Quick Healthy Lunch

Serves 1 Time from start till finish: 5 minutes

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I was hungry and didn’t have any bread for a sandwich.
So, a rummaged in my fridge and freezer
and this was the result of my finds.

Ingredients:
½ Onion, chopped finely
1 Tomato, chopped not too finely
100g lardons
100g leftover chicken, cut into cubes
100g frozen mixed vegetables.
1 tsp olive oil
15-30g butter
Salt, pepper and whatever other herbs you want or none.

Method:

  1. Heat the butter and the oil in wok (or frying pan).
  2. Add the onions and lardons, and fry until the onions are translucent.
  3. Then add the frozen vegetables, stir, cover and leave for 1-2 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables thaw and cook, chop the tomato and chicken meat.
  5. Then add this to the wok, stir and add your herbs.
  6. Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
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Easy Fried/Stir-Fried Potatoes

This is a quick way to make fried potatoes from scratch, if you are in a hurry and don’t want to wait for your potatoes to be cooked.
This is a two-in-one recipe for fried potatoes.
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2-5 potatoes
1tsp olive oil
25-50g butter (depending on how many potatoes are used)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pan-Fry: Slice the potatoes into thin slices using a mandolin

Stir-Fry: Cut the potatoes into cubes using a mandolin.

  • While slicing/cutting bring a saucepan of water and a little salt to boil.
  • Add the sliced/cut potatoes to the boiling water and cook for about 2-3 minutes, drain and dry with a kitchen towel.

Pan-Fry:

  1. Heat oil and butter in a frying pan
  2. Add the potatoes and fry. Turn occasionally until potatoes are browned and slightly crunchy.
  3. If wanted you can also add some sliced onions to the frying pan.
  4. Serve as a Side-dish to your dinner or lunch, sprinkled with parsley and/or chives.

Stir-Fry:

  1. Heat oil and butter in a wok.
  2. Add the potatoes to the wok. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add whatever else is needed for the stir-fry.
  4. And serve.

Courgette and Pecorino Fritters.

Serves 3-4       preparation time 15 minutes       baking time 20-22 minutes
Turn your bumper courgette crop into satisfying snacks, delicious hot and/or cold.

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Courgette and Pecorino Fritters (3)

  • 250g courgette; shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 70-100g grated pecorino (an Italian cheese made from ewes’ milk)
  • 100g Panko (or 80g polenta for gluten free)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed with press)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, for greasing the baking sheet
  1. Toss courgette and salt together in a large colander and place in sink to drain for 10 minutes. Then Squeeze to drain even further.
  2. Mix pecorino, panko, crushed garlic, the egg and pepper in a large bowl; and stir in the drained shredded courgette.
  3. Scoop a table spoon of ‘dough’ and drop onto a large greased baking sheet, roughly shaping each into a log.
  4. Bake in a 200°C oven for 20-22 minutes, turning halfway through.
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • Stir chopped chives and basil into sour cream.

Chicken Stock

Preparation time 5-10 minutes         unattended simmering time 3-5 hours

Nowadays not many young people know how to make their own chicken stock, so I thought that I would show how easy it actually is to make chicken stock for instant usage or the freezer. This can also be cooked in a slow-cooker just add all the ingredients, and cook on high for eight hours.
I tend to make this after I’ve had a rotisserie chicken − I just throw the carcass in a pan with any root veg and herbs I happen to have; but, you’ll get a cleaner-tasting stock if you use a raw chicken or chicken pieces.

