Trying to keep a healthy diet is hard, especially if the canteen at work or college tempts you with its smell of greasy chips or fried chicken. (don’t get me started on the chocolate and crisps at the counter!) In this situation, you have to be strong! Its super hard though, I totally understand. So how do we shatter these temptations and ward off those cheeky chips cravings? Simple, fast and healthy food that is whipped up in no time at home and is chok-a-blok full of taste, that’s how! Here is one of my favourite packed lunches, a Buckwheat noodle based cold dish. It is super healthy and delicious. It will make your colleagues a little envious!
From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef
A real family favourite on our lunch menu, I make this every Christmas for the family and my brother Karlous has been known to eat two or three of them. If you would prefer to cook these in the oven, simply preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the tops and sides of spring rolls with egg wash and simply arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.
Gok says: "There is so little wastage when cooking Chinese food – if making a king prawn dish like this one, all the shells and prawn heads can be used to make a delicious stock. When you’ve shelled the prawns – I always wear a pair of rubber gloves when I’m preparing this dish, as I can’t stand the smell of prawns on my hands – pile the shells, tails and heads into a pan of boiling water, add some garlic and smashed ginger and you have a gorgeous and tasty stock. Use this stock to add flavour and balance to any dish, be it meat, fish or vegetables. This is how cooking should be – free! As Poppa Wan always says, ‘No waste it . . . it add fravor, innit!’"
From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef
It's great that there is now authentic Chinese aromatic duck readily available in all major supermarkets. It makes this salad quick and easy to make, and the duck can be cooked a couple of hours ahead of time so that all you have to do is toss all of the ingredients together just before you are ready to serve.
Crispy crackling and tender pork belly meat paired with Chinese five-spice powder – a match made in heaven. For just the tiniest amount of work in the kitchen, using an inexpensive piece of meat, you get the most amazing results, which will feed a crowd. There are many different things you can do with pork belly as it’s quite versatile, but I like the simplicity of this method; it’s a nod to Asia, where this is an incredibly popular cut of meat.
Gok says: "Whether it’s catering for a dinner party, birthday party, wedding or the biggest celebration in Asia, Chinese New Year, the look and aesthetic of the food we serve is hugely important. The Chinese have a brilliant knack of paring down even the most complicated of dishes, simply serving them on a three-way palette of black, gold and red. When dressing your delicious food to serve to friends and family, adopt as your mantra Coco Chanel’s formidable quote: ‘When accessorizing always take off the last thing you put on.’ If you employ this simple technique to your food, I guarantee it will look as gorgeous as it tastes fabulous. This dish is so versatile, it works both hot and cold.