“I don’t know how the food will taste tonight Love,” are famous words in our house. Since I can remember, sticking to a recipe has always been a challenge for me. I even ended up making tea rusks instead of coffee rusks the other day…I will maybe still share the recipe when I’ve perfected it;) I remember making Malva pudding as a child – a South African classic – and having the thought that the dough wasn’t brown enough, so I added cocoa to it…which was frowned upon back then:)
At the beginning of each week I’ll buy groceries – without major planning – and each night I decide how I feel and then make something out of it…naturally some dishes are hits and other misses. I will share some of them with you and you can decide for yourself and share what you think. You’re more than welcome to give suggestions on how to improve it. The steamed papaya in this recipe was inspired by a Zanzibar recipe from an old African recipe book I bought at a second hand bookshop in Greyton, South Africa.
Since packing lunch boxes – after preparing a whole meal and eating – is mostly a mental and physical struggle for me, I prepare them simultaneously.
Ingredients for dinner and lunch: (Serves 2)
- 4 Chicken breasts
- 1 med/large Papaya
- 1 can coconut milk
- Salt (I love Nataniel’s Roasted garlic and rosemary salt)
- Herbs of your choice (I used Basil and French Tarragon)
- 1 Garlic clove
- Fruit and veggies of your choice (My choice: strawberries, cucumber, carrots and tomatoes)
- Whole wheat Couscous
- 2 x Pita bread
- Full cream plain yogurt
- Feta cheese
- Any other sauces of your choice
1: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C
2: Cut papaya into cubes. Place half of the cubes in a steamer and steam for about 6 minutes. Share the other half of the papaya cubes between two little containers for lunch.
3: Heat olive oil, 1 garlic clove and herbs in a pan. Place chicken breasts in pan and fry approximately 2 min on each side. Salt according to preference. Melt 30ml of butter in die center of the pan, add the steamed papaya and sprinkle with nutmeg. Fry another 1 – 2 min.
4: Transfer the chicken and papaya to a casserole and add a cup of coconut milk. Close casserole and bake approximately 12 min. While Chicken dish is in the oven also place 2 pita’s (for lunch) in oven to heat for 2 min and take out to cool off.
5: Boil water. Place half cup of Couscous in a bowl – with a lid – add salt. Pour in boiled water until Couscous is covered and close with lid.
6: Cut the strawberries and add to papaya cubes in lunch containers. Add 2 Tsp double cream plain yogurt and close container. Cut the carrots and cucumber in strips and place in a container. Throw a couple of nuts and biltong chunks into a little zip-lock bag/small container, for a protein snack.
7: The chicken dish will be finished by now. Take out of the oven. Dish up a chicken breast, Couscous, steamed papaya with a bit of coconut sauce and add any cut veggies or salad of your liking. I just kept it simple with Belle-tomatoes.
8: Place the other 2 chicken breasts on a cutting board to cool down while you’re enjoying your meal.
9: Cut remaining chicken into strips. Also cut open the Pita’s. Add mayonnaise, chicken strips, remaining Couscous and feta cheese. You are more than welcome to add other ingredients as well. I didn’t add more veggies because I already packed some in a container. Place your pita into a sandwich container and close.
10: Place your lunch containers into the refrigerator, ready to grab the next morning. Two delicious, healthy meals prepared while saving time! This is my kind of cooking:)
Hope you enjoy!