#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

Tropical fruits sorbet

Made from tin fruit

Made from tin fruits

I chose to do a tropical sorbet because it is very practical and innovative way to use tinned fruit. I find that tinned fruits often have an after taste. In a sorbet form the after taste disappears.

Ingredients for 500ml:

Sorbet ingredients

Sorbet ingredients

  • 1 small tropical fruits tin – Foodbank or 41p from Marks & Spencer’s
  • 1 small carton guava juice – 59p from the news agent
  • 1 table spoon sugar – Any sugar
  • Zest of ½ lime – 5p from the market

Total spend: £1.05 or 17p per person

Method:

This sorbet was made the old fashion way; a fork, patience, and elbow grease. This version is for people without ice maker.

Drained tinned fruits

Drained tinned fruits

Open the fruit tin, drain the fruits and discard the syrup.

Using a hand blender, liquidise the fruits and add the guava juice. Add the sugar and zest. Mix well until the sugar granules have melted.

Pour the mix in a plastic container with lid and place it in the middle section of the freezer for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Sorbet ready for the freezer

Sorbet ready for the freezer

After that, bring out the container and break the ice/sorbet crystals that are starting to form with a fork or a hand blender. I used a fork throughout as I wanted the lime zest specs to still be visible at the end. So, mix well and return the container in the freezer.

Repeat the process 2 more times before the sorbet is ready to serve.

Best consistency for sorbet

Best consistency for sorbet

If you are not serving it right away, after breaking the ice/sorbet crystals 3 times, return the bowl in the freezer. If you serve the sorbet 5, 10 hours later or the next day, take the bowl out of the freezer 15 minutes before hand. That way, the sorbet won’t be too hard to scoop out.

Do check out the rest of the Mexican menu here

Enjoy!

Serving suggestion

Serving suggestion

Lime syrup

Ready lime syrup

Ready lime syrup

For 100ml of ready syrup

Ingredients:

  • 100ml lime juice or 5 limes – 40p from the market
  • 3 limes zest
  • 100 ml water
  • 200g unrefined brown sugar granules – From the cupboard

    Syrup ingredients

    Syrup ingredients

Total spend: £0.40p

Method:

Grate the zest off 3 of the 5 limes before juicing all 5 of them. The juice form 5 limes should produce about 100ml of lime juice.

To squeeze out the maximum juice from a like or any citrus, roll it on a hard surface while pressing it down with the palm of your hand… Be careful not to press too hard or it will burst.

Lime zest

Lime zest

Mix the sugar with water in a small sauce pan and place on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Brown sugar tends to foam a lot, so keep an eye on it and stir it constantly until the white foaming starts to diminish.

Now, add the lime and a pinch of salt. Leave to simmer for another 2-3 minutes, then remove for the stove and mix in the zest. Mix well and leave to cool down for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Adding the zest at the last minute will guarantee a very strong lime flavour as the zest will be warmed but not cooked by the hot syrup.

This lime syrup was made to serve Bunoelos in the Mexican menu.

Bunoelos

Served with lime syrup and icing sugar

Served with lime syrup and icing sugar

For about 20 units. Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 150g Self-rising flour – Foodbank – or ~10p
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100ml water
  • Zest of 1 whole lime 10p

Total spend: £0.20p

Method:

Mix everything in the bowl. Make sure to sieve the flour to avoid lumps in the dough. The dough should be stretchy and lumps free.

Cover the dough and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Dough batter

Dough batter

Meantime, heat about 300ml of vegetable oil. If you’ve got a chip pan, use it. What we are looking for, is to have enough oil so the dough ball will rise to the surface within seconds after being dropped in. The oil should be really hot.

To test that the oil is hot. Drop in a very small piece of dough. If it stay on the bottom of the pan. Leave it to heat well and do another test.

Once the oil is hot. Cut the dough in small pieces and put them into the oil… 5-10 piece at a time depending on the size of your pan. Fry for 3-5 minutes until the balls are brown all over. PS: You won’t be able to use a knife to cut the dough… you will have to be creative with a spoon or your fingers… It is a very sticky dough.

Dough swimming in oil

Dough swimming in oil

Using a skimmer (that big cooking spoon with holes like a colander) remove the now browned dough from the oil and put on tissue/absorbing paper. Repeat until all done.

Serve just rolled in granulated sugar.

As part of my Mexican menu, I served mine with a lime Syrup (recipe here) and a tropical fruit sorbet (recipe here) or even a mango and red grapes nectar (recipe here).

Enjoy!