Work Lunch Ideas – Autumn 2022

It’s finally Autumn. Working from home is now 2 days a week and the other days I go into the office. So before the Christmas adverts start, I’m sharing this post now!

On the days I go in, I really try my best to make my own food for lunch. It saves me some money, and gives me an excuse not to be lazy. Mrs Travels encouraged me to post some of my lunches (and I think some other food I make but have not posted) onto this blog, as I haven’t posted in a while.

Here’s some ideas which I had circling in my mind to make and try out. I’ve been watching a lot of food videos on YouTube for the past couple of years to get some ideas as well.

Macaroni and Vegetable Soup

I made this one day on the weekend, and thought this isn’t too bad! And it’s really filling. Hong Kongers often have macaroni soup for breakfast and lunch. So I made a slightly similar version.

  1. Add a bowl of water to boil (for 1 serving)
  2. Add one vegetable stock cube (any brand)
  3. Add some pre-cut vegetables – then boil for 2-3 minutes (try and get discounted vegetables – it gives you an excuse to cook them on the day)
  4. Add 2 handfuls of macaroni (add more if needed) – boil for 10 minutes
  5. Cool down, then add to a container and refridgerate if making this the night before.

If you have no microwave to use at work, just reheat the soup in the morning, and add into a food flask. If you’re making this in the morning, add to your food flask straight away. Take some bread rolls or an extra sandwich!

Spaghetti with Japchae sauce

Have you watched the Korean show The Backpacker Chef 백패커? In episode 15, the chefs come up with Pasta Japchae, which I wanted to try making myself. I had a look online to see who else have made this in the past, and saw one post. I already had readymade japchae sauce, which you can buy in Asian or Korean supermarkets.

  1. Cook some spaghetti (add more if you plan to eat some before you pack them).
  2. Stir fry some halved cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and a couple of frankfurters in a frying pan (usually the Koreans would cook the ingredients separately, but I’m a lazy Geek, and this recipe is supposed to easy).
  3. Then drain the spaghetti, place in a bowl, add the stir fried ingredients into the spaghetti and finally added the ready made Japchae sauce and additional sesame oil (I find the japchae sauce doesn’t have enough sesame oil in it).
  4. Mixed it all together and finally pack it. There was space left in my container, so I made a Chinese style spring onion omelette. Nothing fancy.

When I had this the next day, I noticed that the spaghetti had soaked up the japchae sauce, and it tasted great! I bought some more spaghetti too.

Tinned Mackerel Stew & Rice

There was some tinned mackerel at home, which I was planning to make this in Hastings but that never happened, so the tinned mackerel came back to London. I actually found a recipe on YouTube, but only looked at the ingredients used, and used my own instinct to create my own version. .

One day I bought a pack of mushrooms in Tesco as it was on discount (33p). Thought they would come in handy for a work lunch.

So in this one pot stew, you can add any vegetables for this but here I just chose what I had:

  1. Added olive oil to the pan, and fried all the mushrooms in one go (they shrink, so it was fine).
  2. Added some chopped onions, and the last of my cherry tomatoes, and stirred it in.
  3. After a couple of minutes, I added 2 tins of brined mackerel into the pan with the brine included (you can drain it if you want to).
  4. Stir, then add some salt, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, a table of corn syrup (or add some sugar, but corn syrup is not too sweet), a cube of vegetable stock and half a cup of water (add a tiny bit more water if needed), white pepper (optional), a sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional) and some chilli powder (optional). Stir and turn down to a medium heat, and boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Cool down for a few minutes before serving with some rice.

I scoffed my dinner down and happy that I made this with the thought of having this for lunch the next day!

Leftover stew and rice packed away… the stew can be heated the next morning, and added into a food flask, if you don’t want to stink up the work office kitchen!

Swedish Meatballs and Vegetable Soup

Have you gone into Icelands or Morrisons recently? In the frozen section, you’ll see bags of Swedish meatballs. It looks like they’re popular. Instead of eating them the Ikea or Swedish way, I tried using them to make a soup.

  1. Add olive oil to the saucepan, then add in as many frozen meatballs as you want… and fry for a little bit
  2. Add any chopped vegetables. Here I added an onion, carrots and spring onions. Fry with the meatballs for a minute
  3. Add 2 cups of water, vegetable stock cube and tomatoe paste, (optional: Add a teaspoon of sugar if you like a sweeter taste) then boil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with pasta and rice … and make sure to leave some for work!

And if all stews and soups and pastas fail, there’s the ultimate traditional egg fried rice with a veggie and meat side dish!

KiKi & MiuMiu Market – London, Walworth Road / Elephant & Castle

And we have another Asian supermarket in the Walworth Road and, Elephant and Castle area… Despite the Asian backlash, which I personally haven’t seen or have come across since the start of the pandemic. Maybe my body language says “backoff or I’ll do something to you”, LOL! ^_^ …

Kiki and MiuMiu Market opened in late April, I’ve already been in there twice. They have a variety of frozen foods, bakeries, some things that aren’t available in Longdan or Daily Fresh Supermarket in East St Market.

