Friday, 31 May 2013

lunchbox week #05

even though i haven't done a lunchbox post in a while, i've still taken a photo of every lunch i eat... it's a food blogger's compulsion! sometimes i've posted them on facebook, but more often than not, they sit on my phone or camera waiting for someone to browse through and exclaim, 'Lissa, do you only have photos of food?'

anyway, i'm so happy to share these lunchbox photos with you today - as making a good healthy lunch is something that i hope to get better and better at. there's nothing worse than being stuck at work and only having Tesco lunch options available. also, when i prepare in advance, i enjoy it SO much more, and i don't snack/overeat.

simple things are the best. a salad, soup or leftovers (or a combination of these!) is my go-to lunch...

smoked mackerel salad with broccoli and cherry tomatoes, along with an apple and a pear

kale salad with diced red peppers and rocket flowers, along with an avocado and a prawn cocktail

butternut squash, red lentil and vegetable curry, with a mint leaf salad topped with raisins. and a pear, of course.

butternut squash salad with broccoli, followed by an orange. sometimes i eat my piece of fruit at midday, as i get hungry, and it's also better for food combining to eat your fruit first.

cherry tomato and celery salad with dill, homemade coronation chicken, a plum and a kiwi.

so there you have it, a little flavour of the sort of things i've been eating at lunches. you'll see them evolve and change, but the core items remain the same. because we eat meaty dishes most evenings (because Pete prefers it - huge meat eater, but not red meat thankfully), i'll eat only veg at lunch, and raw veg is my preference because they're packed full of great nutrition.

and, on a totally different note, i finally bought a helmet so that i can go out for bike rides with Pete, and we went last monday... we cycled 13 miles, and it was the first time i've cycled properly in about 10 years. it was so much fun!! there's nothing quite like the feeling of fresh air blowing over your cheeks as you pedal faster - it's very freeing. though i don't plan on cycling in any sportives soon (Pete's doing a 60mile one this Saturday), i'm really looking forward to my next ride...

so, what do you take for lunches to work?

currently listening to: our song by ron pope

Friday, 10 May 2013

a simple recipe for beautiful beetroot borscht

it's a while since i posted a recipe - but this one is so delicious and has become so much a part of my regular eating, that it wouldn't be right not to share it with you. did i mention it's also cheap and very easy to make?

when my gorgeous niece Juliet started to speak, her 5th word was "borscht" - she adores it, she devours it quicker than any other food, and if she hears the word she starts chanting it until she gets some. it's my brother Martin's recipe that i want to share with you today, the one that Juliet fell in love with...

if you've never tried it - be encouraged by the amazing health benefits of beetroot, red cabbage, onions, celery, dill, carrots and beef stock. and if that doesn't convince you, then can you just trust me that this is super tasty?!

beetroot & red cabbage borscht
1 dsp butter/oil
2 onions
2 sticks of celery
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dried chopped dill
3 carrots
half a head of red cabbage
500ml good quality beef or chicken stock
250g (1 packet) cooked beetroot
1 tbsp cider vinegar
soured cream and fresh dill to serve

1. start by dicing your onion, celery and garlic. then add this to a medium hot pan with the butter/oil. after 5 minutes add in the dill.

2. grate the carrots and add this to the pan. then finely chop the red cabbage (removing the tough inner heart) and stir this in too. leave this to sweat a little for 5 minutes and then add in the stock. cook this for 15 minutes, adding a little extra water if necessary (it depends on how you like it at the end, i only add about 1/2cup of water because i like it thick).

3. meanwhile, grate the cooked beetroot.

4. once the red cabbage is tender, remove from the heat and blend up with a hand blender. add in the grated beetroot and cider vinegar and blend again.

5. serve hot topped with soured cream and fresh dill. and perhaps a side of toasted sourdough.

cook's notes:
 - it's really important to use good quality or homemade stock - after scouring every single supermarket shelf for a readymade stock that wasn't filled with salt, preservatives or added oils, i found the most amazing thing (reasonably priced too) in the by Sainsbury's range, which i now use all the time and always keep in my cupboard. the chicken, beef and vegetable stocks come in those plastic pouches (see image below) - and are about £1.20ish.
 - if you've got raw beetroot, that's perfect, but make sure to cook it in advance of the other steps.
 - i picked up a huge chef pack of Schwartz dried dill because i use it so much - and it's one of the best investments i've ever made. i got mine from a herb stall at my local market and it was only a fraction more expensive than the regular sized packs.
 - if you're looking for sourdough on the high street - you can pick them up in Sainsbury's - incredible! i've been buying, slicing and freezing this since the beginning of the year, and it's the best toast ever ♥
 - you can add in leeks or spring onions if you like to add more to the flavour, and it traditionally has potato in, so you could experiment with other additions like celeriac or swede.

so there you have it, Martin's borscht. simple, easy and very very delicious. i understand why Juliet is so madly in love with the stuff...

thank you so much for reading!

currenty watching: the hairy bikers - there are replays on bbc iplayer and i'm addicted.