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Lunch in a Jar, Pt. 3: Coconut Barley w/ Zucchini, Asparagus & Feta

4 Apr

I love kitchen tools whether they’re essential or absurd (who DOESN’T need a hot dog slicer??). On that note, I think spiralizers fall right in the middle: you don’t neeeeeeed one but they’re neat! Why not have fun with your food and eat it in a different way? Inspired to bust out this particular gadget, I based my next lunch jar on using it on some zucchini. I also made up some chewy coconut and lime barley, tossed in some salty feta and added in bright, blanched asparagus and corn. Lots of flavour and super filling, I’m making it again next week!

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Makes 3.

Ingredients

1 zucchini, peeled and spiralized (or, in a pinch, use a peeler to cut into ribbons and then slice those ribbons thinly)
5-10 stalks of asparagus, diced
1 c corn
1c barley
3 tb shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 lime, juiced
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/3 c feta, crumbled
drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Directions

1.Place 3 cups of liquid (water, broth, coconut milk) in a pot along with 1 cup of uncooked barley and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Once cooked to desired chewiness, add in the shredded coconut, lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil to blanch the corn and asparagus. Once the water has boiled, toss in the veggies and cook for just a couple of minutes. Drain the pot and put the veggies into ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove and set aside.

3. Layer your ingredients: barley, asparagus, corn, zucchini & feta. If you’ve got any leftover cilantro, you can toss that on top, too. When you’re ready to eat, toss in a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you’re set!

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Lunch in a Jar, Pt. 2: Cold Soba Noodle Salad

3 Feb

The next step in the never-ending quest to make work lunches interesting, I made up some spicy, crunchy, filling cold soba noodle salads. This past week’s incarnation was vegetarian, but you could toss in chicken or pork should you so desire.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it will last up to 5 days in your fridge and nothing goes soggy, assuming you don’t add something highly perishable like bean sprouts. That means you can prep a week’s worth of meals all at once and not have to think about it again til the weekend!

To make a less spicy version, cut the sambal oelek in half. Unlike the soup jars, you won’t add any liquid to these so the sauce won’t get watered down at all.

Makes 4 jars.

Ingredients

2 tb peanut butter
2 tb sambal oelek
4 ts soy sauce
3 ts rice wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
1 ts sesame oil
2 bundles soba noodles
1 sweet pepper, julienned
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup corn
1 cup edamame
1 ts sesame seeds

Directions

1. In a small bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sambael oelek, soy sauce and rice win vinegar. Slowly add in the oil and whisk til smooth. Set aside.
2. Cook the soba noodles according to the package. Remove from water, rinse til the noodles are cold and lightly toss with sesame oil.
3. Spoon the sauce into the bottoms of the jars. Add in the noodles, peppers, carrots, corn and edamame. Top each with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
4. Close  up the jars, toss ’em in the fridge and grab as needed for a tasty lunch.

jars

Lunch in a Jar, Pt. 1: Noodles!

12 Jan

Always on the hunt for tasty lunches to bring to work, I’d bookmarked a few recipes for meals in a jar. They are so appealing! They’re contained, they’re colourful and they’re endlessly adaptable. I could have soup with noodles just about every day in winter so I opted to make that first. I based it on a Michael Smith recipe but made a bunch of alterations to suit my tastes.

soup-prep

Makes 2 meals

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, poached and cubed
1 carrot, shredded
2 large handfuls bean sprouts
3 tb cilantro, chopped
2 tb peanuts chopped (optional)
1 package ramen noodles
2 tb ketchup
2 tb smooth peanut butter
2 tb grated frozen ginger
1 tb soy sauce
1 tb fish sauce
1 ts hot sauce
1 ts lime juice

Directions

1. Mix together the ketchup, peanut butter, ginger, soy, fish sauce, hot sauce and lime juice making a flavour base. Taste and adjust as necessary, keeping in mind you’ll be adding water that will dilute the flavour. Spoon half into the bottom of each mason jar.
2. Layer in the shredded carrot, chicken, bean sprouts, cilantro and peanuts (if you’re using them). Place in the fridge til you’re ready to eat.
3. Two options for cooking the noodles. Just pick based on the size of your mason jar!

a) Place the noodles in a bowl (for the love of all that’s good, discard the sodium-laced flavour packet that comes with them) and pour boiling water over. Cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Pour off some of the water into the mason jar, cover and shake then pour everything out into the bowl.

OR

b)Break up the noodles in the package and pour them into the mason jar. Pour hot water into the jar, cover and wrap up in a towel. Give the jar a gentle shake and let sit 6-7 minutes.

soup

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