  • 1 chicken carcass, skin and bones
  • 2 onions peeled and quartered
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, bashed, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 large carrots cut in 2cm slices
  • 1-2 leeks cut into 2-3cm pieces
  • 3 litre water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • Anything from the fridge that need to be used
  • Break the carcass into at least four pieces and place in a large saucepan.
  • Chop the onions, carrots and leeks and add to the saucepan.
  • Use a wide knife to bash the garlic. Place the flat side of a chef’s knife over the garlic clove. Do this on a flat, stable surface. Make sure to face the sharp edge of the blade away from you. Place your outstretched palm over the blade and push downward with a quick, light blow. The goal here isn’t to completely pulverize the garlic clove, but rather to break apart the peel from the rest of the garlic.
  • Now add the water and the herbs and anything else.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Lower the heat to 1 (the lowest setting) cover the saucepan; but leave it just open. Leave it to simmer for 3-5 hours (nearly unattended).
  • After an hour or so, remove any scum that rises to the surface with a ladle or a large spoon. Repeat as necessary.
  • After 2 hours taste if you need more salt, pepper. If you feel it’s too salty add 1-2 raw quartered potatoes to the stock, to absorb the salt.
  • Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables and chicken pieces when finished cooking.
  • Allow to cool for about half an hour then refrigerate or divide it into small plastic containers at this point and freeze, leave about 1cm air below the lid, for the soup to expand when freezing. Remember always write the contents and date on the containers, as you can’t see what’s in the containers once frozen.

PS. The stock will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Tomato, Onion and Orange Salad

Preparation time 10 minutes

I wanted to make a different salad and had seen other people using oranges in salads with avocado. I didn’t have an avocado, so here is my version of a salad using oranges.

Tomato, Onion & orange Salad

  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes, cut in thinnish ring slices
  • 1 Onion, cut in thin slices
  • 2-3 mandarins, cut in thinnish ring slices
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • ½ tbls rice vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley and/or Chives, chopped
  1. Cut the tomatoes and mandarins as thin as possible into rings.
  2. Use a mandolin to very finely slice the onion.
  3. Place the tomato, onion and mandarin slices on a plate alternating them.
  4. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on all the salad.
  5. Then drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the ring.
  6. Cover with cling film and keep at room temperature until served.
  7. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and/or fresh chives.

 

Homemade Potato Wedges

I need something more for a dinner party and didn’t want to have just boiled potatoes, I thought of wedges and checked my freezer if I happen to have some frozen wedges; but alas I didn’t. Now that the thought was implanted in my head I looked around on the net and found that making and cooking wedges wasn’t that difficult; so here is what I did.

Prep time max 5 minutes unattended cooking (baking) time 35 minutes
Serves 2-4
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  • 2-3 potatoes per person, I used new small potatoes
  • 1 tsp each of Salt, Pepper, Onion-salt, Garlic-salt, fresh Thyme … and whatever you fancy like: ginger paprika, curry …
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil (or sunflower/rape seed)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC. Line a baking tray with foil (saves washing up).
  2. Cut the potatoes in half; then cut 3 wedges from each half. Place the wedges I a bow full of cold water for about 5 minutes.
  3. Put the oil in a small plastic bag; Drain and dry the wedges and place them in the bag. Close the bag with a peg so that it doesn’t leak. Then shake the bag making sure all the wedges are coated in oil.
  4. Place all your herbs in another plastic bag; and move the wedges into this bag; again close the bag and shake. Once all your herbs are used tip the wedges out into your baking tray, spread evenly and place in oven.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes – and that’s it. Serve and enjoy.

 

Fried Leftover Rice Cakes

I can’t remember where I found this recipe; but I can promise you it absolutely fabulous. I have made some changes to suit me and as you can see it doesn’t take long to prepare and cook. If served with vegetables it’s a meal and a half. The cakes are great for ovo-vegetarians and they are total gluten free.

Prep time max 5 minutes resting time 15 minutes
cooking time 3-4 minutes per side
  • 150-200g leftover cooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bunch spring onions; chopped finely
  • 1 large cooked beetroot; chopped finely
  • Dried herbs: onion salt, garlic salt, pepper
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, basil, thyme (all finely chopped)
  • Instead of spring onions and beetroot, try: peeled and finely chopped green and red peppers.
  1. Mix everything together; ensuring the egg is thoroughly mixed in.
  2. Place the mixture on a sheet of cling film and roll to a sausage approx. 5-8cm diameter. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes to make it easy to cut and use; do not freeze to a solid sausage. Remove from freezer and keep in fridge until required or cook straight away.
  3. When ready; cut the “sausage” into 1finger wide slices through the cling film.
  4. Gently remove the cling film. Heat a little butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the slices, on medium to high heat, for 3-4 minutes on each side.
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The rice cakes are delicious cold, warm and/or as a side dish to Indian and Chinese cooking.