Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

PostHeaderIcon No-knead ciabatta bread


My mom and sister have been visiting us for a month from South Africa and although we did a lot of cooking, eating and generally having a great time around the table, there was no time for blogging about it.  Life is back to normal now and I am ready to try a few new things.

Last night while looking through a copy of Cooking light magazine (thanks to my 2 free trial issues) I saw a delicious looking sandwich made with ciabatta bread and roasted veggies.  I figured since I have not had much luck with my sour dough bread and ciabatta bread is already flatter than normal sandwich breads it would be a good intro back to bread making.  I came across this blog called Foodwishes and it a has a great little video attached that shows you exactly how to make a no-knead ciabatta bread.   The blog has everything that you need to make this bread and the video is a hoot so I did not take many pictures of the process, just a few of the final bread and what I ate for lunch today.


This was a very easy bread to make and the taste is fantastic! The crust is hard and chewy and the inside is soft with loads of air bubbles.   Emily (my soft white bread lover) gobbled it up and asked for more.  I ate it for lunch with last nights left overs.  A tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar salad on one slice and left over pork, and roasted veggies on another.  The kids ate theirs with a generous amount of homemade butter.


The Recipe:
4 cups bread flour or 3 1/2 cup white flour and 1/2 cup wheat flour (you can use all purpose flour)
1/4 teaspoon yeast
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the ingredients using a spatula until you have a sticky wet dough.  Depending on the temperature of your house let it rise between 12-18 hours.  I left mine for 18 hours in a very hot house and it did not over-rise, so the dough is very forgiving.

After the 18 hours, punch the dough down using the spatula and transfer to plastic wrap or as I did parchment paper.

The only thing that I did differently, (it made things a little easier) is using parchment paper.  Instead of shaping the dough on plastic wrap and later transferring it to the baking sheet as suggested in the video, I shaped it on parchment paper.  Lightly oil the paper with olive oil and sprinkle with corn meal.  Shape the loaf, punching out the air bubbles as you move and shape the dough.

Let the shaped dough rise for 2 more hours on the parchment paper.  Then pull the parchment paper onto your baking sheet, I used a pizza stone, but you can use any cookie sheet.

Bake at 425 ‘F for 35-45 min – mine took about 40 min to get that nice brown color.

This bread will be great with soups and stews during the cold months and a great building block for a rustic hardy sandwich.  You have got to try it, it is so easy!

PostHeaderIcon Thai Veggie and Oats Patties

The girls had oats for breakfast this morning and when I  make oats I always end up with more than I need.  I was looking for a recipe to use the extra oats in and I came across a suggestion to add it to veggie burgers.  Most veggie burgers have mushrooms or beans in them, but since I had neither in the house, I had to come up with my own veggies to put in it. I pulled out the broccoli and figured that was a good start. I also had loads of peppers in the fridge, cilantro, lime and fresh tomatoes from the garden. It seemed like an unlikely veggie burger, but more like a Thai curry so that was my inspiration.  I have been craving a good Thai curry for months now and have not gotten around to making one so this was a good solution. Here is what I did.

2/3 cup leftover cooked oats
1/2 cup broccoli cut into tiny pieces
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow pepper
bread crumbs (enough to firm up your mixture)
1 egg
1 tablespoon cilantro or taste
1-2 teaspoons red curry paste
lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper

Mix together oats, broccoli, tomatoes, onion, peppers, salt, pepper, cilantro, egg, curry paste and a squeeze of lime juice.  The mixture will be very wet, add enough bread crumbs just so that the mixture is firm enough to form patties.  They will still be sticky patties.  Pan fry the patties in a small amount of olive oil or non stick spray if you prefer until they are browned on both sides.  Serve with extra fresh cilantro and lime slices.

I ate mine on a slice of firm tomato with the cilantro, lime juice and crushed black pepper.  The flavors were great, I really got my Thai fix with this one.  Tonight I made brown rice as a side to our dinner (this was lunch), so I may try to make these with the left over brown rice as well.

PostHeaderIcon Raw Marinated Vegetables

This is a recipe that I regularly make, it never tastes the same and that is half the fun. If I cook the vegetables, James will eat it as well.  If I leave it raw as I intend to do today, it becomes a snack for the kids and me to enjoy for the next few days. Although my 5 year old will pick all the herbs off it first. Here is what I did:

2 Carrots, Julienne (thin)
1 cup
Green beans, roughly chopped
2 Tomatoes
cut into thick rings, for large tomatoes cut the rings into quarters
1 cup
salad peppers roughly chopped
1/4 cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 small cauliflower roughly chopped
1/2 small broccoli, roughly chopped


Red wine vinegar, you can also use Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Garlic oil, or regular Olive oil
Fresh Thyme, Oregano and Basil, you can use any herbs that you like or dried Italian herbs work well
Salt to taste

Toss the chopped veggies together, then add equal amounts olive oil and either lemon juice or vinegar. The amount of oil and vinegar will depend on the veggies that you use. I use whatever I have in the fridge, unless I am having guests for dinner I will never go buy veggies especially for this recipe. Use what you have. Use enough oil and vinegar to just coat the veggies, you do not want to drench them in the marinade. Sprinkle with herbs and salt.  I store them in a plastic ziploc bag in the refrigerator over night and the next day I have a lovely snack or a side dish to go along with a meal.

Grilled veggies:
If you plan to grill these veggies, do not use tomatoes and chop your other vegetables into larger chunks.   Grill in the oven at 400′F for about 30 minutes.  I cannot have grilled vegetable without at least one onion quartered. I love grilled onion in this marinade.

This is the most simple and very healthy side dish to make.  I tend to grill them in the winter and keep it raw during the hot summer months.

PostHeaderIcon Carrot and Pineapple Summer Salad and Yogurt Cups – GAPP 3 & 4

This is a salad we used to eat on hot summer days along with braai meat (meat grilled on a wood fire) when I was a kid. It is best served super cold. It is so simple to make and hey, it has pineapple in it, so that makes 3 recipes using the same pineapple.

Here is what I did to make a side dish for our 4th of July cook out on Saturday.
Carrot and Pineapple Summer Salad:
4 large carrots shredded
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup orange or pineapple juice (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl, toss and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

I have never met a kid that does not like this salad!



The next GAPP recipe was a total disaster! Who knew that pineapple left overnight in yogurt would turn into paint thinners or at least taste like it.
I thought it would be a good idea to make my usual yogurt cups, but with pineapple. Such a bad idea!
Alexia, my 2 year old, was the one to discover it. She had one for breakfast the next morning and told me: “Mommy, I really like the pineapple, but the yogurt is not nice”.  I tasted it and I was dreadful!  Needless to say they were tossed out and there will be no more pineapple yogurt cups in this house.


You are currently browsing the archives for the Lunch category.