by Soha Darwish
Food writer & Critic – Menu Consultant
Diploma in Food Journalism – London, Uk
“What happens in the office stays in the office’…. I guess this is what we tell ourselves as we step out from our workplaces, drenched in guilt for the thousands of calories tagging along our journey back home. We’ve all been there! My goal here is to cut this vicious loop and end your daily struggle, without taking away any indulgence from savouring lunch, a deserved right amidst your stressful, sometimes even traumatic work day!
Here are a few delectable recipes that are easy to prepare and that will retain both flavours and textures for long hours, without any compromise on taste!
Sweet Potato Falafel platter
This platter is the perfect treat to both eyes and taste buds. The array of colours is so enticing that it will simply cheer you up and lift your mood. The vibrant pink hummus is the star here, a scrumptious dip to enjoy with all those luscious ingredients. Falafel is baked, so it will still be as flavorsome even when served chilled.
Sweet Potato Falafel
2 sweet potatoes –2 tbsp flour – 1 can of chickpeas- 1 onion – 2 tbsp minced garlic –2 tsp chopped parsley – 1 tsp cumin – 1 ½ tsp ground coriander – 2 tbsp lemon juice – ½ tsp salt
2 beetroots – 1 can of chickpeas – 2 garlic cloves– ¼ tsp cumin – 2 ½ tbsp tahini – 2 tbsp lemon juice – ½ tsp salt
1 sliced tomato –1 sliced cucumber – ½ cup of quinoa – handful of baby spinach leaves – ½ tsp salt.
- Bake both sweet potatoes and beetroots in a preheated oven (200) for an hour.
- Scoop out the sweet potatoes, then blend it with the falafel ingredients in a food processor.
- Roll the mixture into balls and put them in the fridge for 45 minutes. Bake in oven until golden crisp for 15 minutes.
- Blend the beets with the hummus ingredients, then chill in the fridge.
- Assemble your platter, then wrap it firmly with cling film, keep it chilled. A true bliss!
Marinated Grilled Veggies
A fairly easy dish that bursts with tantalising flavours and colours. This is deli food and is meant to be eaten chilled or at room temperature. It perfectly complements grilled chicken, beef, fish or even quinoa.
3 courgettes –3 long eggplants – 2 red & yellow bell peppers – 2 portobello mushrooms – 1 bunch of asparagus – 2 tbsp Feta cheese – 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts – extra virgin olive oil –1 tsp dried basil – 1 tsp rosemary – 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley – 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar – 1 minced garlic clove – ½ tsp salt– ½ tsp black pepper.
- Slice the vegetables vertically, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Grill the vegetables in a grill pan. Cook until soft and properly grill-marked.
- Whisk all herbs with balsamic vinegar, garlic and olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle this herby vinaigrette over the grilled vegetables. Keep in fridge in an air-tight container.
- When served, sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese and pine nuts. An added twist for a classic!
This Hawaiian staple is becoming trendy in restaurants or as to-go meals worldwide. A wholesome dish guaranteed to satisfy your sushi carvings. This is a simple version which you can customize – the variations of this dish are endless.
200g salmon cubes -¼ cup Soy sauce – 3 tbsp rice vinegar- 2 tsp sesame oil – juice of ½ lemon –½ tsp sesame seeds-–½ tsp grated ginger – ½ tsp chili flakes – 1 tsp sugar – ½ thinly sliced avocado – ½ thinly sliced cucumber -1/3 cup thinly sliced spring onions – ½ cup edamame beans – 1 cup of brown rice.
- Place the fresh salmon in a bowl along with; soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, fresh ginger and chilli flakes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You can swap raw fish with cooked prawns, shredded crab meat or even smoked salmon.
- Cook the brown rice as per package cooking instructions.
- Thinly slice the vegetables.
- Add vinegar, sugar and salt to the rice, then mix well with a fork. Let it cool down.
- Layer your Poke in a bowl; rice goes first then vegetables and lastly the fish. Sprinkle sesame seeds and spring onions, then drizzle the extra marinade.
- Keep it chilled, and tuck in whenever you are ready!