Packs of couscous are self explanatory and instructions should be followed.
Otherwise here is a recipe:
200ml boiling water
1 lemon, juice only
Large bunch finely chopped fresh herbs e.g. basil and mint ( ½ large bag of each)
½ can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 sticks Celery, de-stringed and finely chopped
Handful of Pine nuts
Optional: Leftover roast vegetables e.g. butternut squash
- Place couscous in large heatproof bowl and stir continuously while pouring on the boiling water.
- Go on stirring for 3 minutes, otherwise the grains will lump together, then cover and allow to rest for half an hour. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil into couscous.
- Add chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Cheesy Chicken Frittata
The humble green pea is a great freezer standby as a vegetable
Variations of Fritatta
Use left over cooked meat in the frittata e.g. chicken or ham or roast vegatables
5 eggs (free range or organic, if possible), beaten together
100g cheese of your choice....feta, cheddar
Handful of Frozen Peas
Grated small courgette
1 heaped tablespoon chopped parsley or mint leaves
Salt & black pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Option: Handful x 2 of leftover chicken strips/pieces
- In medium size bowl, mix together eggs, cheese, parsley or mint, pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick (ensure the handle ok to put under the grill /oven safe) frying pan over medium heat. Pre-heat the grill to high.
- Add the courgettes slices and saute (fry) for 2 minutes.
- Add the leftover chicken to the pan (if using)
- Pour egg and cheese mixture into the pan, stir gently to make sure the courgette slices spread around.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, the egg mixture should be set on the bottom and begin to set up on top.
- Place pan under the grill for 5-8 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy.
- Cut into wedges and serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge to eat cold.
Salmon, Pasta, Pine Nuts & Cucumber, Tomatoes + Rocket
Poached Salmon Fillet
Salmon a low GI food plus it is also a rich source of omega-3
Poaching liquid = 200 - 300mls water or good quality stock
(use the correct size saucepan and enough stock ONLY to cover the fish as they sit snugly together)
- Add 4 salmon fillets to the pan of boiling stock (about 200g each)
- Cover pan tightly, bring to the boil, remove from heat.
- Allow to stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Fish can be eaten immediately or stored chilled in fridge.
Salad Dressing - Maple Syrup Vinaigrette (make it up in a jar)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup (or honey)
Salt & Freshly ground pepper
- Mix ingredients well in a jar, store at room temperature or in the fridge
- Only add the dressing just before serving (otherwise salad leaves will become soggy)
How to cook your favourite pasta:
- Fill a large saucepan with water, pasta needs lots of water to cook, add a teaspoon of salt
- Bring the water to a rolling boil - this means a boil you can't stop by stirring.
- Slowly add the pasta to the boiling water. Stir and stir some more! Pasta will stick together if it isn't stirred during the crucial first moments of cooking. Start timing when the water returns to a boil
- Most pastas cook in 8-10 minutes. Pasta can overcook very quickly, take out a piece and taste, it should be soft but still has a little bite to it ‘al dente’.
- Drain the pasta into a colander, serve with sauce mixed through.
- To eat cold in a salad: Take a large handful /per person and place in a sieve and run cold water through to cool down quickly. Store in the fridge.
To assemble your salad for lunch:
- Place 1 piece of poached salmon into a dish and break up into chunks
- Add a handful of leftover pasta (penne or fusilli)
- Add 6 cherry tomatoes
- Add a handful of rocket leaves
- Add a handful chopped cucumber
- Add 1 heaped tablespoon chopped dill or basil
- Bring a small portion (5 tablespoons) of dressing and mix through just before eating
Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup (Serves 4)
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
4 medium carrots, washed well or peeled, chopped into small pieces
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 level teaspoons ground cumin
2 handfuls split red lentils
1 litre hot vegetable stock
(option for extra heat add pinch chilli flakes with cumin at the start)
- Heat a large saucepan, add the oil, then add carrots, onion, garlic and cumin
- Fry for 5 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften
- Add the lentils, hot stock and bring to the boil. Cover with tight fitting lid.
- Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.
- Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth
- If too thick, add more hot stock and stir through. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Cut day old bread into small cubes and cover them with 4 tablespoons of oil (use flavoured oil)
Place them on a roasting tray and into a hot oven for 8 -10 minutes until they brown and crisp up.