Thursday, 14 April 2011

Quick Leftovers Lunch

I am officially on a diet. Only 6 weeks to go until my little sister ties the knot and want to look half decent as one of the bridesmaids! So out with the tea and biscuits, bread and butter and late night chocolate desserts and in with the boring high protein low fat diet we all dread! However, the short time I have been consciously watching my diet, I have actually eaten amazingly well, have not felt like my throat has been cut and surprisingly have managed to abstain from chocolate for over 5 days – and with great results! 

The secret I have found this time round is to fill up on foods that are good for you such as greens in any format be it salad, beans, courgettes, peas, broccoli and cook it is a creative way, serving a lovely tasty portion of protein on the side. I have a new found love of lettuce – not the old boring cold salad lettuce, no,braised iceberg in lemon juice and garlic, with watercress and rocket mixed through.
I have always loved spinach, but I have taken it to new heights with the addition of capers and coriander & lemon zest during the wilting process – no need for butter or oil.  Lemons have become my new best friend!

My favourite dish so far on my ‘green’ diet has to be what I created from the leftovers in the fridge today. Having just finished a punishing gym session, I was in need of some carbs. Never one to waste food (I keep all leftovers!)I opened the fridge and found some cooked pasta, chicken breast left from a Roast and a few cooked runner beans I had made into a salad with Canelloni beans and rocket pesto, all leftovers from the night before. I also found a bulb of fennel, one of my favourite all timers and cut off a few very thin slices.

So, into the pan went the fennel, along with a little veg stock, squeeze of garlic puree and some little cherry tomatoes. This bubbled for about 2 minutes, I then added the pasta, chicken and squeezed the half lemon that was ever so sadly perched in the fridge door, then threw the entire squeezed remains into the pan. With a dash of salt and lots of fresh black pepper, the meal was certainly looking good. With one last addition of the green bean salad, the dish took on a whole new dimension, it looked pretty and it tasted Gorgeous! In little under 10 minutes I had made a very delicious balanced and healthy lunch, and it hadn’t cost a penny as it was almost all leftovers! I sat down to eat and enjoyed every mouthful, shame I had no one to share it with (not!).

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