Comparing some of the prices, it is slightly cheaper – depending on what you buy…

They’ve tried to utilise the space, but it does feel a little cramp… you may have to wait for people to finish what they’re doing to get pass them… In a way, it’s better than going to China Town for the moment.

Address: 141 Walworth Rd, London SE17 1RW

Website: https://kikimiumiu.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Kiki-Miumiu-Market/100068746343797/

Samyang Hot Chicken Flavoured Almonds

Very short post!

Bought these in Centrepoint (Korean supermarket) for £1.39. Thought it would be interesting on how these would taste as I really love their fiery Hot Chicken flavour… Looks like a lot of people took the challenge to eat their noodles, and it seems a lot of people have become addicted to them… I’ve limited the amounts of times I eat their noodles, and always add mayo and cheese to it!

It’s a small packet of almonds, even from the first almond I felt a fiery heat building…

Probably nice to eat when watching some dramas with a beer… ^_^

The Laughing Cow – Apericube Sucré / Salé Cheese

One of the most intriguing food items I bought in France were these Laughing Cow cubes of cheese made into different flavours. I thought the Japanese were weird with their food flavours, but the French as well!
I came across these and thought of Baby B, as Miss Pinky said I needed to buy cheese for my goddaughter. ¬_¬”” OK. French cheese it is then.
I bought a pack for myself to try out. It says it’s “sugary (and) salty” at the front – sucré / salé. Flavours are chevre and miel (goat and honey), figues and noix (figs and walnuts), emmental and raisin (no need to translate)  and bleu and noix (blue cheese and walnuts).

Realise this picture is upside down. Hahahahah. But you get the gist of what’s inside the packet.

I tried a piece of all flavours. Erm. Not my favourite flavours for a soft cheese. I think I liked the blue cheese and walnuts… and the only one that made sense in terms of flavours was the emmental and raisin. 

Hmmmm intriguing indeed. Probably wouldn’t buy these for myself, but would recommend to add them onto crackers for taste I guess.

Mr Picky’s mother liked them, and I think Baby B liked them too… Strange tastebuds the French have!

Nissin Sesame Oil Flavoured Crisps

Very short post today.

I’m a big fan of Nissin noodles, so when I saw these in Oriental Delights, China Town (the day after I returned back from HK), I thought I had to try them out.
It’s a big bag, but don’t let that fool you into buying them (which happened to me obviously ¬_¬).
 ,

The amount of crisps were minimal, and for the oily, only slight taste of sesame oil, it was disappointing.

Cost: £1.99 (if memory serves me right, sorry for never remembering or writing prices down).

Will I buy again? Nope.

Snowy Mini Four Mooncakes 美心冰皮 – Mango Series 芒果熱情 (Part 2)

T_T I failed my Japanese exam… boohoo… I knew I would fail, but didn’t know it would be by just 1 point away from a possible pass! 😦 So sad… It makes me want to take the Chinese HSK exams… :p
Well, carrying on with the Snowy mooncakes.
This is the second box that I bought on the same day as the Angel and Devil flavours. This one is called the Mango Series 芒果熱情 (Canto: mong gwo yit ching; Mando: mang guo re qing). This literally means “mango passion”.
I’m sure I’ve tried out the mango flavours before, but I guess this is a new version. Might as well. ^_^

Unlike the Angel and Devil Snowy Minis, this came in a box of four different flavours.

Mango Chestnut came first.

But unfortunately when I tried to break it apart with my hands the outer layer fell apart and became all crumbly. Note: cut it with a knife. >_<" 
It tasted of very sweet mango, and the outer layer seemed to have overpowered the inner chestnut paste. Didn’t like this one.

This is the Mango Crunch.

Learnt my lesson from the previous mooncake. The outer layer was a chocolate base flavour. I couldn’t taste what was actually inside. Probably some mango sort of paste. An ok flavour.

Mango with Pomelo Dessert… ^_^

From the smiley face above, this was my favourite out of the four. It had a mango outer layer and I could taste the paste which had a slight pomelo flavour… it even had pomelo bits inside! Yum yum!

And lastly this is the normal Mango flavour.

I thought this was going to be really sweet, but it turned out really nice, it had a subtle sweet mango flavour to it… and not as sweet as the other flavours,

Don’t think I will get this box of flavours again… The Devil Chocolate ones were my favourite!
With Brexit around the corner, will we ever see these again?!! 😦
Cost: £6.80 at Oriental Delight

Snowy Mini Four Mooncakes 美心冰皮 – Angel and Devil 天使魔鬼 (Part 1)

