Israeli Couscous, roast vegetables and haloumi ~ another lunch.

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One of the things I have come to realise is that I really love my ‘Emma’ lunches. I get to make food that I really like and I get to eat it at work in peace. There is no dog looking longingly, no cats wanting the cheese and no kid. Not even a husband sorting through the pile and looking for the meat, there isn’t any meat either.

At my work place we have Hari Krishna food, it is great but I like to keep it as a treat. With my lunch made I have 3 days food, I find it doesn’t taste so nice after that and I have picked all the best bits out. I think the best bits is the key to your own personalised lunch, make it with the bits you love, let yourself have all the bits you like and enjoy.

My new favourite thing is Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous, you should be able to just see the little balls of lovely in the above picture. There are various ways to cook it and I have found that I like to brown it a little, like when you cook risotto. Then I cook it in vegetable stock, adding more stock as it boils off. I used about 1 cup of couscous here and about 1 1/2 c of vegetable stock. I don’t flavour the couscous as there is enough going on ¬†elsewhere.

This Wiki page is a good guide.

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I also roasted some vegetables in olive oil , yes, you have guessed it, the veg I love. I am also a seasonal buyer and do not purchase anything not grown in New Zealand unless I have to. I check the origin of all fruit and vegetables along with the price. I find that price is a good way to figure out if it is locally grown. Anyway, back to the roast veg, when it is all nicely good I add it to the drained and slightly al dente couscous along with a bit of the residual veg/olive oil juices,

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To this lunch I added one of my favourite things, Haloumi. I know I harp on about the company but I love The Collective Dairies cheese because it keeps it shape when fried and heats up nicely in the microwave. I cook up a whole block in slices for my lunch, a couple of bits vanish into my mouth straight out the fry pan.

When it comes time to eat, I chop the cheese up, put it in first, top with the couscous and veg. I microwave it for around a minute, I like it room temperature or just warm and find everything stays together nicely. I also add salt and pepper and any fresh herbs I happened to bring with me. Mint or coriander are favourties.

I think I may have said this before, embrace your lunch, make it yours and enjoy.

A decent lunch for work, roast vegetables and chickpeas with quinoa and brown rice

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It isn’t as hard as it looks, honest. I have been regularly taking enough lunch to last three days and I always feel so much better for it. I am not a natural meat eater and always have a homemade vegetarian lunch. I only do three days as I find that is how long it tastes good for and I take it all in in one go and heat it only for 1 minute in the bowl I eat from.

Store the vegetables separate from any other additions otherwise everything ends up tasting the same and get olive oil on it. Every week I think, should have blogged that but never do and have decided that I will try to give some lunch inspiration.

This week’s meal is pretty easy-

Choose your favourite vegetables to roast, remember it is for you so you can pick ones no one else likes. This week I have kumara (sweet potato) , carrot, pumpkin, white onion and red capsicum.

I chop enough vegetables to cover my medium roasting pan and I have found keeping them medium size (around 3cm square) means you can tasteeach veg. After a few times you will figure out what you need and what you like.

I drizzle the veg with olive oil and a sprinkle of  MasterFoods Tuscan seasoning, it is a great seasoning and I have to take it to the UK for my parents. These were roasted until browned and soft. When they are done let them cool in the tin for a good while before transporting to your chose vessel. When completely cool, put the veg in the fridge.

To go with my roast veg this week I have cooked rice and quinoa to go with it. I use the SunRice mix and cook it according to instructions. I leave this to cool and stick in the fridge.

One of the secrets to a good lunch is the little extras. This week I have also taken along coriander, tomatoes, a nice juicy lemon and some roasted chickpeas that I stuck in the oven as I had a moment of inspiration. The chickpeas are so easy and so good, I used one tin and will do these regularly. I also have a pepper grinder at work and some salt.

It may read like hard work and I may sound vague, it really is about you eating a decent lunch that you like. Too often we adjust our cooking to suit others and lunch can be a moment where you get to claim a meal for yourself. You might not like my way but I might inspire you to find yours.