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2012 Recipe Roundup
That’s it for me this year.  Here are my favorites from 2012:
Best way to spend a RAINY DAY: Pulled Pork with Cannellini Beans, Butternut Squash and Tomato
Best HANGOVER cure: Arepas with Black Beans, Haloumi and Avocado
Best way to make your COWORKERS jealous: Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper
Best INVENTION: Grape, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg Pizza
Best CELEBRITY CHEF recipe: Neil Perry’s Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Coriander
Best dinner for ONE: Pan Roasted Chicken with Pesto
Best LEFTOVERS: Balsamic and Pomegranate Short Ribs with Bacon, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Trofil
Best way to make your friends HATE you: Smoked Salmon Dip in Cucumber Cups
Best BRUNCH at home: Sage Toad in the Hole with Tomato and Avocado
Best dish made with a WEIRD cut of meat: Master Stock Beef Cheeks with Spicy Rhubarb Sauce, Orange Salt, and Braised Fennel
Best SIDE dish: Saffron Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
What have I missed?

2012 Recipe Roundup

That’s it for me this year.  Here are my favorites from 2012:

Best way to spend a RAINY DAY:
Pulled Pork with Cannellini Beans, Butternut Squash and Tomato

Best HANGOVER cure: Arepas with Black Beans, Haloumi and Avocado

Best way to make your COWORKERS jealous: Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper

Best INVENTION: Grape, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg Pizza

Best CELEBRITY CHEF recipe: Neil Perry’s Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Coriander

Best dinner for ONE: Pan Roasted Chicken with Pesto

Best LEFTOVERS: Balsamic and Pomegranate Short Ribs with Bacon, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Trofil

Best way to make your friends HATE you: Smoked Salmon Dip in Cucumber Cups

Best BRUNCH at home: Sage Toad in the Hole with Tomato and Avocado

Best dish made with a WEIRD cut of meat: Master Stock Beef Cheeks with Spicy Rhubarb Sauce, Orange Salt, and Braised Fennel

Best SIDE dish: Saffron Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce

What have I missed?

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Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper
I’ve been making a fair amount of chicken salad for lunches, but rarely do I photograph it since I’ll make it at night and throw it in a tupperware.  One time I even made enough for 2 days to leave at work overnight, thinking I was really clever for planning ahead.  That was a huge mistake.  Going into the kitchen for Day 2 Lunch to see someone had been munching on it as a midnight snack was fairly infuriating.  Who does that? I digress.  I had to try a bit of this so I managed to take a picture, and it’s one of my favorites so far.  The rolls I made with leftover pizza dough that was in my fridge for 24 hours, mixed with some flax-seeds.  Really nice, and not just because they were warm.  The 24 hours in the fridge helped. Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 cup grapes, sliced in half
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Olive oil and salt
Rub the chicken with a little oil, then sprinkle with the curry and chili powder.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 220C / 375F or until just cooked through.  Let cool. In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Chop or shred the chicken once it’s cool enough to handle, and mix in.  Season with salt.

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper

I’ve been making a fair amount of chicken salad for lunches, but rarely do I photograph it since I’ll make it at night and throw it in a tupperware.  One time I even made enough for 2 days to leave at work overnight, thinking I was really clever for planning ahead.  That was a huge mistake.  Going into the kitchen for Day 2 Lunch to see someone had been munching on it as a midnight snack was fairly infuriating.  Who does that?

I digress.  I had to try a bit of this so I managed to take a picture, and it’s one of my favorites so far.  The rolls I made with leftover pizza dough that was in my fridge for 24 hours, mixed with some flax-seeds.  Really nice, and not just because they were warm.  The 24 hours in the fridge helped.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup grapes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Olive oil and salt

Rub the chicken with a little oil, then sprinkle with the curry and chili powder.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 220C / 375F or until just cooked through.  Let cool.

In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Chop or shred the chicken once it’s cool enough to handle, and mix in.  Season with salt.

