As I only work out of the home two days a week, I never really bother about my packed lunch - it's ham sandwiches week in week out! I have, however, bought cute Totoro Bento boxes from J-List (we love Totoro but obviously Studio Ghibli stuff has a price tag!). I haven't made any traditional Bento boxes yet but I do have a couple of books and will venture into that soon.
In the meantime, I made the rice noodle salad from Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite to fill the Bento boxes for Steve and I to take to work. A nice change from the sandwiches. I didn't have any rice noodles so I just used normal ramen and it was a lovely light, tasty lunch. I have to say, it did actually feel very healthy too. Hopefully, I'll keep this up and make more effort with the packed lunches. And, needless to say, I made it the night before and made enough for our tea with leftovers for lunch the next day.
I really like this Healthy Appetite book. Got it from my Mum for a Christmas or birthday. Full of very easy recipes and presented well - clear and fresh.
Recipe - Rice Noodle Salad with Prawns and Thai Dressing.
100g thin rice noodles
drizzle of sesame oil
200g mangetout or sugar snaps
1 large red pepper
1 large yellow or orange pepper
2 spring onions
200g peeled, cooked prawns
handful of coriander leaves
1 tbsp toasted black or white sesame seeds, to sprinkle
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2-3 tbsp lime juice, or more to taste
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 1/2 tbsp palm sugar (or soft brown sugar)
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1. Bring the kettle to the boil. Place the rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl and pour on boiling water, ensuring that the noodles are fully immersed. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to stand for 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender but still retaining a bite. Drain and immediately toss with a drizzle of sesame oil to stop them sticking to each other.
2. In the meantime, blanch the mangetout in a pan of boiling water for 2 mins until they are just tender but still bright green. Refresh in a bowl of iced water, then drain well. Cut the mangetout on the diagonal into 2 or 3 pieces. Halve, core and deseed the peppers, then cut into long thin slices. Trim and finely slice the spring onions on the diagonal.
3. For the dressing, put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk lightly to combine.
4. Put the prawns, spring onions, mangetout and peppers into a large bowl and add the drained noodles, coriander leaves and sesame seeds. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat. Eat immediately or chill until ready to serve.