Luscious lunches…

I make a lot of food. A LOT.

Let me explain: I eat virtually every single meal that I ever eat at home, and I make every single part of those meals.  And I eat a lot!!

I might eat food that I haven’t made a MAXIMUM of twice a month; other than that, I only ever eat food that I have made myself. And I love it! I know exactly what’s going into my body, and I know that I’m going to enjoy my food, and that it’s going to nourish me in every possible way. (And actually, on the occasions that I do eat something that I haven’t made, I end up feeling like I’ve missed out, because I miss eating my own food!)

I don’t ever ‘grab a sandwich’ or open a pot of soup or any kind of packet; I eat meals I can take time over, time to make and time to eat. I make versions of past dishes, versions of elements of dishes, new dishes, experiments, I use lots of leftovers, I make make make all the time.  I have a lot of food preparation happening in my kitchen constantly, for me and my boys. I routinely cook a couple of different grains at a time and have them available in the fridge; I endlessly roast vegetables to use once cooked and to create leftovers; I make sauces, dips, spice mixes, marinations, doughs, salads, chillis, curries, the list goes on…and a big part of this is because I can, I have the time, and because I want to. I spend a lot of time cleaning my kitchen too!

I also take a lot of photos of my food! Instagram is great for sharing those dishes daily, but not everyone is on Instagram and I like to share them on here too, in the hope that I may provide ideas and inspiration. Sometimes I wonder if each dish constitutes a post of their own, but then I think they’re too simple, hence why I share collections of dishes, which is what I am doing again today. And I’ve decided to call this, and future, collections ‘luscious lunches’ as these are typically my lunch dishes.

I am also co hosting Fiesta Friday today, along with Michelle from O Blog Off, and look forward to the huge amounts of weekly inspiration that I’m sure I will find there πŸ™‚ 

So, let me show you some recent dishes from my kitchen…there’s been a lot of Levantine and Middle Eastern flavours recently…

Chunks of carrot and sweet potato, steamed, then finished in a pan with coconut oil; with a version of chimichurri made with lots of verjus instead of vinegar, and added crushed roasted hazelnuts. 

Leftover roasted aubergines as per my previous post, with tomatoes and chopped parsley, and a version of chermoula, and toasted slivered almonds. 

Wedges of butternut squash, roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and dukkah, with a sauce of yoghurt, olive oil, lemon juice & pomegranate juice, topped with fresh coriander and pomegranate seeds.

Leftover freekeh and couscous topped with leftover roasted carrots from one meal that became…

…this lunch, topped with sumac, tahini sauce, dried barberries, toasted slivered almonds & pistachios.

Couscous with parsley, coriander, dukkah, toasted almonds & dried barberries, with a dressing of lemon juice & olive oil.

The above salad eaten with a salad of cooked carrot mashed with herbs, tabil spice mix, tahini & lemon juice.

Cauliflower roasted with olive oil & hawaayij spice mix, with freshly made homous.

Roasted butternut squash slices, topped with a thinned homous & toasted nuts, with baby plum tomatoes and a salad of aubergine, garlic, chopped parsley, tahini & lemon juice.

Couscous with roasted butternut squash, red onions & garlic. 

Carrot and herb salad.

A pan full of red onion, garlic and tomatoes, cooked in coconut oil, with several spoonfuls of my Mexican chilli and cocoa sauce, avocado, egg and grated hard goats cheese. 

And this dish at the start of this post, aubergine, tomatoes, chopped herbs, freekeh, and homous

Lots of fresh vegetables, and goodness, and versions of versions, and LOTS of flavour! I don’t make food without flavour!!!

So that was a view of the past couple of weeks, I hope you found it interesting. 

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend, and don’t forget to visit Fiesta Friday x

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56 thoughts on “Luscious lunches…

  1. Ai | Ai made it for you

    Yum! Everything looks so wholesome and delicious! I grew up on a lot of packaged food including canned soup, box cake mixes, gravy mixes, etc. Now that I’m cooking for myself, I find myself staying away from those. Thank you for sharing these! I love looking at beautiful healthy meals and getting inspired πŸ™‚ Happy Fiesta Friday!

