Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘herbs’

A Warm Lunch at the Office

Anyone who has been following this blog for a while knows that I am NO fan of microwaves and have not (knowingly, although I realize it must happen to me some places!) eaten microwaved food in at least 10 plus years!

But when the weather starts to turn this can pose a problem for a girl who is looking for a little warmth at lunch time at the office and there is no way to heat anything up except the you know what!

So imagine my delight when I saw THIS idea!!

Please forgive me, I do like to give credit where credit is due but I do subscribe to a lot of food blogs and can’t always remember where I see what I see and regrettably I couldn’t find this again when I went back to look for the instructions.  So thank you idea giver.

So let’s call them Homemade Noodle Pots.

We’ve all had them.  Some are better than others.  But even the “organic” “healthy” versions are still pretty much weird dried stuff in a cup.

You know what I’m talking about.  Those instant lunch things that come in a cardboard, or worse, cup.  You peel back the lid, pour boiling water over it, cover it up again, let sit for a bit and voila.  A cup full of some kind of warm, usually desperately salty, noodle type stuff.

And they aren’t even that cheap, especially the higher end ones!

So why not just make your own DIY noodle pots?

You can put just about anything you’d like but best of all, you know exactly what’s in them!

And what’s great, on a Sunday afternoon, you can make up all of your ingredients, pack up your jars and have one for every day of the following week!  Imagine?  A whole week of not having to worry about what to bring for lunch??  Fantastic!

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Here is what you will need:

Heat safe jars, like Mason Jars 500 ml size x days of your week

Flavour base: I tried different combos for each day to change it up a little.

1 to 3 teaspoons of organic or quality soup stock base, miso paste or curry paste

More Flavour:

1 to 3 teaspoons of:  coconut milk, sesame oil, hot sauce or Sriracha, tamari or Bragg sauce etc

 

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Fillers:

Chicken, tofu, frozen vegetables, shredded cabbage, cooked lentils or beans, thinly sliced mushroom, kimchi, hardy greens, boiled egg, or whatever else you might find in the fridge!

Noodles:

Cooked Soba noodles, spaghetti, rice noodles, ramen.   I haven’t tried this yet, but maybe dried couscous?

Toppings:

Green onion, Cilantro, shredded carrot, a slice of lemon?

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Start with the flavour bases on the bottom of the jar, spread them around so they will dissolve evenly.

Then add in your filler items.

Then the noodles and pack it down nicely.

Then finally what ever fresh toppers you might be using. ( if you want these really fresh, perhaps store separately and top the noodles just before eating)

Put the lids on tight and refrigerate!

Each morning, grab one to go!

 

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When it’s time to eat, simply add some boiling water and replace the lid.

Let sit for a few minutes to let everything warm up.  Then maybe give the jar a little shake or a twirl before you open it or give them a good stir with your chopsticks to let the flavours mingle.

 

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You can enjoy it right out of the jar or dump it into an awaiting bowl and eat right away while it is warm.

 

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And there you have a nice warm, weird stuff free, bowl of niceness to get you through your afternoon!

 

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Spinach crepes with mascarpone

I found myself with a grave dilemma.

I had a tub of mascarpone cheese in the fridge that I had been “saving for something special” which I simply never got around to and now was faced with a looming expiry date!  And that stuff isn’t cheap, not that ANY cheese these days cheap!  So I had to come up with something to do with it and fast!

But it was just a regular week night, no company was coming, I didn’t feel like making some involved dessert, so WHAT to do??

I decided to go with a savory route and make it into a dinner item.  Why not make some spinach crepes and stuff them with some sort of delectable mascarpone filling??

First I whipped up a batch of spinach pancake mix.   ( click here  ) for Kale pancakes and exchange the kale for  spinach and add a little extra liquid so the batter is a bit runnier.

Then put that aside.

Then for the filling heat some oil in a skillet and add:

  • 1 medium onion sliced ( or shallots would be nice if you have them)
  • 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms ( any kind)
  • chopped or dried herbs of your choice ( thyme, parsley etc)
  • salt & pepper

cook these up till nicely wilted then put aside in a bowl to cool a little, but don’t clean out the skillet because you want to save the flavour for making the crepes.

So once the filling has cooled a little, mix it with about 3/4 of the mascarpone.

Now to the crepes.

In the same skillet, heat some oil and then pour some batter into the pan.  You will have to experiment with amounts depending on the size of your pan.  Pour the batter in and quickly swirl it around till it covers as much of the bottom of the pan as you can manage.

Let it sit until you see the bubbles or tell tale holes form on top and then it will be time to flip it.  Be careful, this is always a high risk procedure!

Once it is done on both sides, transfer to a flat surface, like a baking sheet or cutting board or something.  Then pour another pancake.

Once the first one has cool enough to touch, spoon in a few shots of filling to the centre of the crepe and roll it up and then put it in a baking or casserole dish, seam side down.

Repeat till you run out of ingredients.

But before you use up all of the filling, put aside about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the mixture into a sauce pan, add the remaining mascarpone and about 1/4 cup of milk.   Slowly heat these up, stirring frequently till you have a nice topping sauce.

Once you have made all the stuffed crepes put them in the oven ( don’t put on the sauce yet) at  350 degrees for about 15 minutes just to make sure everything is nice and heated again.

Then serve them up with a bit of sauce and some side salad and you’ve got a nice little meal.

Now I’ll admit that I did a bit of a bushwhack job on these because we just wanted to eat, so my sizes were all over the place and my sauce a bit sloppy.

Spinach crepes with mascarpone filling

But if done with care, these could actually be quite a fancy dish to be served on a special occasion.

Just sayin.

Raw Almond Cheese

So now that you know how to make raw almond milk ( click here in case you missed it ) you’ll see that you have left over raw almond pulp.   Seems cruel to toss it away after all you’ve been through together, so how about raw almond CHEESE??

This one is easy and delightful.  And really good for people who can’t eat dairy!

You can do an easy version where you will literally take your pulp and mix it with the juice of half of a lemon and a teaspoon of salt, mix that up and away you go!

But if you’d like something a little more interesting, try this:

In a food processor grind up:

  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 – 3 sun dried tomatoes soaked and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs like basil, oregano, parsley etc
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • juice of half a lemon
  • left over almond pulp
Mix thoroughly and then transfer to small containers like ramekins.  Then cover with some plastic wrap.
Okay now here’s the CRAZY part!!  You are just gonna leave them out on the counter or shelf for a day or two!!
I KNOW!  Sounds ridiculous!  But this is what gives it the “cheesiness”!  This is the fermenting process.
Then after a day or two of sitting out you can put it in the fridge or enjoy at your leisure.
Don’t really expect a cheesy consistency.  It is really more of a “spread”.  But then again it does sort of resemble the crumbly consistency of say  Boursin  cheese.
You can experiment to your hearts content with what you want to add to this cheese so it can be different cheese every batch!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Raw Almond Cheese

And here’s another little tip:

The “raw Pizza” crusts  ( click here if you missed it ) that we made for our raw pizza also make GREAT raw crackers if you just break them up into cracker size bits!

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