ERIC MAXIMISES HIS INGREDIENTS
I found myself revising and refining my week’s menu to work out how to stretch the ingredients I have. I needed to make sure that readying one ingredient for a meal would help in the preparation of another to save time.
Breakfast had to be quick this morning, I was running late. I chopped up some spinach, cut up some prawns I had cooked the night before and made a nice omelette. I also finished off the last of my pancakes (I am done with pancakes for the next two months!) from yesterday and had an apple.
Lunch was easy because I had boiled the rice the day before. As a healthy option, I used multi-grain rice that is packed with fibre and complex carbs. I then tossed diced potatoes and carrots into a wok with torn up pieces of aromatic curry leaves. Next, I added the pre-ccoked chicken from Day 1. After that, I combined everything in a lunch box and rushed off to work.
Dinner was a little rushed because I got home late from the office. I quickly threw some minced pork into a mixing bowl with finely chopped carrots and onions, and seasoned it with a little salt and pepper. The mixture was then wrapped in store-bought dumpling skin and put into a pot of boiling stock made from cooking the prawns for breakfast. The last to go into the soup were leafy greens and an onion. A few minutes later dinner was ready, and thankfully yummy. Whew!
MELODY GETS IN A PICKLE
Day 3 and I’m beginning to regret choosing my “trendy” theme. But only just a little, though.
On the third day I had popcorn for breakfast, pizza for lunch and a four-bowl meal for dinner. Yay.
While popcorn may not seem like a breakfast item to many, for someone like me who doesn’t normally eat breakfast, it was a great option. Munching on freshly popped corn kernels flavoured with sea salt and nutritional yeast made my morning fun!
My cauliflower crust pizza (a big thing among gluten-free folks) was a bit difficult to make. I started the night before; I have made cauliflower rice before so I knew that it would take time to blitz the vegetable. It was my first time making cauliflower pizza, though, and unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. 🙁
I think my pizza crust was too thick – I couldn’t really pick up a whole slice without it breaking into half. I had to eat it with a fork! #LOL
Whatever. I’ll try again next time.
For dinner, I made a mini Korean meal – kimchi with pork and mushrooms, blanched spinach and pickled cucumber. I substituted the rice with fried quinoa with leek. Yum!
By the way, Korean cuisine was really hot last year among “foodies”, while pickled/preserved anything is trendy now. For the cucumber, I followed my mum’s recipe. However, I didn’t know how to make the cucumber curls like how my mum used to so I julienned it instead. I didn’t do a good job of that either.
PURPLE RAINS DOWN ON JANE
That almost rhymes.
For those who have been following our challenge, you will know that the theme I took on was colour: to cook using ingredients from the same group in the food colour wheel. On Day 3, it’s The Colour Purple (you knew that was coming!).
Purple potatoes, purple carrots, elderberries, blackcurrants, blueberries – if you can even find them here, they cost a bomb. The only item I can get easily is eggplant (aubergine/brinjal), but eating it for three meals? Maybe not. Then I saw that figs are in the purple group too. Recently, I was given several bags of dried Turkish figs which I turned into a chutney with pineapple and apple. My breakfast was set: a fig chutney and grilled cheese sandwich.
Lunch was steamed eggplant dressed with a spicy sauce. I used to think that eggplant was only delicious when deep fried but I’ve just discovered how good steamed eggplant is. I had it along with flat rice noodles tossed with beansprouts and a few scraps of greens.
This time, I think I have made the easiest dinner by far. It’s something I learnt from my sister in the US, who makes this soup for her two girls. Cut up nori and tofu. Divide into soup bowls. Boil (my sister microwaves) water, add miso paste and dashi powder to taste. Pour over the seaweed and tofu. Eat.
But is there anything purple in it? Nothing jumps out immediately but here’s my logic: The seaweed is rich in iodine. What colour is iodine? In Greek, the name actually means violet or purple. Woohoo, theme fulfilled! 😮