#Whats4Lunch – The hot combos 4

Spinach, Chicken and potato

Spinach, Chicken and potato

Spinach & Chicken (total spent 30p)

 Ingredients:

  • 5 – 6 cubes of frozen spinach 30p – (1 pack of 15 cubes costs £1)
  • Leftover roast chicken – A thigh or a leg (a single ready cooked thigh cost 70p at Sainsbury’s rotisserie).
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Garlic granules
  • Mix herbs
  • A pinch of stock cube
  • 1 tea spoon butter
  • Chilli flakes
  • Leftover roast potato – Or jacket potato

Method:

Put 5-6 cubes of spinach in a bowl and leave out of the freezer overnight.

Seasoning the spinach

Seasoning the spinach

In the morning, squeeze out the excess of water from the spinach and season the raw spinach with black pepper from the grinder, dry garlic, chilli flakes and salt.

Now use half of the butter and mix it up in the spinach before pouring it in the Tupperware and topping it with the chicken and the potato that you would have cut in smaller pieces.

Spread the leftover butter on the chicken before placing the lid on the lunch box.

Spinach, Chicken and potato

Spinach, Chicken and potato

When you get to work, place the lunch box in the fridge and at lunch time, lift the lid a little bit to let out steam. Place the box in the microwave for 7-8 minutes.

Stir the spinach from bottom to top to spread the juices that no doubt would have cumulated at the bottom of the lunch box.

Plate and enjoy.

All the unpriced can be found in the house and the spinach had to be bought specially. So, the total spent is 30p.

#Whats4Lunch – The Salads 3

Carrot, Beet & chicken 1

Carrot, Beet & chicken 1

Beet carrot and chicken salad (total cost 31p)

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken leg (left over) – Can be bought ready made
  • 10 to 15 pitted black olives – 5p (a jar of 700g cost 99p in the 99p store)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes – 11p (got about 30 -35 cherry tomatoes for 40p in Lidl)
  • 1 medium precooked beetroot – 10p (4 beetroots cost 40p in Lidl)
  • 100g grated carrot – 5p
  • Sea salt & pepper

    ingredients

    ingredients

  • Mayonnaise
  • Vegetable oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dry garlic

The unpriced ingredients are already available in the house.

 

Method:

For the vinaigrette:

Mix 1 teaspoon of real mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoon of oil, sea salt and a pinch of garlic granules. Whisk, taste and adjust seasoning. When it is ready, pour in a small jar.

Rinse the beetroot and thinly slice it.

Strip the meat off the chicken leg and flake it.

If you haven’t done so yet, peel and grate the carrot. Keep all elements separated for now. Do not rinse the pitted olive, but wash the tomatoes.

In the lunch box, be careful about the way you layer the elements of

Carrot, Beet & chicken 2

Carrot, Beet & chicken 2

the salad to avoid your carrot for example catching the colouring of the beetroot or the chicken turning red. When you are ready for your lunch, you want everything looking fresh and colourful.

Bearing that in mind, here is how I recommend that you layer your lunch box especially if beetroot is

Carrot, Beet & chicken 3

Carrot, Beet & chicken 3

involved: Put the beet in the bottom, add the olives and then the cherry tomato. Now, the chicken strips and finish off with the grated carrot on top.

At lunch time, just flip the content of the lunch bowl in your plate and add the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Next up, the hot lunches and few sweets.

To see the previous salads, click here and here

#Whats4Lunch – The Sandwiches set 3

Triple decker chicken

Triple decker chicken

Triple decker chicken sandwich (total cost 76p)

Ingredients:

Triple decker 1

Triple decker 1

  • 20 fresh spinach leaves or lettuce – 10p
  • 1 fresh medium tomato 10p
  • 3 brown bread slices – 6p (pack of 24 brown slices costs 49p)
  • mustard
  • 1 leftover chicken thigh – 50p

Method:

This sandwich was made with left over roast chicken. De bone the chicken thigh, rinse and cut the tomato in about 8 slices. Rice to spinach leaves.

Lay 2 slices of bread on a flat surface and spread with a thin layer of mustard.

Triple decker 2

Triple decker 2

On top of the mustard, layer about 10 spinach leaves, then half of the chicken and 4 tomato slices.

Cover with the second slice previously speeded with mustard.

Now spread the mustard on the side of the top slice that is covering the first deck of this sandwich. Again, layer, the leftover spinach, tomato, chicken. Take the 3rd slice of bread and spread on the mustard and place it face down on the sandwich.

