Category Archives: Light Lunch

Creamed Mushrooms on Toast with Asparagus

Creamed mushrooms on toast with asparagus
Creamed mushrooms on toast with asparagus

A bit of late summer lunch with mushrooms quickly fried over high heat so they take on a golden tint, chopped fresh thyme and lots of pepper, and a few asparagus spears tossed with Parmigiano-Reggiano parmesan butter. The bread is homemade sourdough wholewheat, white, and rye (60:30:10).

I also discovered today that a splash of dry apple cider works brilliantly to deglaze the pan.

What did you have for lunch today?

What To Do With Leftover Ham

deviledHam

This week we enjoyed a lovely smoked ham that carried us through 3 meals. And then there’s this small knob of ham leftover sitting sadly in the fridge, staring back and begging for attention.

I made Deviled Ham for sandwiches. Threw the chopped knob of ham into a food processor with half an onion (also chopped) and some fresh parsley. Zip-zip-zip. Tipped it into a bowl, and added white pepper, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, and enough mayonnaise to bind the whole thing together. Lovely. Smoky sweet. Cheap as chips.

I love leftovers.

How-to Use Up Leftover Rice

spicyRicePrawns

Spicy Fried Rice with Prawns

I love the challenge of clearing out the fridge of leftovers. Veg that’s seen better days, tomatoes that are ready to go squishy,  saffron rice from last night, a handful of frozen prawns, and red chillies. This tossed-together-quicky lunch turned out surprisingly delicious … according to Peder. I can’t disagree.

I oiled up my old steel wok, sautéed the onion, garlic and asparagus, fried off the rice, added some red Thai curry paste, and just before everything was nearly finished, I poured a beaten egg along the inside edge of the wok so it set fast as a blink against the seering heat of the pan. And then folded the egg into the rice. Serve before the egg sets hard if you like it a bit moist, or if you like it a bit more crunchy and crisp let it fry for a few minutes more.

Now if I can only remember how I did this when the fridge is bulging with leftovers again.

How about you: any favourites that you stir-up with leftovers?

beetPotatoRyeSalad1

Winter Salads

Winter and salads aren’t usual companions. Wind howling outside and rain coming at the window in horizontal sheets, the Thames over-topping its banks and flooding houses, the Levels have been flooded since Christmas. It’s a miserable winter, and a salad isn’t the first thing that comes to mind as ‘comfort food’. But take a look at this.

BeetPotatoRyeSalad2

Warm salad. Roasted beet root, warm sliced potatoes, charred onions and roasted garlic – all tossed together while still hot in a whole-grain mustard vinaigrette dressing made from 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and a dollop of mustard (wholegrain). A pinch of salt (if required) and a grind of black pepper, too. Then I tossed some black beans across the top, hard-cooked eggs, some chopped green peppers and tomatoes, and stuck a few slices of moist, dense (Danish-style) rye bread into it.

It was quite delicious. And surprisingly filling. Just goes to show that salads aren’t just for summer!

Do you long for salads during the winter months?

Today’s Lunch: Tuna with Lots of Roughage

tunaSalad_8June13

Lunch’s today was healthy. I needed something like this because the weather has turned sluggish, and my body is following suit. If this was a game of cards, I’d call it ‘flushed’. The salad dressing is a tablespoon of mayonnaise thinned with the juice of half a lemon and some grated smoked garlic that I found at the Farmers’ Market. It’s good in salad dressing but I’ve not found a palatable use for it elsewhere. Don’t think I’ll buy it again. This salad is full of good-for-you fats, but it’s certainly not low calorie with the pecans and avocado. The egg was cooked for 7-minutes.

Today’s Lunch: Mushrooms on Toast

mushroomToast_7June13

There’s an electrical storm of impressive strength rattling the neighbourhood at the moment. It stalled here, and here it sits. We’ve been listening to thunder for well over an hour now. Time to shut-down the computer (power surges aren’t good for computers), and make lunch. I had a bag of brown closed-cup mushrooms, a swirlable amount of half-fat cream, fresh thyme, chives and parsley from the herb garden, and sliced sourdough in the freezer. I love that my toaster can do its thing to frozen bread, and I’d be none the wiser as to original state: frozen like a brick or fresh out of the oven.

So while the storm had its way with the Mother Nature, I sliced up the mushrooms and herbs, sautéed them in olive oil, toasted the bread, swished some cream around the mushroom mixture, and poured it over the toast.

This is comfort food for me. I love it. Any sort of sauce over toast makes me happy. I mean, lunch needn’t always be a sandwich, right?

Today’s Lunch: Colourful and Fresh

avocadoEggOnToast1Sm
With all the colour gone from the garden (new Home Improvement post tomorrow), I needed a light lunch with the brightness of early summer on a plate. I smashed up an avocado with a bit of piri-piri sauce and spring onions, dressed some lambs’ lettuce with lemon juice, pepper and olive oil, sliced up some large tomatoes, and then soft boiled a large egg for 7-minutes (slowly tempered into boiling water so it doesn’t crack). While the egg cooked, I toasted some frozen sourdough. A lovely light lunch that filled the gaps for a mere 3-hours … and then I was hungry again. This needed more protein. Tuna perhaps.