I was chit chatting with someone yesterday who was commented on my #lunch Instagram photos. She said, "Wow - it looks like you spend an awful lot of time on making lunch! Who's got time for that?" So - I told her my secret. It is leftovers. I use what we had for dinner the night before - or maybe combine stuff from two or three nights of meals. For instance, in this post any protein used (except the poached egg) was from some already cooked up meat, like a roasted chicken or pork shoulder. And, I'm a real fan of using canned goods such as tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, coconut milk and broth of all kinds! To finish a dish off, just throw on a handful of herbs drizzle it with olive oil, and sprinkle with finishing salt. Remember, we eat with our eyes first!
Banh Mi Bowl
To Assemble Banh Mi Bowls:
1. For each bowl, cut a fourth of a cucumber into sticks, place in a bowl, cover with rice wine vinegar. Do the same thing for 1/8 of a sliced red onion. Plain or even apple cider vinegar can be substituted for the rice wine vinegar. On the day I made this lunch, I didn't have any carrots or daikon radish on hand, but they are wonderful to give a soak in vinegar and use in this bowl as well. Set the cucumber sticks and red onion slices aside while they sit for at least 5 minutes.
2. For each serving, use a heaping half cup of left over cooked chicken, beef, or pork.
2 cloves garlic, put through a press
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Maggi, Tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch black pepper
Place the cooked meat with the whisked mixture and saute together over medium low heat for a good 5 minutes until the meat gets a crispy brown texture on the out side.
3. According to package directions, cook one serving of rice noodles, or even thin spaghetti. Drain and place noodles in serving bowl.
4. Drain the vinegar soaked cucumbers and any other veggies that might have been soaking, and place them on top of the noodles.
5. Add the meat.
6. Finish with a handful of cilantro, Thai (or regular) basil, and sliced radishes. A few slices of a hot pepper such as jalapeno or Serrano look nice on top.
Tomato Coconut Curry Soup
Citrus Beet Salad
Ingredients and directions for each serving:
About 3/4 cup cooked beets - that's about 1 medium beet per person.
1 medium orange, peeled and sectioned
1 medium grapefruit, peeled, sectioned, and cut into pieces if sections are large
Heaping 1 tablespoon of shelled pistachio nuts
Some good olive oil
A handful of washed and dried herbs such as dill, parsley, or basil
Peel the beets, cut into chunks and either simmer on the stove in a small amount of lightly salted water until tender - about 7 minutes. Or, roast by putting them in a single layer, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Kosher salt, on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for about 45 to 50 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
Place the beets, orange and grapefruit slices on serving plate. Top with a handful of herbs. Sprinkle with pistachio nuts, Kosher salt and pepper. Add a swoosh of Greek yogurt on the side. Drizzle with some good olive oil.
Brown Rice Chickpea Stew
Ingredients and directions for four servings.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced (optional)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and put through a press
1 (15 oz.) can broth - beef, chicken or vegetable
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup rice, brown or white
1 cup water
1/2 cup of protein if desired, such as cooked chicken, shredded beef or pork - or poached egg - check out my happylittle video of how to make them :)
1/2 teaspoon salt
scant 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and dried
Heat the oil in sauce pan and saute the onion and celery (if using) until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Pour in the broth, diced tomatoes along with their juice, and the drained chickpeas. Add the cup of water and rice. Season with the oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a tablespoon of cilantro leaves