Triple decker 4

Triple decker 3

All you have to do now is press the sandwich down gently and cut it from corner to corner, then place both halves in your lunch container.

Et voila!

 

Triple decker 4

Triple decker 4

Triple decker 5

Triple decker 5

Triple decker 5

Triple decker 6

Click here to see the tuna pitta and the baguette avocado vegan sandwich.

Next up, the salads.

Caramel Chicken

The perfect tan in a pan

The perfect tan in a pan

Serves 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 x 200g chicken on the bone (2 tights and 2 wings) (£2.40)
  • Thyme
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Garlic granules
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 fresh tomatoes (22p)

Total spend: Bought a whole chicken of 1.350kg for £3.50 for the full menu. It works at 30p per 100g of chicken. The breasts from this same chicken were used for the broccoli salad.

The tomato was bought in the supermarket at 69p per pack of 6. So, total spent for this recipe £2.62 or 0.66p person.

For the mains (poelee & Chicken) served in this whole menu cost £5.71 or 1.43 per person

Method:

Cut out the chicken wings and thighs from the main body, rinse the chicken and make some deep scoring on all the pieces.

Scored chicken

Scored chicken

Place them in a plastic bowl with lid and season with Thyme, garlic granules, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Rub all the seasoning well on each chicken piece then, cover and place in the fridge for at 30 minutes to 1 hour before frying.

Dice the tomatoes and set aside.

Once the chicken has absorbed the seasoning for 30 minutes + it is time to cooking it.

In a deep pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add 1 teaspoon of plain regular sugar granules.

Caramel drops made in oil

Caramel drops made in oil

Stir continuously with a wooden spatula until the sugar turns golden.

As shown the picture right. Once the right colour is obtained, Immediate and carefully lay the chicken pieces at the bottom of the pan and allow 1 minute on each side for the skin to catch a colour and crisp a little a bit.

Once all the sides have been browned and coated with caramel, add about 100ml water to the chicken with the chopped tomatoes. Stir, season, and then cover to allow the chicken to cook through for about 20 – 25 minutes.

Coating the chicken with caramel

Coating the chicken with caramel

A big part of the water will have evaporated and there will only be a bit of juice left. Switch off the heat and leave to stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

The meat will be moist and firm with a perfect tan without being burnt and… Despite the sugar, it will not be sweet.

There is no real need for sauce with this as the poelee is already very moist.

Serve as suggested with a poelee of vegetables or, simply steamed vegetable or just French fries.

 

Poelee of vegetables with Caramel coated chicken

Poelee of vegetables with Caramel coated chicken

Enjoy.

I hope you liked the menu. Feel free to make some suggestions and post comments. See the starters for this menu here and the dessert here.

Thank you for checking in!

 

Until next time…. somebody is bringing a Cuban dessert… on 8th August!

Broccoli salad

HJ's Broccoli salad

HJ’s Broccoli salad

Starters for 4

Ingredients:

  • 200g chicken breast (65p)
  • 300g fresh broccoli (50p)
  • 3 tomato (33p)
  • Mayonnaise (already in the house)
  • 1chicken stock cube
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • garlic granules
  • 1 mini baguette (29p)

Total spend:

Bought a whole chicken of 1.350kg for £3.50 for the full menu. It works at 30p per 100g of chicken.The tomato was bought in the supermarket at 69p per pack of 6. So, total spent for the starter £1.77 or £0.44p person.

Method:

Rinse the chicken breasts and place in a small pan with 500ml water, black pepper and a whole chicken stock cube. Boil for 12 to 15 minutes.

Preparing the broccoli - Raw

Preparing the broccoli – Raw

Meanwhile, prepare the broccoli by just cutting a collecting just the florets. It is almost like ricing the broccoli. This is the only bit of the salad that takes long. In order to have a tender but crunchy salad, the bits used from the broccoli must just be the green bits.

Preparing the broccoli - Blanched

Preparing the broccoli – Blanched

Once all the florets have been collected, put the broccoli in a heat proof dish and cover with boiling water. Leave in boiling water for 1 minute or 1 minutes and a half. Then pour in a colander to get rid of the hot water, then rinse immediately with a very cold tap water to stop the vegetable softening. Set aside in the colander to remove any excess water.

