More work lunch ideas

So the search for meals that can be frozen and thawed that still resemble their original state continues. Soup got me through many days during the winter. It can be frozen, cooked in large batches, and best of all when it’s frozen in single serves, it doesn’t spill when you take it to work. Just leave it at your desk to thaw, but leave some paper towel under it cos of the condensation. My favourite is vegetable soup minestrone style: chopped carrot, celery, onion, capsicum, tomatoes cooked with garlic, chicken stock, a can of tomatoes, barley, mini pasta and parsley.

Chickpea stew also works – a can of chickpeas, a can of tomatoes, and half a litre of chicken stock. But first saute a chopped onion with 3 cloves of garlic. Add the other ingredients, some paprika and some chilli flakes. Puree half the soup and add chopped coriander.

As always, spag bol freezes very well. i make a huge batch of sauce and freeze it individually, then I boil some pasta the night before and take out the sauce to thaw at the same time. The reason is that Id ont’ like the water that leeches out, and I also don’t like overcooked pasta. WHen you make that huge batch of spag bol sauce, use some of it for lasagna too. I always add red wine to my spag bol as I think it just makes the flavour all that much deeper, and a crumbled in beef stock cube. To make it low fat, always make your own mince. Add more chopped veges (the sofrito – carrot, onion and celery) to make it also less heavy. And again, a sprinkle of chilli flakes :)

Some thing you may not have known – risotto also freezes well! I make it a cheat’s way. Equal parts stock and risotto with a chopped onion that’s been sauteed in some butter and garlic. Cover the oven tray tightly with foil and bake at 220 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring half way. Add chopped cooked mushrooms, peas, and parmesan at the end and stir in a knob of butter with your seasoning for good measure.

And last idea for today – chicken and roast vegetable wraps. A very efficient way of grilling veges without slaving over the stove is to lay sliced eggplant, zucchini and capsicum on an oiled oven tray. Bake until soft, sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can assemble these wraps with roast chicken and some pesto and cheese. Hopefully your work has a sandwich griller, your sandwich will be the envy of your workmates and cheaper than the $10 that they charge in Sydney!

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