As much as I love working in the city, one of the things that I find incredibly inconvenient is how late I get home once I have commuted back to Essex. If all I had to do was shower and get in bed it wouldn’t be so bad, but I often have work to do and obviously need to feed myself. Making lunch on top of that just ends up adding to my never ending to do list. That’s why I wanted to create some posts on 15 minute lunches. No, I’m not going to end up telling you how to cook gourmet food here, but I am going to give you some ideas on hearty, quick-to-make lunches that won’t cost you a fortune. They will be basic dishes that can be cooked and enjoyed by anyone, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on them all.
I’m sure anyone reading this is probably thinking “oh my God you are off of your head – you can’t put halloumi in stir-fry”, but my reply would be “well watch me, because you can, and it’s DELICIOUS”. This makes a really good lunch if, like me, you like to have something hot. This can be cooked really simply in 15 minutes.
Sharwood’s Medium Egg Noodles, 375 g – one nest per person or “per lunch”
Halloumi, 200g – cut into cubes
Onion, 1 cut finely
Red pepper, 1 cut finely
Green beans, 300g
Salt and pepper to taste
Serves 2, or makes 2 lunches
First of all, cut the halloumi into pieces and soak it in the lemon juice. This gives the halloumi a great flavour. I always like to cook the halloumi separately and throw it in after.
Prepare all of the veg. Cut the onion and the pepper into fine strips. If you are using frozen broccoli, cauliflower and green beans you may need to do some prep and defrost this. If you are using fresh, you will need to blanche this first, depending on how crunchy you like your veg. Full disclosure: This will make the recipe take longer than 15 minutes.
This is one of the last steps. See, easy to make, isn’t it? But before we get to this step I just want to give you a solid piece of cooking advice. There is NO better investment than a good Wok. I use a Tefal Precision Plus StirFry Pan 28cm-Black, Aluminium, 28 cm. The great thing about a good Wok is that you can use it for SOOOOOO much other stuff than just stir-fry. For example, were you aware how good reheated pizza was in a Wok? I shit you not. Day old pizza is perfection chucked in a Wok on a low heat. The base goes crispy, and the cheese melts. Try it and thank me later.
Put the heat on a medium setting and start by slowly softening the onions and the peppers. If you want your onions to have that wonderful sweet taste you can put a pinch of brown sugar in at this stage.
Add in the other vegetables. It’s also time now to start thinking about the halloumi. Fry this separately, turning it over halfway through.
Add in the noodles. Most of the noodles of this type take about 4/5 minutes to cook, so during the last couple of minutes add in the soy sauce and a teaspoon of lemon juice.
Add in the cooked halloumi at the very last stage. This keeps the nice lemony halloumi separate from the flavour of the soy sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.