Rinse and  dice the tomatoes in about the same size as the broccoli floret about half a Cm square. Put the dice tomato in a colander to allow excess water to drip away as you prepare the other ingredients. Set aside.

Dicing the chicken

Dicing the chicken

Now back to the chicken. Once it is cooked to your taste, remove from the pan and allow few minutes to cool down before dicing in as small a pieces as the tomato and the broccoli florets.

Tomato, chicken, broccoli

Tomato, chicken, broccoli

Now that all the ingredients are ready, combine the broccoli, chicken, tomato in a large bowl. Add black pepper, salt, garlic granules,  4 heaps tablespoons of REAL mayonnaise and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

mixing it all

mixing it all

Transfer into a serving bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Broccoli and chicken salad serve with French stick.

Broccoli and chicken salad serve with French stick.

Serve as suggested with a piece of baguette. Enjoy.

Green plantain and black beans stew

Green plantain stew

Green plantain & black beans stew

Menu for 6

Chicken 1kg – I used legs & thighs £ 2.25 – LIDL

The Marinade:

Marinated chicken

Marinated chicken

  • 50g diced onions – 10p
  • 2 stock cubes crushed – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes – from cupboard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin – from cupboard
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander – from cupboard
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil or any vegetable oil – from cupboard
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • Salt

Rinse the chicken, make some deep scoring on the chicken pieces. Pour the marinade over the chicken, mix well and leave in the fridge overnight.

The stew ingredients:

  • 1kg marinated chicken

    Dry black beans

    Dry black beans

  • 3 green plantains – £1.00 from the market
  • 2 big carrots – 10p
  • 200g black beans – soaked for 24hrs & Cooked for an hour if using dry bean like I did. 58p
  • 2 corncobs – shave off the kernels as on the picture – £1.38
  • 100g chopped tinned tomato 20p
  • 1 teaspoons chilli flakes – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander – from cupboard

    Ingredients for the stew

    Ingredients for the stew

  • 1 red onion – 10p
  • 3 big garlic cloves – 5p
  • Halves of 1 green, orange and yellow sweet peppers – 10p (20 pepper from the market cost £1.00)
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • Corn oil

Total spend: £5.81. Cost per person: £0.96p

Prep:

Don’t forget to soak the bean the day before and boil them for an hour before using in the stew.

Also marinate the chicken for few hours before using it.

removing the plantain skin

removing the plantain skin

Remove the skin of the plantain and cut as in the picture, cut in 2cm thick and slanted. Do the same for the carrots. Set aside.

Remove the corn kernels from the cob.

Rinse the black beans now boiled. Rinse the corn kernel, set both aside.

Cut the red onion in big chunks or wedges, cut the sweet pepper in about the same size. Peel & crush the garlic, set aside.

Corn and palntain

Corn and plantain

Method:

Use a big pot with a lid. Heat 4 tablespoons of corn oil (or any vegetable oil) fry the chicken pieces to seal in the flavours and obtain a brown crispy skin. 2 to 3 minutes on each side should do. Once all the pieces have been fried. Set aside and cover.

plantain & carrots

plantain & carrots

In the same pan, add the onion and brown. Then, add the plantain, carrots, beans, corn and half of the stock. Also add the chilli, ground cumin, ground coriander, crushed garlic and salt. Stir and cover to simmer for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to keep an eye on it so the liquid won’t dry out.

After 30 minutes, add the sweet peppers, tomato, the fried chicken pieces the rest of the stock and adjust the seasoning. Stir.

Add another 200ml of water if necessary as the contents of the pan should almost (not completely) covered with liquid to keep everything moist. Cover the pan and leave it to simmer for another 30 minutes…

Sealed chicken

Sealed chicken

From the time the plantain is added the total cooking time should be 1hr and by adding the chicken half way, it means that the chicken won’t fall off the bones but will be very well cooked and ask soft as the plantain.

That is it! Enjoy!

 

Don’t forget to post a comment if you’ve tried it. Click to see the starter (Avocado Salsa & Paprika corn crackers) & desserts (Tropical fruits sorbet, Bunoelos, Mango & red grapes nectar) from this Mexican menu.

Note:

If you are using tinned potatoes, carrots and tin bean, cut the cooking time by half. As both the potato and beans are already very soft. Include the chicken at the same time as the other element and still cook it for the full 30 minute to allow it to absorb all the flavours.

Mexican-No Tacos!

Mexican-No Tacos!

Thank you for reading! See you next month.