Poop. The summer bank holiday started off with a big stomach upset… I ate too much at Mr and Mrs Hen’s BBQ on Saturday. My stomach can’t handle too much food at one time anymore… 😦
But to lighten my stomach the next day I went out to China Town to buy noodles and also a few snacks. ¬_¬”” I’m actually looking for the Doll brand cheese flavoured noodles, so if anyone sees them, bell me! I also went out Pokémon Go hunting from China Town to Covent Garden, all the way up to St Paul’s Cathedral… and from there to Tower Bridge! What a walk it was lugging around a lot of noodles and these mini mooncakes. >.<" 
It’s coming up to the Mid-Autumn Festival! 
I’m surprised these Snowy Mini Four mooncakes 美心冰皮 (Canto: mei sam bing pei; Mando: mei xin bing pi) lasted during my long walk, well I did stop off at Starbucks just to coll down. 美心 mei sam is the name of the company. 冰皮 bing pei literally means “ice skin”. In general these mooncakes are called “snow skin mooncakes”. I had introduced them in an earlier post many years ago.
This year I bought two different boxes, the latter I will blog in another post. First box is called Angel and Devil 天使魔鬼 (Canto: tin si mo gwai; Mando: tian shi mo gui).
I tried out the “Devil” first. In English it’s called “Devil Dark Chocolate Crunch”
I understand why it’s called that. It has an indulgence of dark chocolate moulded into a mochi like sweet. Once opened you can smell the dark chocolate.
The crunch part is a tiny biscuit… The chocolate “paste” part just lingers into the mouth, whereas the skin mochi part sticks to your teeth.
It all tastes like an Oreo melting into my mouth. Yummy!
The “Angel” is called Angel Chocolate Crunch. I assume it’s to resemble white chocolate. The smell of it is not as intense as the Devil but has a soft almond like biscuit smell.
The paste and skin gives off a sweet vanilla sort of taste with a touch of almond. This makes you want to eat the mooncake a little more slowly so that you can try and indulge the flavours bit by bit.
The Devil tastes the best out of the two… if I have any money leftover in the next two weeks, I think I might by a couple more of the Devil ones.
Price: £6.80 at Oriental Delights (they sold in boxes of 2 as well as 4)

The Coconut Collaborative Yogurt

Japanese exam over! Think I failed the reading section (going over some of the questions in my head and realised I answered lots wrong)…. 😦 so saaaad, but I only did it for fun to see how much I can achieve. ^_^ Think positive Geek! Think positive! Awaiting for October to come for the results!!!

Started following The Coconut Collaborative on Twitter, and thought this is an interesting concept using coconut milk as yogurt.

Then when I went to a Sainsbury’s to buy it, it was practically the least touched yogurt in the fridge.

1. It’s expensive
2. They were in tiny pots

Although being so small and expensive, I bought them anyway.

They come in a tiny pot with a cardboard packaging. They are naturally dairy free, and so they’re good for those seeking a dairy free diet… probably ok for vegans too.

I think they could have done more with the pot and left out the cardboard… may have saved them a few pennies.

Tried the Natural flavour first. It’s creamy. You can tell they tried to add some natural sour flavours in. Could taste a lot of coconut milk in it… My least favourite of the three.

Next up the Blueberry flavour. This was a nicer flavour with some sweet blueberries at the bottom. This went well with the yogurt. My favourite of the three.

And finally the mango flavour. This wasn’t too sweet. I didn’t think it combined well with the yogurt. I could hardly taste the mango!

All finished! Blueberry wins!

If you’re rich, then go buy them. They’re £1.55 each!!! If you’re not into expensive yogurt, then go and buy big pots of natural yogurt – the dairy kind.

Samyang Hot Chicken Flavour Ramen 삼양 불닭 볶음면

>_< Hot spicy stir fried noodles needed!
Saw these being presented and eaten on a YouTube video by Kinoshita Yuka (a Japanese fanatic eater) and I had to try them out. I’m astounded by the amount she can eat in one sitting, whereas I could only eat a smaller portion of what she has. I’m normal. A normal eating geek.
Well, I found the noodles in China Town and bought a few packets to see what they tasted like.

So, cooked normally and placed into my bowl. The amount of noodles looks so small without the water… Placed in the sauce and topping on top.

Mixed it well… and then had my first noodle slurp… It wasn’t that spicy… until…

I added Japanese Kewpie mayo and slurped more… my, my, it’s really spicy, can’t remember if I could even taste anything else!! I added more mayo (like the Japanese do) to try and tone down the spiciness. It somewhat was ok

This is probably one of the most spiciest Korean ramens I’ve ever tried! I even bought more today because I like them so much. Hahahahaha!!
A pack of 5 was £3 something in Sun Loon Moon Supermarket in China Town… and in the confectionery shop a few doors down it is £1.20 per packet….

Try if you dare!

p.s. I took the spicy ramen challenge ^_^ … didn’t know this was a super popular ramen

Prunes and Peanut Butter

One day Miss Vegan told me to try out this easy dessert / snacky snack. Prunes and peanut butter which are enjoyed by her previous wealthy customers in one of her old jobs.
Apparently this is a Caribbean recipe. ¬_¬” I’m not sure. But correct me if I’m totally wrong.
So got the semi dry prunes, got some leftover peanut butter and a new jar in case I didn’t have enough…
And voila. Not hard to make. The most simple snack to make!
Taste wise. Hmmm. I would say prunes taste better by itself. Peanut butter tastes better on bread. Not my kind of snack. Maybe I need to stuff it inside next time – but that’s just extra hard work!
Well, at least it’s good for those on a low carb diet I guess.