Got any leftover rice? A raw mango? Some coconut? There’s your lunch in a jiffy. Absolutely effortless and utterly delicious this rice dish is. Years ago, a colleague in Bangalore brought this box full of raw mango rice his mother had made using leftover rice. I hadn’t had anything like that before. And being a sucker for anything sour, I loved it. Having no recipe in hand and with no intention of looking up one either, I tried making some myself. This time around I added freshly grated coconut. This is a new favourite. It takes just about 10 mins to put it together. It took me longer to grate the damn mango actually. I paired this with Udupi style curry leaves thambuli and a cheat mango gojju.
It’s just a simple salad I put together in minutes (barring the 40 mins it took to roast the pumpkin in the oven). Pumpkin has never been a contender of favourite vegetable for me. I grew up picking the pieces out of sambar and curries while pulling my face. It still isn’t a favourite, but I learned how it can taste pretty good with other vegetables or in a luscious soup.
It’s a continuous struggle to be able to eat relatively healthy and still have a lot of flavour in your food. I Crossfit thrice a week post work and I don’t have the time to cook (or even eat) elaborate meals. Which is also why I haven’t been able to post regularly on the blog. Anyhoo! One of the easiest and quickest meals I can think of making is a chicken stir-fry with a few veggies thrown in. Sometimes it turns into a stew with coconut milk. Other times it ends up becoming something in between. Like this dish for example, isn’t a stew or a stir-fry. But I ate it like a stew for dinner and added some cooked soba noodles for lunch.
I’m reaaalllyyy not into hipster breakfasts like this but sometimes you want something cold, sweet and light. Particularly during summers that make your face melt. I just have chia seeds with me thanks to an old friend who bought it, never used it and left it at my place. I tried chia pudding once and didn’t quite come around to liking it. I wasn’t a fan of the texture for the most part. But yesterday I thought I’d do a breakfast parfait, because that’s one of my favourite summer breakfasts. And I thought some chia might be good in there. It looks pretty, doesn’t it?
Thank heavens for bottled sauces. Sometimes all you have the energy and time for is to whisk in a sauce with meat and get going. For me, weekends are when I cook elaborate meals. I don’t have that kind of time during weekdays. So, it’s always quick cooking and quicker packing for lunch. Nothing easier and quicker than a bowl of minced chicken with some soba noodles to go with. A few days ago I got some chilli garlic sauce and spicy black bean sauce along with some minced chicken and it was a great time to open these jars.
I’ve been on a clean and healthy eating spree (again). This time I’ve teamed it up with Crossfit sessions that make me want to eat better on a daily basis. My go-to meal would be a chicken stir fry with broccoli or paneer with other veggies. Sometimes I throw in some quinoa there if it’s lunch. I wanted something different yet healthy and so I ordered for some tofu which I hadn’t had before. I hate soy milk and I had this mind block about soy products. But as it turns out tofu isn’t that bad. Also, it has less fat than paneer which makes it ideal for dinner.
I’ve made Thai curry plenty times before and more often it’s been the red kind. I don’t have a reason why I never made the green one. But it’s never too late. Sunday lunch it was. In the red curry, Kashmiri chillies give it the colour and in yellow, it’s turmeric. For the green one, it’s green chillies, coriander and lemon leaves. Of course, I made the paste at home. Besides these three ingredients, there’s lemongrass, ginger (or galangal), garlic, cumin and shallots. It’s fragrant and delicious. You can alter the number of chillies according to how spicy you want it. I went a little low on these.
This salad is an inspired one. A colleague had a box of paneer and orange for lunch and it tasted so good I wanted to make some for myself. Of course, I added more stuff to it to turn it into a proper salad. For the dressing I mixed together orange juice, honey, mustard and salt. It’s a very light and refreshing salad, perfect for days when you feel bloated or have eaten badly the previous day. I put this salad together in 10 mins with the dressing and packed it for lunch to work.
For those days in the middle of the week when you feel like ordering in because you’re too lazy to cook, or want something spicy, this chilli chicken is perfect. I didn’t plan for it. I was going to order in some greasy Chinese on a cold weeknight. But I remembered I had some boneless chicken marinating in the fridge and that I should use it before it goes bad or something. The marinade was just ginger garlic paste and some paprika. Simply pan roast the chicken with onions and capsicum with soy, hoisin or honey, chillies and crushed pepper. It’s alright if you haven’t marinated it as well. Best part – it comes together in under 20 mins!
I wanted to break the monotony of an everyday salad lunch and that’s why a quick stir-fry of soba noodles and bell peppers did a delicious job of a distraction. You can get soba noodles from most supermarkets today. Otherwise, there’s Amazon. Being mostly made of buckwheat, it is relatively healthy for you. It is high in fibre and a great alternative to wheat based products. What makes it convenient is that it cooks in under 5 minutes. So, while you’re prepping the veggies, the noodles are cooked. All you do is stir it in some sesame oil with soy and hoisin sauce.