Category Archives: Lunch Box Idea

Courgette, Lemon and raisins Bread

DSC07902That’s my breakfast you see in the photo. I’m having three slices of my lovely courgette bread with Marmite and some mate while I write this post. It is 9:30 am now.

Yesterday was Getting-ready-for-Halloween Day at home, so we carved pumpkins and decorated the house while watching Frankenweenie and The Little Shop of Horrors.

DSC07905I started the dough before sitting with the pumpkins, and shaped it, proof it and baked it in between watching movies and sticking plastic spiders and other gross stuff to the front windows and main door.

We tried the bread warm from the oven and it is quite nice, but I really loved it this morning, toasted, slightly crunchy, with the sweetness of the raisins and the saltiness of the Marmite clashing in my mouth.

There is nothing tricky about this bread, it is quite easy to make, and very, very tasty.

This is an adaptation of the Courgette Bread by A Girl Called Jack.

Ingredients (for a 1/2 kilo loaf tin + 6 small rolls or 2 {almost} 1/2 kilo loaf tins)

1 small courgette

300 g strong wholemeal flour

7 g dried, fast-acting yeast (fast acting yeast does not need activating. If you have dried yeast which is not fast acting, simply place it in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons of tepid water and half a teaspoon sugar and let it stand until it froths. Add to the bread preparation when you add the water and lemon juice)

50 g raisins

Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Some warm water (100 ml approx.)

Pinch of salt

A bunch of fresh lemon thyme, chopped. (I happen to have a plant of lemon thyme, but if you don’t, just avoid this ingredient).

How to:

1.- In a big bowl grate your courgette. Add the salt and lemon thyme.

2.- Mix the flour, the fast-acting yeast and the raisins together, then add to the courgette mixture. Use a spoon to mix everything together, so that the courgette is evenly distributed:

DSC078773.- Measure your lemon juice and add enough warm water to get 150 ml of liquid. Add the liquid and zest to the courgette-flour mixture. Depending on the amount of water from your courgette (mine was quite dry) you may find that you need to add a bit more water or a bit more flour.

Mix with your hands to form a dough. It is going to be on the sticky side and not as pliable as other doughs . Knead for 5 minutes vigorously.

DSC078784.- Let it rise, covered with a plastic bag or cling film until double in size.

5.- Once the dough has risen, knock the air out of it and divide into two portions. Shape one of them as a loaf and pop into a 1/2 kilo loaf tin lightly oiled or covered in baking paper.

Make 6 smaller balls with the remaining dough and place in a lightly oiled muffin tin:

DSC078876.- Let them rise for 30 minutes, covered.

I just cover my breads with plastic bags...
I just cover my breads with plastic bags…

10 minutes before the proofing time is up, heat the oven at 180 C. Once the breads have risen…

DSC07892

7.- Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes. The bread is fully baked if it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Enjoy warm or toasted, with some lovely honey, salty Marmite or melted butter.

The little rolls are great for the lunch box. The loaf is lovely toasted for breakfast.

DSC07899Have a great Monday! Enjoy the sun (if you are in London, at least)!

Namaste,

Paula

Roasted Pepper Soup

DSC07800This is the easiest soup you’ll ever make, even my Super Easy Pea soup, is not as easy as this one. I put it together with random bits of vegetables I had in my fridge, things I needed to use up: half an onion, 6 cherry tomatoes and the main ingredient: peppers.

Tesco has them at 99p for 3 and I got carried away and bought package after package without realizing I wasn’t using them up.

So I got stuck with 9 peppers. This recipe used 3, but you can add more, if you are making a larger batch of soup.

There is no chopping or pan frying anything, which means less work and less cleaning; and the soup turned out to be a winner with everyone that tried it. My boyfriend took some on a flask to work and during lunch a co-worker asked him “What’s that delicious smell?” 🙂

There are only a few leaves left in my garden...winter is coming!
There are only a few leaves left in my garden…winter is coming!

Ingredients (makes 4 portions)

3 peppers (I used 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 orange, but you can use same colour ones). Deseeded and halved.

2 big cloves of garlic peeled.

6-10 cherry tomatoes (or 1 big tomato cut in half).

1 small chunk of ginger, peeled.

1/2 a red onion, peeled and cut in half (or white, whatever you have).

Salt and pepper to season.

1 tablespoon olive oil.

How to:

1.- Place all ingredients in a roasting pan, season with salt and pepper and the tablespoon of olive oil.

DSC077932.- Cover in foil and place in the oven at 180 C for 1 hour. Make sure the foil is tightly placed around the tray, because you want to keep in as much of the liquid from the vegetables as possible.

3.- In an hours time, take the tray out. Check everything is cooked through (it should be, but check, because ovens vary and all that :-)).

DSC077964.- Now it is time to blend. If you have a hand-held blender, just tip everything (including any juices at the bottom of the tray) into a pot and blend. Add between 1 cup and 2 cups of water to get the consistency you want.

DSC07797If you are using a blender just pop everything into it and blend 🙂 Add water as required, and adjust seasoning.

5.- And that’s all! Serve with home-made toasted bread and a sprinkle of black pepper.

DSC07802Namaste!

Paula