All cooking required for this one is basically just to boil water.
What you will need:
Couscous (as much as you need to feed how many ever people you need to)
Aromat to season
Balsamic vinegar concentrate
fresh, chopped green chilly
Cover couscous with equal amount of boiling water. After 4 minutes the couscous should be set. Add all the other stuff and mix. It stands to reason you can basically add anything you like. This is just what I found in my fridge to prepare my lunch for the day.
Sprouts are so easy to make. And it will only cost you about 10 seconds per day for 3 to 5 days. I’ve tried mung beans, chick peas, and lentils. Mung bean sprouts used to be my favourite, but then I bought a bad batch of mung beans where only some beans sprouted and others stayed hard, so I was a bit put off and stuck to lentils only. I don’t like the chick pea sprouts much because they seem to ferment along the way smelling sour and they don’t keep for long in the fridge. What I do like doing with chick peas is just to soak them overnight and eat them like that. So here’s the lazy way to make sprouts.
You will need a large glass jar and a sieve that fits into the head of the jar (see the picture). These are not hard to find.
1) Empty a small packet of lentils into the jar, and fill the jar halfway or more with water and let the lentils soak overnight.
2) Next morning the lentils should have swelled substantially, place your sieve ontop of the jar, and hold it firmly in place while you tilt to let the water strain out.
3) Pour some fresh water over the sprouts and tip over again with the sieve to rinse. Then let stand like that upside down resting on the sieve (like in the photo).
4) Repeat the rinse every morning AND night until the sprouts are ready (there will be a root and a stem)
Sprouting time varies between 3 to 5 days. Faster in warmer temperatures. Once its ready simply put the lid on the jar and store it in your fridge. Home sprouts stay fresh for 2 weeks or more. Which compared to shop sprouts is excellent. Not to mention its so cheap compared to the exorbitant price you pay for them in the shops. I have 2 glass jars which I use for sprouting. So that I have a second jar to make more when I see the 1st jar of sprouts is running on reserve.
I use sprouts in basically everything. If I’ve been eating really badly, I use my sprouts as I would rice. There is no quicker way to drop weight you’ve put on than by making the main portion of your meal sprouts. They are delicious with a bit of salt and a dollop of olive oil. They work in stir-fries, on sandwiches, in wraps, in salads, as a quick fresh snack … you name it, it works. And they’re delish, and healthy. Keeps you regular too … if you know what I mean.
Many of you probably cannot imagine a life without bread and rice. I bet you are thinking: “What on earth will I eat with my food instead rice, and what will I take to work instead of sandwiches???” Oh, don’t be so dramatic, I am here to assure you, that alternatives are very easy.
In my experience bread is just a waste of good space in your tummy. The white variety just fills you for a moment (I need to eat 6 slices to feel full for about 30 minutes after which I’m hungry again). The low GI kind just hangs around in my tummy for far too long. I’m not sure if I agree with the goodness of low GI. Food should go down shouldn’t it? Not just hang around in one’s tummy. I have to admit though, I’m not too clued up on what low GI is supposed to do. Rice, I have nothing much against, except that I’d fill the space with something more nutritious instead. I usually end up eating waytoo much food when I eat rice, feeling stuffed and bloated for hours. Maybe just a bad habit. With my rice alternatives, even if I overeat, the food seems to ‘go down’ easier. Which is great if you suffer from reflux (like I do).
My fillers are bulgur wheat, sprouts, couscous, wraps
Bulgur wheat is a wholesome rice replacement, containing lots and lots of protein, so that starchy bloated feelings are just things of the past. From salads to stir fry. Just cover 1 part bulgur wheat with 1 and a half parts boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes. Then its ready. There are lots of ways to add some substance to bulgur wheat to make it the main component of a full quick and easy meal. I’ll cover some of my ideas in a future post.
Couscous is I do when I am in a great big hurry. I don’t do it often because its quite starchy (Its made from Semolina), and weighs heavy on my tummy (not as bad as rice though), so I have to be careful about portions. But its quicker than bulgur wheat and apparantly also contains quite a nice amount of protein. Cover one part Couscous with one part boiling water, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. The same that can be done with bulgur wheat can be done with couscous.
Sprouts are awesome. The best kind of carbohydrates on planet earth, with lots of fibre and protein. My favorite sprouts are lentils because they are the least complicated, and they have a nicer taste, in my opinion. I use them in practically everything I eat. I don’t buy, I make my own because the shops here in South Africa sell you a handful for a very high price. Its so easy and cheap to make. The way I eat sprouts, I would go broke quickly if I had to buy my supply. I’ll post my quick and easy method for making sprouts in a future post.
Wraps I do when I am bored of the other stuff. Not too much because they are just dough really, which is not good, but one for the day is not too bad I think. The main things I stuff into my wraps are actually sprouts.
So how do I avoid sandwiches and still pack a lunch for a day at work? Well, I fill my lunch box with the concoctions I make with the things above. and pack a spoon for a fork. Its not a mission at all, and this kind of lunch keeps me full for much longer than a sandwich.
By the way, did you notice that NONE of the above actually need to be cooked, which is great for a person who hates cooking (like me).
One fine day, I decided to attempt traditional humus (using chick peas), and it turned out so surprisingly wonderful, but it was HEAVY on my stomach, and it sat in my throat for too many hours. I got to wondering about other possibilities, like split peas humus, and then I tried it and it came out fantastic! Alot lighter than chick peas, creamy, very tasty. Besides all of that, split peas are cheaper and easier to find than chickpeas (at least in South Africa). This (or any other dip in fact) is perfect with slices of cucumber (instead of tortilla chips or bready things). Prep time (besides the overnight soaking) is about 12 minutes max. Most time spent to get the ingredients out of their hiding places.
strainer, stove, pot, blender, knife, serving dish and maybe a spoon.
Half a pack of split peas
2 cloves of garlic (or 1 table spoon of pre-chopped garlic)
2 generous squirts of lemon juice (I suppose half of half a lemon would be equivalent)
3 sploshes of olive oil (probably 4 table spoons)
3 shakes of Aromat (or just a few pinches of plain salt)
2 tablespoons tahini
Soak split peas overnight. Then, drain it, and put it in a pot with 3/4 cup of water. Once it comes to a boil, let it steam like that for about 5 minutes – not too long or the split peas will burn and stick to the bottom of the pot (which might add an interesting smoky flavour to the finished product actually).
Chuck everything in the blender and blend till creamy and delicious looking .. et voila! Eat up with some sliced cucumber (which is better than crackers or any other dip eating assistant food thingies!) If you would like to waste some more of your precious time, you could also slice up some carrots to dip. Lets be honest with ourselves. This is enough for at least two meals. A lazy, single person knows.
Other stuff you could put in that I’m sure would taste divine but I haven’t actually tried are 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (this turned my traditional humus into super divine humus), and a splosh of balsamic vinegar (for extra tang!)
Traditional humus can be made the same way, replacing split peas with chick peas. Instead of using canned chickpeas (very bad for you), you can simply soak the dry kind overnight and steam for a few minutes like with the split peas.