#Whats4Lunch – The Salads 2

Pulse salad - Vegan

Pulse salad – Vegan

Mixed pulses salad (vegan) (total cost 74p)

Ingredients:

Pulses salad  1 ingredients

Pulses salad 1 ingredients

  • 100g precooked Kidney beans – 10p
  • 100g chick peas – 10p
  • 100 sweet corn – 10p
  • 25g left over white rice
  • 3 pieces antipasti artichoke heart (25p)
  • Ground Maggi cube (or any dry stock cube)
  • 5g fresh ginger (5p)
  • ½ lime (14p)
  • Salt, dry garlic & black pepper

Method:

Pulses salad  2

Pulses salad 2

All the pulsed are shop bought and usually cost 25 to 35 pence each that include the chick peas, beans and sweet corn. The rice is left over from a meal.

Open the pulses and rinse the starch off them. Mix the all in a one bowl with the rice and a pinch of grounded stock cube. Mix and set aside.

Cut the artichokes as you wish and leave to the side.

lime & ginger vinaigrette

lime & ginger vinaigrette

The lunch box

The lunch box

Making the vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, grate the zest of a half lime and squeeze the juice of the same half. Grate the ginger and add 2 tablespoons of flavoured oil from the artichokes jar. Add black pepper and a pinch of dry garlic. Whisk, taste and adjust flavouring. Pour in a small container.

Pour the pulses in the lunch box and place the artichokes pieces on top separate from the vinaigrette.

At lunch time, all you will have to do is pour the vinaigrette on the salad and enjoy.

Just add the sauce and enjoy!

Feel free to add chilli flakes if you can handle heat.

Next up, Chicken salad, the hot lunches and few sweets.

Fried plantain & Ginger butter beans

My Cuban starter

My Cuban starter

Fried plantain & Ginger butter beans served with flash fried cherry tomato & a coriander avocado chilli salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 250g butter beans (1 small tin 31p)
  • 1 garlic clove

    The essential ingredients

    The essential ingredients

  • 3 cherry tomatoes (10p)
  • 30g red onion
  • 1 ready to eat avocado (45p)
  • Lettuce (10p)
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 10g fresh ginger (10p)
  • Dry thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chilli flakes (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Plantain (40p)
  • 1 lime (29p)

Total spent: £1.75 or 0.44p per person. The cherry tomato was found in LIDL at 49p for a box of 15 units. The eating avocado cost 0.89p for 2 and as for the lettuce, I only used 5 big leave worth about 10p. The whole lettuce cost 37pThe rest of the shopping will be used for other dishes during the week. The plantain can generally be bought at 3 to 5 units for £1. I only bought 1 plantain as I did not have use for more.

Method:

The prep

The prep

Start by draining and rinsing the beans. Set aside. Dice the garlic, onion and 1 cherry tomato. Peel and grate the ginger, then cut in 4 each the other 2 of the cherry tomatoes (you should have 8 tomato wedges altogether).

1) Flash fry the quartered cherry tomatoes: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil add 1 pinch of salt, thyme and the tomato. Toss fry for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl for later.

The ginger butter beans

The ginger butter beans

2) Cook the beans in ginger: In the same frying pan, add and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the diced onion and fry for a minute. Add the beans and grated ginger. Stir, add salt and pepper as well as 200ml water then cover to simmer for 20 minutes. This will allow the beans to soften and really absorb the flavours. All the water to evaporate, but to not let the pan dry as we need the bean to be slightly wet.

3) Fry the plantain: The ideal frying plantain should be uniformly

Raw plantain

Raw plantain

yellow with both end still slightly green. When fried it will still be just sweet enough and firm. A very ripe plantain tends to be too sweet, absorbs a lot of oil and can be very sticky.

So, peel the plantain and cut it as on the picture on the right, about 1cm thick each. A whole plantain should provide about 10-12 slices.

The plantain can be fried in a chip pan with a lot of oil. If using this option, heat the oil as if for French fires, then drop the plantain pieces in and allow to fry and brown all over or 2 minutes an half.

Fried plantain... perfect brown

Fried plantain… perfect brown

If you do not have a chip pan, just us a frying pan, and pour in about 200ml of vegetable oil. Allow the oil to really heat up, then carefully place the pieces of plantain in one single layer. Fry each side for 1 minute or minute and a half, then turn over to do the same for the other side. If the fire is too high, the plantain will burn. Turn down the heat if necessary and continue. If the heat is too low, the plantain will absorb too much oil. Not ideal.

Plantain topped with Ginger butter beans & flash fried cherry tomato

Plantain topped with Ginger butter beans & flash fried cherry tomato

Which event method you choose to fry the plantain, once the plantain is fried, remove from oil, place on absorbing tissue and lightly dust with salt.

I served the plantain topped with the ginger butter beans and the flash fried cherry tomato all held with a tooth pick… with an avocado, coriander and chilli flakes salad.

4) Making the green salad: select the greenest leaves of the lettuce, wash them individually under the tap and roughly cut them. Do the same for the handful of fresh coriander.

Lettuce, coriander, avocado, lime & chilli flakes

Lettuce, coriander, avocado, lime & chilli flakes

Mix both in a salad bowl and sprinkle with chilli flakes. Just before serving, drizzle with olive oil and serve with slices of avocado and lime wedges as no vinaigrettes will be needed.

This starter could be great for a very Cuban brunch… add some barbecue chicken wings and fermented, radishes and green beans…

I had fun putting this together. Hope you will too. Do post your comments.

Tuck in!

Tuck in!

In the next post you will be able to see the main from this menu. The Ropa Vieja with Sundried Tamales…

See recipes in the next post - Tamale & Ropa Vieja

See recipes in the next post – Tamale & Ropa Vieja

Asparagus & spinach soup

The green stuff all god for you!

The green stuff all god for you!

Serves 5

This is the starter for the Food Bank Menu.

Ingredients:

  • 50g fresh parsley (40p)

    The soup ingredients

    The soup ingredients

  • 265g drained spinach – 1 small tin (FB or 0.65p)
  • 244g drained asparagus – 1 small tin (FB or £2.00 (would be cheaper fresh))
  • 10g fresh ginger (or dry ginger 10p)
  • 50g onion (in the cupboard)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 heaps tablespoon dry milk (FB or 10p (or use breakfast milk))
  • 2 stock cubes (2p)

Total spend: on Food bank budget £0.52 or £0.10 per person. On low budget £3.27 or £0.65p per person.

Method:

Dice onion, garlic and ginger. It is preferable to grate the ginger if you can. If you do not have a grater, finely chop it, then bash to bring out it full flavour.

Removed parsley leaves from the stalk, rinse and chop. Set aside. Drain the spinach and asparagus, leave them for 5-10 minutes in the sieve to allow as much liquid from the tin as possible to drain away.

Prepare the stock; place the stock cubes to dissolve in 800ml of boiling water and stir in the dry milk until all the granules have dissolved set aside.

Not exactly green from the tin

Not exactly green from the tin

In a deep pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil and fry for two minutes the ginger, onion and garlic.

Add the asparagus and spinach salt and pepper then fry until the all he water left in them evaporates. This will take about 5 minutes to 7 minutes on medium heat. Do not cover the pan.

Add the stock and bring the contents of the pan to boil until it no longer foams. That will take another 5 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. Now add the parsley and simmer for just 3 minutes to wilt it. Do not let the parsley lose its colour.

Remove the pan from the heat and using a hand blender, liquidize the content of the pan until smooth before serving as suggested with home made croutons (see how to make them here).

Serving suggestion

Enjoy!