Friday, 1 May 2009

My next challenge - lunches!

I have been set another challenge!  This time I need to find some easy packed lunch solutions - another task which I am more than willing to undertake.  Lunches, and particularly ones I need to take to work with me, are a bit of a bugbear with me. I spend so much time thinking about dinner, what to feed the children, the next cake I want to make that lunches don't tend to get much of look in.  Homemade sandwiches can be a bit uninspiring and more often than not I don't even bother to make one and instead opt for a slice of bread and an egg to scramble in the breakout room microwave.  Cheap and simple no doubt, but interesting? Hardly.

So, the criteria are - easy to prepare, ideally the night before (fine by me), suitable for taking to work or out and about, healthy if possible and vegetarian or easy to convert (or my friend who suggested this challenge won't be very impressed!)

My first port of call was Nigella's recent book Nigella Express (I do use other author's books I promise....maybe my next challenge should be "No Nigella for a Month"!) as there is a whole chapter dedicated to just this sort of thing.  I have earmarked a few recipes from the book, the first one being Peanut Sesame Noodles.

This certainly filled the criteria mentioned above.  It was very easy to make (just mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl) and can be prepared in advance.  I think it's pretty healthy too - I know peanut butter is quite high in fat but there's only a small amount in each portion.  

Due to larder limitations I made a few tweaks to the recipe.  I only had crunchy peanut butter but figured this probably wouldn't make much difference (it didn't) and, instead of using raw pepper which I'm not very fond of, I used a handful of ready chopped and roasted pepper from a  bag in the freezer.  Oh, and I didn't add the chopped coriander at the end because, frankly, I think it's the work of the devil.  

The recipe apparently serves eight so I thought I'd make half the amount to start with.  However, the portion sizes weren't particularly generous (the picture below shows one portion).  For those of you who have the book, I reckon the three very well filled tubs in the picture probably contain the full eight portions.  I think next time I might add more beansprouts and peppers.  Nevertheless I really liked the end result and will definitely be making it again.

The recipe can be found here on the BBC website.


  1. Yay, been checking regularly to see whether you've managed to start on the packed lunch challenge so very pleased to see this one posted here. I will try this one for work this week and will be looking forward to seeing some more posted! J

  2. Thank you very much for leaving a comment on my blog re. the 'awful' 5 min.Choc Mug Cake! I'm so pleased it wasn't just me! I've posted the gorgeous choc.cake that I usually make - and think I will stick to it.
    Your cheesecake looks lovely. I love cheesecake.
    Kind regards,
    Shirley I.