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Tag Archives: lunchs

Batch Cooking: Quinoa and Beans, Four Meals

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When I got back from a trip I was too tired to put a lot of effort into making meals. I just set some beans and chickpeas to soak, and the next day I pressure-cooked them and also cooked a bit of quinoa, then put both in the fridge for later. With these ingredients I made four different meals:

Together with berrry salad (lunch) and cucumber with feta (lunch), this gave me three days of variation and enough food for the rest of the week. Of course I used other ingredients: kale, tomatoes, tortilla chips, lettuce, sweet peppers, feta, blueberries…but it all fit in one over-the-shoulder shopping bag. Just start with some versatile ingredients and it’s easy to come up with half a dozen different dishes with minimal effort if you have a few things in the pantry, fridge and garden (pasta, corn kernels, olives, spices, cheese) as well. Aside from the taco salad and nachos, there weren’t similarities in flavour, either.


Poached Eggs with Okra and Mushroom

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I was inspired by Fafa’s recipe for pan-fried okra and shiitake mushrooms. My modifications make the dish vegetarian.


  • olive oil to fry
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 6 mu-err mushrooms
  • 1 piece dillisk/dulse seaweed, soaked, rinsed and drained (optional)
  • fresh thyme
  • 30 okra
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh-milled black pepper
  • salt to taste


Soak the mu-err mushrooms in cold water for 30 minutes or in warm water for 10 minutes. Soak the seaweed, if using, in cold water for 10 minutes.

While the mushrooms and seaweed are soaking, mince the garlic and set it aside. Cut the chili in half lengthwise and set it aside. Finely chop the shallot and set it aside. Slice the okra and set it aside.

When the mushroom has finished soaking, rinse and drain. Tear it into smaller pieces and set them aside. Rinse and drain the seaweed and dice it finely, then add it to the mushroom.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add half of the chopped shallot and stir for one minute. Add the garlic and stir well, then add in the mushroom and seaweed. Continue to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add fresh thyme leaves and salt and pepper to taste.

While the mushrooms are cooking, heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the remainder of the shallot and the chilli. Cook until the shallot begins to brown, then add the cumin seeds and the okra. Stir frequently until the okra is soft enough for your taste. For me this took about 8 minutes. Salt to taste and set aside. Remove the chilli halves and discard them.

After you have started the okra cooking, bring water to a simmer in a deep frying pan. When you have finished cooking the mushrooms and okra, crack two eggs into the simmering water and turn off the heat. Cook until the white of the egg is completely cooked, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain off the water and set the pan on a low heat for a few moments to dry the outside of the eggs while you assemble the rest of the dish.

Prepare two plates or bowls. The okra will take about 2/3 of the space and the mushrooms will take the remainder. Slide an egg on top of each plate and season with a bit of salt and more freshly milled pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.


Kısır (Bulgar Salad)

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I made kısır and grilled courgette/zucchini (which I’ve previously posted) for lunch this week.



Spicy Peanut Noodles

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I cooked some Chinese noodles and mixed them with grated ginger, leftover ssamjang, sesame oil, soy sauce, black pepper, peanut butter, green onions and blanched snow peas.


A bit of leftover zippy cucumber salad mixed in was a nice addition.



Pumpkin-Stuffed Tortillas with Lentils

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This week for lunch I made a filling of pumpkin, sweet pepper, red lentils and feta, which I put in corn tortillas.


Quinoa Carrot Salad

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I started with a recipe which is no longer available, which cooked the quinoa in carrot juice instead of using carrots, and made use of apples, toasted almonds and sesame oil.  I opted to remove ingredients that wouldn’t keep well, to cook the coconut, and to use small pieces of carrot.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 medium carrot finely diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup fresh (or frozen) grated coconut
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 finely diced fresh red chili
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • coriander leaves (cilantro) or spring onions – optional


Bring 1½ cups of water to a light boil in a small pan with a fitted lid.  Add the quinoa and bring back to a boil.  Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat to the lowest setting, and let it simmer for 15 minutes without removing the lid.  After it has cooked, take it off the burner to cool but do not remove the lid.

In a frying pan, heat the oil.  Add the onion and cook it for two minutes on medium high heat, until it begins to soften.  Add the garlic, ginger and chili.  Cook for another minute, then add the coconut and carrot.  Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the peas and cook until they have thawed.  Remove from heat and mix in the quinoa.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


Serve cool or at room temperature.  Coriander leaves or spring onions can be added just before serving.


Pan-fried vegetable salad

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I was getting a little tired of lettuce for lunch, so this week I cooked aubergine, courgette, sweet pepper and onion and added a basil dressing.

grilled salad