Moroccan-style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Serves: 6 – 8 lunches

We don’t buy our lunches at work.

Instead, we cook something big on Sunday night – a stew, a mince, a dahl – and that is lunch for the week.

Nat repeatedly makes the point that there is simply no point in wasting calories during the week. Or to the point, wasting calories, at work, at lunch. Better to reserve the pastas and pastry for the weekends when you can have a few wines and mop everything up with bread and more wines.

I don’t disagree.

Thus why you should consider this stew and making it for your next week of lunches.

Working backwards, it is a calorie blackhole. You’ll burn more calories eating it.

Secondly, it tastes just great.

Thirdly, thanks to the chickpeas, it is filling and you won’t be searching around for a Rivita before four.

Save the money, save the calories and save the weekend for the big chicken sandwiches.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 – 2 tsp chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 dates, pitted and chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped into 2 cm pieces
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces
2 x 400gm cans of crushed tomatoes
3 cups of vegetable stock
1 yellow capsicum (pepper), stemmed and chopped into 2cm pieces
2 cups of cooked chickpeas
Salt and pepper
Couple handfuls of baby spinach
To serve: Greek yoghurt, coriander, lemon zest, brown rice

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onions, lower the heat and cook until softened. Add the spices and chilli flakes. Slowly saute until the onions are really soft.
  2. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the dates, carrots and sweet potatoes. Season with the salt and pepper and mix. Add the tomatoes, stir and then the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced and thickening.
  3. Add the capsicum and chickpeas; check your seasoning. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the greens and cook for a final minute, adding olive oil, lemon zest and seasoning as need be.

Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Serves: 6 – 8

This stew isn’t likely from Morocco though who cares?

It is healthy, filling, tasty, full of pleasant heat and super simple to prep.

As a work lunch – something we had all last week – it ticks every box, served either hot or cold.

Add a dollop of yoghurt, coriander or a side of cous cous and the fact that this stew might not be strictly Moroccan really will be the last of your thoughts.

Yum!

Ingredients

1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
Chilli flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 dates, pitted and chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 x 400gm cans crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1 yellow pepper, stemmed and chopped
2 cans cooked chickpeas
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A few handfuls of baby spinach

To serve:
Chopped flat leaf parsley/coriander
Finely grated lemon zest
Extra virgin olive oil
Cooked brown rice/quinoa/couscous

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, lower the heat and cook until soft. Add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander and a few pinches of chilli flakes. Cook slowly until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant: a minute or to. Add the chopped dates, carrots, sweet potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stirring, add the tomatoes and then the stock.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sweet potatoes are just tender: 10 – 12 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped peppers and chickpeas and stir. Season again and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  5. Stir through the spinach, check the seasoning and serve.

Energy Muffins

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Tasty, filling… energy.

Energy Muffins

Serves: 15 – 18

There are muffins and then there are these muffins: energy muffins.

I found them in Delicious Magazine.

They’re dense, they’re soft, they’re incredibly tasty. And they’re really filling. Have one at 10 and you won’t need lunch until 2.

Read the ingredient list and you’ll know where the energy comes from.

You should whip up a batch for the week.

Seriously good.

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sultanas
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup, grated apple
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar, to dust

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Use paper cases to line the muffin pans or grease muffin pans.
  2. Sift sugar, flour, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sultanas, carrot, apple, coconut and walnuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and fold until just combined; do not overmix.
  4. Spoon into muffin pans and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

 

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Fresh, tasty, easy, healthy… 

Serves: 4

This Vietnamese Chicken Salad from Jill Dupleix really does have the essential flavours and kicks and yet takes less than half an hour to prep.

It tastes sensational, what with its simple nuoc cham relish undertone.

It has bite, it presents beautifully and it is crazy healthy.

Do a batch for your weekday lunches and live the good life!

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
1 carrot, peeled
3 tbsp rice vinegar or lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
Sea salt and pepper
3 shallots, finely sliced
Half a cucumber, peeled
Dash of sesame or vegetable oil
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
3 tbsp mint or coriander leaves
½ mild red chilli, finely sliced
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
1 lime, quartered

Method

  1. Poach the chicken in simmering salted water for 20 minutes, then drain and leave to cool (or use left-over cooked chicken). Cut the carrot into 10cm sections, finely slice lengthwise then cut into matchsticks. Mix the vinegar or lime juice with the sugar, garlic, salt and pepper, toss with the sliced shallots and carrot and set aside for 10 mins.
  2. Roughly shred the chicken. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and finely slice. Combine the chicken, cucumber, sesame oil, fish sauce, mint and chilli with the shallots, carrots and their dressing, and toss lightly.
  3. Roughly crush the peanuts and scatter over the top. Serve with lime wedges.