Monday, February 18, 2008

Quick meals - Soba with ham and tomatoes

It's been a long time since I've last posted and I hope I'll be forgiven. I've been so busy lately I hardly have time to surf the net. Is that even possible? But I'm just sitting here 5 minutes before going to bed, relaxing with a nice, light but comforting meal in my belly. I figure I should start a 'series' on easy meals (I know i still have not finished my traveling posts yet. I will I promise!)

I bring lunches to school everyday, and my colleagues often ask me where i find the time to prepare my meals. I tell them the night before, but what I don't tell them is that I sometimes prepare meals weeks ahead. I don't tell them that because for some very strange reason, people are squeamish about food-keeping. The freezer is not one of my best friends for nothing, and another best friend are the foods that improve with flavor when kept in the fridge.

One trick I've used for many years is cooking starchy staples in reasonable quantities and freezing them in little HDPE bags. HDPE are better than ziplock because they're much thinner and smaller and this I'd say more environmentally friendly. It also helps that they're cheap as anything.. 2.30 for a bag of couple hundred. how to beat that?

Back to the starchy staples.

Rice (brown and white), spaghetti and other pasta shapes and soba (japanese buckwheat noodles) are excellent candidates. They don't change texture from the freezing, and since they do take reasonably longer to cook than instant noodles and are hard to cook in small quantities. Brown rice and soba also tends to keep me feeling full longer, so I don't eat as much and become hungry too quickly, excellent for long busy days at school, and also for the weight conscious. Another trick is to put sweetcorn kernels in the brown rice. very yummy, and I'm absolutely sweetcorn mad.

Ok, so freezing starchy staple in little packets in the fridge means quick quick meals.

here's meal idea number 1

Soba with ham and tomatoes.

1/2 cup cooked soba (frozen better)
several vine tomatoes (tastes better) if not regular will do. (about 1/2 cup worth) sliced.
Half a shallot, thinly sliced and rinsed(removes the extra pungency)

microwave these on high in a bowl for 2 mins

1 slice ham torn up
2 tblsp Soba Senka (soba sauce)

add these to bowl and stir up, then EAT!

super easy, super good, better than instant noodles.

I'm happy, so I'll go to bed happy now. Sweet Dreams!


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