Category Archives: Mid-day Meal

Pepper, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Pepper Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Pepper, Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Image: http://www.alittlethoughtforfood.com

I fancied cooking something vegetarian for a change, this tasty one pot dish is quick and easy to prepare and is substantial enough to fill a hole in anyones appetite. It’s only about 170 kCals per portion too.

Serves 4 – Gluten Free*

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 2.5 cms Root Ginger, peeled
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 mixed peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 400g tin of  Chickpeas, drained
  • 1 bag of Spinach, (200 – 250gms)

Method

  1. Whizz the Garlic, Chilli and Ginger in a blender until it forms a paste, (you can substitute paste versions of these instead and use as directed on the tubes\jar)
  2. Heat the paste and olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, until it becomes fragrant and starts to sizzle (be careful not to burn the paste or it will become bitter)
  3. Add the onion and peppers and fry for a few minutes, util the onions start to become translucent)
  4. Add the spices and tomato puree and cook for a few moments
  5. Add the Chickpeas, and Chopped Tomatoes plus a splash of water and simmer for 10 mins.
  6.  Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until it’s wilted, then stir through the curry.

Serve with some plain boiled rice and a Naan or Chapati and enjoy this healthy delight…..

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

 

 

 

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
image: alittlethoughtforfood.com

This creamy, hearty yet healthy soup, tantalised the tastebuds of my colleagues when I bought a batch to work for my lunch. at around 200 kcals per portion (without an added dash of cream) it makes a tasty and filling lunch.

Serves 4 – Gluten Free*

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium brown onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 kg Butternut Squash, peeled, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2.5 cm root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onion, ginger and chilli. Cook on a low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the Butternut squash , ground spices, cumin seeds and garlic  and cook for a further 5 minutes until the aromas are released.
  4. Turn up the heat, then add the stock plus a good grind of black pepper and bring to the boil.
  5. Turn down to a simmer and allow to bubble slowly for 30 to 35 mins or until the squash is cooked (press against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon, it should be soft).
  6. Blend to a fine consistency with a stick blender, you might need to add some more hot water if the soup is too thick.
  7. Season to taste, then top with a swirl of single or soured cream (optional).

Serve with a hunk of home made bread like my Irish Soda Bread and enjoy…

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

Spiced North-African style eggs with homemade flatbreads

North African Baked Eggs image: The Sydney Morning Herald
North African Baked Eggs
image: The Sydney Morning Herald

This recipe is a breakfast and lunch favorite with my family and I, it’s a quick and easy and very tasty meal. Baking eggs in a spicy tomato sauce is very common in many parts of the world, most famously in the Mexican dish huevos rancheros. This version is topped with cheese for an extra treat.

Ingredients

For the flat breads

  • 250g/9oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch salt
  • 1tbsp olive oil

For the eggs

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • ½ tsp crushed chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 x 400g/14oz tins chopped tomatoes
  • salt and black pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 100g/3½oz feta cheese or Greek-style cheese, crumbled

Method

To make the flat breads,

  1. Sieve the flour and a generous pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well in the middle and add the oil.
  3. Mix into the flour then add 100-150ml/3½-5fl oz warm water until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  4. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, or until elasticated a little so that the dough springs back while you knead.
  5. Set aside to rest.

For the eggs.

  1. Heat a wide, heavy-based pan over a medium heat and toast the cumin seeds for a moment.
  2. Add the olive oil and gently fry the onion with a pinch of salt until softened and translucent. Add the green pepper, cover with a lid and gently fry for further five minutes, or until soft.
  3. Once the pepper is softened, add the garlic.
  4. Cook for two minutes, then sprinkle in the chilli flakes and add the chopped tomatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  5. Cook over a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and rich, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Cook the flat breads.

  1. Meanwhile, divide the flat bread dough into eight balls.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each ball out to the thickness of a 50p piece (each flat bread should be approximately 12cm/4½in in diameter).
  3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat.
  4. Cook a flatbread in the dry pan for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until slightly charred, cooked through and a little puffed up.
  5. Transfer to a plate and wrap in a clean tea towel. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  6. Keep warm while you finish the eggs.

Finish the eggs.

  1. Make six wells in the tomato mixture and break an egg into each.
  2. Cover the pan and cook gently over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the whites are set (cook for a further 2-3 minutes if you like your yolks set).

Sprinkle with the feta and serve with the warm flat breads on the side. If you are sort on time you can replace the flat breads with some warm pitta breads.