You know how you always say you’re gonna cook all your work lunches for the week on Sunday, and save heaps of money? Yeah well imagine if you did that ever. Here’s a series of recipes that I think are good straight-from-the-takeaway-container-that-still-kinda-smells-like-last-weeks-panneer. They go well with sitting at your desk and dreaming about all the things you'd say if you weren't so passive aggressive.
Probably the best salad
I hate whenever recipes describe something as ‘delicious AND guilt free’ or like ‘you won’t BELIEVE it’s healthy’ – cause usually they’re talking about stuff with heaps of weird fake-sugar chemicals or under-salted microwave meals. Also if something is delicious you can’t feel guilty about eating it that’s the rule. But this salad, with honey and nuts and a bit of chili, tastes good (not as good as a grilled cheese but better than a can of tuna) and is relatively healthy. You could probably eat it for at least 3 days before you started really wanting a chicken burger.
This recipe is very easy and you probably could have made it up for yourself – but I know sometimes it’s hard to think of a lunch idea that won't make you feel like shit, so here it is.
¼ of a big pumpkin
2 cans of Butterbeans
300g Brussels Sprouts, halved
1 cup of nuts, roughly chopped (I used Brazil Nuts, but walnuts, pecans or cashews would work fine too)
Half a red onion, finely diced
200 grams of Rocket
1 Sprig Rosemary
2 teaspoons Sumac (you could use Dried Chili if you want more heat/don’t want to buy sumac)
3 tablespoons of honey
Half a lime
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 108 degrees. Cut the pumpkin into bite sized-ish pieces.
In a baking tray, coat the pumpkin, nuts and Brussels sprouts in the honey, sumac or dried chili, rosemary and a big glug of olive oil together until everything is evenly covered. Bake for about 30 minutes – checking after 20 if you cut your pumpkin fairly small.
When the pumpkin is soft, take the tray out of the oven and leave it to cool.
Drain the butterbeans, then add to the cooled pumpkin and nut mixture. Mix the rocket and onion through, and finish with a squeeze of lime and salt and pepper to taste.
This is pretty much a direct rip of the ‘Asian ragus’ from the Lucky Peach Cookbook – I just made it a bit easier and removed some ingredients. I had a lot of trouble finding Asian blackbeans (I went to one shop, couldn’t see them immediately, gave up) so just used the Mexican tinned ones and they were fine. Look harder than me though.
I reckon this should keep comfortably and still be delicious for 3 -4 days. I was still eating mine after 7, but I’m disgusting.
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped/crushed
1 Brown Onion, finely diced
250g mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ wombok cabbage, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons crushed ginger
1 leek, cut horizontally into 1cm circles
1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (crushed chillies, sometimes with other stuff. They should have it in the ‘Asian’ section of your 'local supermarket' – I started buying this cause I wanted to learn how to use chilli but whenever I cut it up my hands burn for hours. It’s good in everything)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
400g canned black beans
4 shallots, roughly chopped
Handful of bean sprouts (optional)
4 ‘cakes’ of ramen noodles (I don’t know what the serving sizes are called, but like 4X what’s normally in one packet of mi goreng. The plain ones usually come in 3-4 packs so you’ll work it out.)
Heat a splash of oil in a wok/frypan, add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes until it starts to get soft. Add the ginger, garlic and leek and sauté for another couple of minutes.
Add the sambal oelek and the cabbage – put in a few big splashes of soy sauce and the hoisin and fry until the cabbage is cooked.
Cook the ramen to instructions (generally you pour boiling water over it, then cover for about 3 minutes).
When the ramen is cooked, add it to the wok with the mushrooms and black beans. I like to cook mine quite hot for a while, because I like when the noodles get a bit charred and that burnt soy sauce taste comes through, but just keep tasting and see when you think they’re cooked.
Add more soy sauce of hoisin as you go for taste.
To serve, top with bean sprouts and shallots for crunch. If you’re packing it in tupperware container to reheat, the bean sprouts will get soggy, so decide if you want to leave them off/bring them to work in a ziplock bag to add at the end.