Packing your own lunch doesn't have to be boring
cooking, stirring constantly, until spices are toasted and very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in broth, potatoes, carrots and reserved chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes and carrots are just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover pot and simmer until stew is thickened and potatoes and carrots are very tender, about 25 minutes more. Ladle stew into bowls and serve with flatbread on the side.
Thai curry paste is a mixture of chile, garlic, galangal, shallots and spices. Keep it on hand for an added flavoring kick when making simple sauces, salad dressings or sandwich spreads. Serve this lunch with fresh fruit; sliced apples are a great match.
GREEN THAI COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN WRAPS
Makes 4 servings
½ cup regular or light coconut milk
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste (see note)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 ¼ cups shredded cooked chicken
¼ cup shredded carrots
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts (optional)
4 whole wheat (8 inches) tortillas or wraps
1 cup shredded green leaf lettuce
In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk and curry paste until smooth.
Stir in cilantro, chicken, carrots, green onions and peanuts and toss to coat. Arrange tortillas in a single layer on a flat surface. Place one-quarter of chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla.
Top with lettuce and roll up tortillas burrito-style, tucking ends in and wrapping each up snugly.
Halve each crosswise and serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Note: This recipe was tested as is, but the tester suggested adding slightly more curry paste and less coconut milk to kick up the flavor.
Here's a recipe for a cold salad from Outpost that will add color to your lunch and beta carotene to your diet. They will stain, so protect your work surface when making the salad.
BEET SALAD WITH PUMPKIN SEEDS
Makes about 4 servings
2 pounds raw beets, without stems and leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh basil
¼ teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (Outpost bulk foods)
½ cup finely chopped green onions
Scrub beets and steam until soft. Remove from heat and cool.
Peel and quarter beets. Thinly slice each quarter piece into ½ -inch slices. Place in bowl.
Whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, basil, salt and pepper. Add olive oil and whisk until well combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Pour dressing over beets. Add pumpkin seeds and green onions to beets. Gently toss to combine.
Here's an interesting substitution from Outpost for those who enjoy egg salad, but not the fat and cholesterol that go with it.
EGGLESS EGG SALAD
Makes 3 ½ cups
1 pound firm plain tofu
½ cup finely diced red onion
2 ribs celery, finely diced
½ cup Nayonnaise or (favorite mayonnaise) 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ¾ teaspoons turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Crumble tofu into a bowl.
Add onion and celery and stir into crumbled tofu.
In separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, turmeric, salt and pepper.
Add dressing to tofu and mix well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Note: If you want to substitute eggs for tofu and make a traditional egg salad, use 4 hard-boiled eggs and crumble them with a fork.
© 2009, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
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