That’s it, Christmas is over, it’s back to work and back to accepting that Stilton and chocolate Santas for every meal is probably not a great idea (no, not even if they are dark chocolate Santas). It’s time to get your January plan on, people. This might mean going vegan, switching to meal replacement shakes or having a cold shower every miserable morning to burn an extra ten calories. *Insert generic eye roll and groan here*
I’m really not into starting the year on a masochistic track, but if you are, brilliant, all power to you doing you and good luck. I’m taking a more gentle slide into 2019, however, and this means shuffling with little fanfare back on the low meat, no dairy train. My first attempt at work grub for the new year was so tastily successful that it is now becoming a common place lunchbox filler in the Boomboom household, including the Mr who is most particular about the foodstuffs provided to fuel him through a day at work. By which I mostly mean he is impossibly hungry, all of the time. He loves this lunch, and so do I, and I like it even more because it’s really easy to chop up and throw in the oven of an evening. It is hearty with seasonal veg and comfortingly spiced and will get you well on to your five/seven/ten a day target with no animal produce whatsoever. I’m not a full time vegan- I try to follow an anti-inflammatory diet due to health issues and this lunch ticks the boxes for me and just happens to be vegan too. Tumeric has been shown in many studies to have anti-inflammatory properties, as do cinnamon and cloves found in Garam Masala. As well as being mighty tasty and vitamin packed, yellow squash varieties also serve up omega-3 containing carotenoids, also on the AI happy list. Give it a go!
Boomboom Easy Lunchbox Traybake
400g pumpkin or squash (butternut squash works well in this)
1 large bell pepper
1 tin butter beans
1/2tsp chilli powder or a fresh red chilli pepper, deseeded or not to your taste
1TBspn garam masala
Pinch of garlic powder or five garlic gloves, peeled but left whole
Heat your oven to 180 and oil a large roasting pan well.
Wash and chop your squash and parsnips into chunks that are likely to cook in a similar time period- so make your pumpkin pieces a little larger than the parsnip. Peel the shallots and leave them whole and add to the mix along with the garlic cloves if using.
Mix the spices together then toss them with the veg, put these into the pan and roast for 20 minutes. After this time add the drained beans and give it all a bit of a jiggle. Cook for another 20 minutes or until the veg is tender and ready to eat.
Of course you could serve this immediately, but it keeps well if left to cool then stored in the fridge. I take this for lunch the next day, perhaps with some nuts scattered in with it or you could add rice, couscous or bread to bulk it up. Servings wise if you don’t add anything to the above quantities you should get two good sized meals, obviously more if you are adding in some carbs.