Trying to find delicious lunches for work is always tricky. Working in Soho there is a plethora of expensive options, but aside from Friday’s (MARKET PEOPLE! RUPERT STREET!) I can’t justify buying lunch every day.
I do love a soup, but then you end up having to add a few chunks of bread to stop the hunger. So my usual option is to make great big VATS of delicious VEGGIE BASED stews/casseroles/curries/tagines and lots of other words for basically the same thing.
I am not a veggie but I believe meat should be a treat – as you’d have to be a secret millionaire to afford genuinely good meat; even with the new branding you can tell supermarket meat is still just that (I am looking at YOU Tesco!).
So, say متشرفين or metšerrfīn (pleased to meet you!) to my Morrocan Veggie Medley. Guaranteed to bring a flavour of Middle East to your lunchtime trawl through the Mail Online.
Moroccan Veggie Medley: (Serves around 4-6)
- 1 x Red & Yellow Pepper
- ½ x butternut squash
- Fresh tomatoes on the vine (around 8)
- Button mushrooms
- 1 x red onion
- 2 x carrots
- 3 x chillies (depending on your spice levels)
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves
- 1 x leek
- Fresh Coriander
FOR THE RICE (OPTIONAL)
- 1 x cauliflower
- 1 x brown onion
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!
- 2 x teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 x teaspoons chilli powder
- 2 x teaspoons coriander
- 1 x teaspoon Cinnamon
- Good shaking of chilli flakes
- Chopped tomatoes (I cheated today but you can just throw a load of tomatoes in the oven, 20 mins, let them cool, peel off the skins then throw them in a blender)
- Tomato paste
- Dried apricot
- Mixed nuts
- Coconut Oil
If you have space, chop up all the veg – make it chunkier than if you were doing a meat dish as the veg is your main event, not just a footnote. The majority of the veg will hold its shape too when it cooks so you don’t end up in a big ol’ mush.
Also when you chop it up and put it onto little plates, you can then pretend you’re on This Morning or Sunday Brunch depending on your preference.
Use coconut oil, around a table spoon. I always lick off the remains and do a bit of cheeky oil pulling whilst I am at it. Once it’s schmokin, throw in the cumin seeds and watch those bad boys jump around. After around 2 minutes, add the red onion, chillies and let it brown, then pop in the garlic.
Next comes the paste – big SQUEEZE of tomato – and you can start adding in your spices (put it down to a low heat whilst you mess around). Chop up some coriander and throw that in too. If your mixture is sticking, open the passata and glug a bit in so the spices mix in nicely and you have your base!
Turn up the heat and add in the veg in order of cooking time, along with the rest of the chopped tomato/passata and about a cup of water to reduce everything down with (I’d start with carrot, butternut squash, peppers and work my way down to mushrooms and tomatoes).
Once the veg start to soften, throw in a handful of dried apricots. If you have too much sauce, take the lid off and reduce, if its looking too thick, pop in ½ cup water and close the lid. Have a taste, and if you’re golden, thrown in another big handful of nuts and stir through, with some freshly chopped coriander.
So there you have it! You have yourself the perfect lunchtime fill me up. Hopefully you have a microwave at work (or an under-the-desk stove as I keep requesting, to no avail alas).
If you’re doing at home, then grate a cauliflower, throw in a brown onion with coconut butter, fry off, chuck in the cauliflower and do for about 5 or so minutes until its soft, then chop up fresh coriander and throw that in too. Such an easy low-carb accompaniment!