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  2. carolinescookingblog

    You always eat such beautiful food! I wish I was that disciplined to make good lunches for myself all the time, but often I seem to run out of time trying to do things in the short period of time before preschool pick up and it becomes a rushed, boring affair. I do much better in what I give the kids and my husband! But I should try some of your ideas, for sure.

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    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      I know what you mean, luckily my son is older and the school days are longer. I do always have things in the fridge ready to create a meal with which helps – especially if I come home from the gym really hungry!!!
      Thank you xx

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  3. Michelle

    Elaine-
    Your food always inspires me to want to do better!
    Great collection of awesomeness!
    Glad to be co-hosting with you this Fiesta Friday!πŸ˜€
    Michelle

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  4. sallybr

    Those are not only delicious, but you make them all a feast for the eyes too! AND, you should have mentioned that not only you nurture your body well, but you challenge it too, with constant exercise – and you nurture your soul with the tight bond you have with your hubby, your son, and all your friends… that is so YOU!

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  5. cookingwithauntjuju.com

    Lots of beautiful dishes as always Elaine. I consider myself very organized when it comes to cooking but I will never catch up to you. I admit I grab a sandwich or prepared food when I am very busy. Good excuse right? Happy FF and thanks for co-hosting πŸ™‚

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  6. Eha

    Lovely innovative meals which will be ‘studied’ carefully for new ideas. Have always loved the Middle-Eastern spicing scenario and am delving into old Persian recipes at the moment. But, as you said, you make most things at home. With all your social and business lunches and dinners and all the many restaurant meals you must enjoy, how much trouble do you strike accessing the type of dishes which please you? Oh, I cook from scratch when at home, but for at least half one’s meals one naturally cannot be so . . . ?

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    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Thank you, I’m glad you like them.
      I don’t have business lunches or dinners to navigate, and I don’t plan any socialising around food, so what I’ve said is true, I literally honestly eat 99% of my meals at home, it’s very rare for me to eat anywhere else.

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      1. Eha

        We are all different and ‘vive la difference’. I have loved sharing meals with friends, be they a small 6-8 in number for a formal dinner or a horde for a weekend buffet, since I first began cooking and I would hate not to explore new places to eat, be it at street food stalls around the world, little local bistros or starred establishments as often as I can . . . to me food and wine are the most wonderful ways to communicate and make new friends . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

        Yes, we are all different. And I’ve eaten in enough restaurants and countries all my life, up until the last few years, to now know what I do and don’t like, and, more importantly, what my body likes. And if I want to try new food, I make it!
        This is my choice, for me, and it makes me happy.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My Kitchen Stories

    Delicious colours and spices and wonderful things to nurture yourself. When I go out I search out this sort of food and when i find places that serve it I go back.

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  8. Laura @ Feast Wisely

    I share your approach to preparing myself 90% of what I eat Elaine – and most of the times we do eat out its vegetarian pizza from a couple of local spots who I know slow rise their doughs…..people too quickly resort to the excuse of a lack of time (hence take aways or food on the go) but really more of us need to make home food a priority. Happy fiesta Friday!

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  9. Zeba@Food For The Soul

    Love every one of these dishes Elaine….your mind works in very creatives ways:) I try and roast veggies including beets and sweet potatoes over the weekend so they stretch for salads during the week. I am going to try and make a batch of you chimichurri sauce this weekend. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  10. Pingback: Fiesta Friday 143: Warm Spicy Butternut Squash Couscous Salad with Pistachios | Spoon in a Saucepan

  11. kathysimms9

    That all looks so colourful and appetising. I know what you mean about eating out, I had steak in a restaurant recently and it was like the bottom of my shoe, at the weekend I had steak I’d bought from the local organic farm shop, it was a million miles from the restaurant steak, tender, tasty and very enjoyable. Making meals yourself is just so much better

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  12. Pingback: GOOD LUCK

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