Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chic Lunches

Lunch is a real problem area for me. Often I just don't know what to have. When I come across (or in this case think up) a great lunch I am tempted to start a 'lunch note-book' with lunch ideas.

Today I dreamed up the following:

Warm Pumpkin Salad

Roast in a pan at moderate heat small dice of pumpkin, onion chopped into chunks, a few garlic cloves crushed, big pieces of capsicum and fresh rosemary using a drizzle of olive oil and a tiny drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The balsamic caramelises and is a lot more mellow than when used in a dressing. I planned to add pumpkin seeds also but forgot. Next time!

When the roast mix was cooked I stirred through a small-ish amount of cooked brown rice and topped with torn basil leaves and a sprinkling of grated gouda cheese. Then a grind of salt and fresh black pepper.

This recipe can be served hot, warm or cold. The acid test of course is can I imagine Sabine eating this in her apartment or a cafe. Yes I can. And, it was delicious.

On my mid-week day off work my husband takes our sole car to work, so I either have to drop him in and pick him up, or be organised food-wise for a day at home. There is nothing I like more than a day at home so I very rarely want the car.

I always am organised the day before with dinner provisions, but often forget about lunch. The ingredients for my warm salad above were all in the pantry/fridge/herb pots and dictated the flavours somewhat.

To the roast mix you could also add any or all of carrots, beetroot, kumera (sweet potato) and potato - make them all the same size dice. Any herbs could be used - sturdy ones in the roast mix, leafy, delicate ones at the end. The brown rice could become cous cous and you could add any type of cheese, meat or canned fish for protein.

From Anne Barone's book Chic & Slim Encore I loved her version of Tabouli which I used to make a lot for lunch, but haven't in a while. Revisiting her books reminded me of that recipe and my warm salad lunch was born.

Tomorrow, back at work I plan to use the leftover baked pumpkin mix over lettuce, with a bit of cold brown rice and other raw salad ingredients. The cooked caramelised component really adds a bit of je ne sais quoi to the basic raw salad.

What's your favourite chic lunch? What could you imagine dining on in your Paris apartment?


  1. Great post on eating and adding more salads to your meals! That's what I'm aiming for too since the hot humid days in Thailand are here.

  2. Thanks Ping, nice to have you visit!

  3. That sounds delicious, anything caramelized is so yummy.

  4. Stephanie, I remember your post about (I think) caramelised onion on baked potato. Yum.

  5. I love cold soups for lunch in the hot Louisiana summer. These are easy to make. In blender, use the fruit of your choice (peaches, cucumber, blueberries) and add about 3 cups icy water, a tablespoon or so of honey, a lemon squeeze. Puree. At serving time, stir in some sour cream or plain yogurt. sprinkle all with your favorite seasoning. Very chic!

    We were served this type of soup on our Mediterranean Cruise a couple of summers ago. I am transported back to the ship when I eat this for lunch.

  6. Sounds pretty yummy for winter!

  7. Dot, I've got to get over my fear of cold soups and try your recipe, it sounds delicious. Perhaps a fruity cold soup would be a good starting point, and then progress to chilled vegetable soups.

    Marsi, it is winter here in the Southern hemisphere. This salad would be good cold in the summer. I ate it warm the first day and straight from the fridge subsequent days.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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