As I wrote back in January, I decided this year to share photos and recipes from our lunches so that you might be inspired to pack your own lunch too. I also share them on Instagram each Sunday night (you will also see them on the Facebook page). And I'll post the recipes at the end of the month.
I'm not great at following recipes, and I'm also not good at writing them, because I tend to just use up what we have in the fridge/pantry/garden, things that are on special or we've been given at our local produce share. I'll tell you what I made, but I'm not saying you should follow exactly, just use it as a rough guide and use up whatever you have handy too.
Week 1: Beef Curry
This is loosely an Indian curry, a while ago I bought jars of garam masala and some "raja mix" mild curry powder, which do not have ingredients listed. Its pretty dodgy, I just want to use them up, I hate not knowing the ingredients, but I hate wasting them. I put a couple of tablespoons of each into the curry and as much coconut milk as I need to cover the meat. For this curry I used Y-bone, which you can put in whole and pick out the bones later, saves time and adds flavour - this is one for the slow cooker as you need time to cook this tough, but cheap, cut of meat. Instead of rice, I cooked up a big batch of vegetables to go with the curry. I used up the last of the eggplant from January, and added carrot, zucchini, beans and cauliflower.
4 Y-bone steaks
Finely chopped onion and carrot
Can of coconut milk
Chicken or beef stock
Curry mix of some kind
Chopped veges to serve
- Brown Y-bone steaks and put in preheated slow cooker
- Cook onion and carrot and put in slow cooker
- Cook curry mix in oil and then add coconut milk and stock, bring to boil and add to slow cooker, add bay leaves
- Cook for 12 hours on high
- Fish out y-bones and break up the meat with tongs
- Cook chopped veges and divide into dishes with curry
Week 2: beef rolled roast
This is my FAVOURITE type of roast. Mostly because its made with my own stuffing mix of garlic, herbs and breadcrumbs, so its very tasty. This one was also done in the slow cooker and served with lots of veges!
Rolled rib roast
Carrot and onion
Herbs - rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaves
- Brown rolled roast in a frying pan and put into preheated slow cooker
- Cook onion and carrot, then add wine, simmer for a few minutes and add stock
- Pour all of above into slow cooker, throw in herbs and garlic
- Cook for 12 hours on high
- You can either pull out the roast and put it in the fridge before carving to get neat slices, or cut it when hot, it will fall apart into "pulled beef"
- Either use the sauce as is, or thicken with flour to make a gravy
- Served with chopped veges
Week 3: Spag bol (without the spag)
You may have noticed that I'm not eating grains.... so I don't have pasta, but I still like spag bol! You can make fancy spiralised zucchini spaghetti, but I am happy with chucks of zucchini, cauli and carrot to replace my pasta. Pasta always made me feel bloated, I don't miss it at all, and this way I get extra veges.
1kg beef mince
Tomatoes - fresh or canned (buy Australian made!)
chopped onion, carrot and celery
chicken or beef stock + wine
mushrooms, capsicum, olives
herbs - oregano, rosemary
chopped veges or pasta
- Brown mince in a large frying pan
- Cook onion, carrot and celery in a large pot
- Tip cooked mince into pot - use frying pan to cook the mushrooms and capsicum
- Add tomatoes, wine and stock to pot, add herbs and garlic
- Cook for an hour or so until liquid reduces
- Cook the chopped veges/pasta in the frying pan
- Serve bolognaise over the chopped veges, with a little parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil
Week 4: Lamb shanks casserole
I found two lamb shanks in the freezer, I don't know where the other from this lamb have got to (maybe we ate them already, maybe I'll find them later), but I didn't think that was enough meat, so I added a packet of shoulder chops as well. This recipe is similar to the osso bucco from last month, basically just cook the meat on the bone in a nice sauce and then pick out the bones. This was in the slow cooker for 24 hours. Unfortunately lamb shanks are not exactly cheap anymore (unless you buy the whole lamb as we do), you can just use lamb shoulder chops instead. I also took the opportunity to use up some tomatoes that were going soft. As always, the meat was paired with a large helping of chopped veges and a few chunks of roast potato.
Lamb shanks or shoulder chops (approx 1 per person per meal)
Chopped onion, carrot and celery
1/2-1 cup Apple cider vinegar (supposed to use balsamic, but too much sugar)
1/2-1 cup Wine
2 cups Chicken or beef stock (in fact I had Christmas ham bone stock this time!)
Chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned or combination)
Herbs - rosemary, thyme, bay leaves
Chopped mixed veges and roast potato, chopped basil
- Brown meat and put in the preheated slow cooker
- Brown onion/carrot/celery
- Pour over vinegar and wine and allow to simmer
- Add stock and bring to the boil, then pour into slow cooker
- Add tomatoes, herbs and garlic to slow cooker
- Cook for at least 12 hours, I left it 24 hours to thicken the sauce
- Serve with the veges (lightly stir fried) and potatoes, nice with chopped basil or parsley
Have you been packing your lunch for work? What do you take? Do you cook in bulk? Any tips or suggestions?