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Chorizo, Chicken, Chickpea and Tomato Salad
I’m totally sick of buying $10 salads for lunch when I can make it at home.   It was very quick to throw together and made 2 big serves, and I would guestimate cost about $5.
Ingredients:
2 chicken thighs
1 tbsp paprika
2 cloves of garlic
1 red chili
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1/2 bunch of oregano, chopped
1 chorizo sausage, diced
1 punnet cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 spring onions, diced
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Coat chicken in paprika, salt and pepper, and sauté in olive oil for 3-4 minutes on each side.  In the meantime, mash up the garlic with some salt and the chili in a mortar and pestle until you have a paste.  Remove the chicken from the pan (it’s ok if it’s not cooked through totally), and add the chorizo to the pan, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom, and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the chickpeas, oregano, and garlic/chili mash and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, while you chop the cooled chicken into roughly 1x1cm cubes.  Add the chicken back to the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes until just cooked through.  Let cool before adding the onions and tomatoes, mix and season if there’s not enough salt or spice.

Chorizo, Chicken, Chickpea and Tomato Salad

I’m totally sick of buying $10 salads for lunch when I can make it at home.   It was very quick to throw together and made 2 big serves, and I would guestimate cost about $5.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 bunch of oregano, chopped
  • 1 chorizo sausage, diced
  • 1 punnet cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 spring onions, diced
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Coat chicken in paprika, salt and pepper, and sauté in olive oil for 3-4 minutes on each side.  In the meantime, mash up the garlic with some salt and the chili in a mortar and pestle until you have a paste.  Remove the chicken from the pan (it’s ok if it’s not cooked through totally), and add the chorizo to the pan, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom, and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the chickpeas, oregano, and garlic/chili mash and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, while you chop the cooled chicken into roughly 1x1cm cubes.  Add the chicken back to the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes until just cooked through.  Let cool before adding the onions and tomatoes, mix and season if there’s not enough salt or spice.

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Eggplant and Parmesan Focaccia
For this, I took a third of the dough from my previous recipe, split it in half, and spread into 2 pizza shapes.  I brushed the dough with the topping from the same recipe, and then layered with slices of eggplant and a bit of zucchini, brushed it with more of the topping and then finished it with some grated parmesan.  Feel free to also use asparagus, artichoke, spinach, mushrooms… whatever you have on hand.  Bake for about 15 minutes on 220C / 400F until the edges are golden and the cheese has started to get a bit crispy.  Really good either hot out of the oven or cold the next day.

Eggplant and Parmesan Focaccia

For this, I took a third of the dough from my previous recipe, split it in half, and spread into 2 pizza shapes.  I brushed the dough with the topping from the same recipe, and then layered with slices of eggplant and a bit of zucchini, brushed it with more of the topping and then finished it with some grated parmesan.  Feel free to also use asparagus, artichoke, spinach, mushrooms… whatever you have on hand.  Bake for about 15 minutes on 220C / 400F until the edges are golden and the cheese has started to get a bit crispy.  Really good either hot out of the oven or cold the next day.

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Red Wine and Sage Lentils
I had a few things in my fridge I wanted to use up, so I made some very rich lentils for lunch today that finished up what I had on hand.  Very quick and easy to make, and would be a great side dish for dinner as well.
Ingredients:
1 can cooked lentils, drained
Half a red onion, diced
1 portabello mushroom, diced
Sage leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Start to cook the onions, sage, salt and pepper in 3 tbsp olive oil.  Once they start to become translucent, add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add balsamic and cook down slightly, 2-3 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, on medium-low heat, until the liquid has absorbed and turned into more of a sauce.  Served with a poached egg.

Red Wine and Sage Lentils

I had a few things in my fridge I wanted to use up, so I made some very rich lentils for lunch today that finished up what I had on hand.  Very quick and easy to make, and would be a great side dish for dinner as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cooked lentils, drained
  • Half a red onion, diced
  • 1 portabello mushroom, diced
  • Sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Start to cook the onions, sage, salt and pepper in 3 tbsp olive oil.  Once they start to become translucent, add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add balsamic and cook down slightly, 2-3 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, on medium-low heat, until the liquid has absorbed and turned into more of a sauce.  Served with a poached egg.

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