September 1, 2014 by Dewi
This recipe actually started out with me just throwing a few of my favourite ingredients in a plastic box for me to take to work. Having recently began full time has caused me to think about making lunch boxes. Heading out of the office in the afternoon to grab a questionable high-street shop sandwich and a bag of crisps may be fine for some, but I look at it as something which (aside from being terribly boring) can become an expensive habit.
Sitting down to think about what to put in a lunchbox can be a bit of a creative process. Your future meal can be simply broken down into separate elements such as grains, breads, proteins, vegetables, greens etc. Your inner-chef can then start to envisage combinations of these ingredients which you know to compliment one another and that is exactly how this nifty little plate (or box) of food came to be.
On a recent Sunday evening I was thinking about what food to take to work the next day and realised I didn’t really have much in the house. Or so I thought. I found some bulgar wheat and lentils sitting in the back of the cupboard, like theatre understudies patiently waiting for their call-up to the stage. This was to be their moment.
Once cooked, I combined the grains and lentils with sweet balsamic-roasted vegetable. I tossed in a load of chopped herbs for freshness and crumbled over some creamy feta because… well… actually, crumbling over feta never needs an explanation does it? I shook it all up in a plastic container to be eaten al-desko. I took my lunch to work on Monday and enjoyed this marvellous midday meal to the point where I knew I wanted to refine it into some kind of actual recipe worth sharing with you, good people of the internet. The end result is a Mediterranean(-ish) meal which is great as a stand alone dinner but even better as a hearty lunch, perfect for keeping the dodgy high-street sandwiches and pasties at bay.
- 200g green or brown lentils
- 200g bulgur wheat
- 400ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp each of chopped parsley and mint
- 1 tbsp tomato paste/purée
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 peppers, roughly chopped
- 1 courgette, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 80g feta cheese
Preheat your oven to 180℃. In a roasting tin, combine the chopped vegetables with olive oil, the vinegar and the chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper and roast for around 40 minutes.
Cook the lentils in plenty of simmering water for about 20 minutes, until tender but holding their shape. Drain and set aside.
Bring the vegetable stock to the boil, add the turmeric and bulgur wheat, stir once and cover. Take the pan off the heat and leave to steam for 20 minutes.
Combine the lentils with the bulgur and stir in the tomato paste, lemon juice and the herbs. Season to taste.
To serve, top a mound of the lentil mixture with the roasted vegetables before crumbling over the creamy feta and drizzling with some good olive oil. Some greek yoghurt wouldn’t hurt, either.