Tag Archives: Lunches on the go

Eat Smart, Eat Healthy…No more Diets

Winter warming Soups and chilli

Good morning from sunny Thailand… we are warm here as we are coming into our High Season soon while many of you I know are feeling the winter chills… This week some healthy lunches…which will warm you up …

It is quite difficult to think of what to suggest as when I worked in my last job although we had the heating on  the doors were continually opening and closing so if you were working on the ground floor it was a tad cold most of the time so a warm bowl of soup or a jacket potato was very welcome at lunchtime.

I always used to make extra if I made a stew or chilli and freeze in portions it was then easy to take to work and I know from experience that if I ventured out at lunchtime as I hadn’t bought anything in with me it was over to Marks & Spencer who do the most divine sandwiches and of course all their yummy sweet things are by the till…Do I need to say more???

Not taking in lunch is a trap many of us fall into without realising, isn’t it? Plus it is more costly…

As I am at home and  Lunch is my main meal I generally have a stir fry they are quick to do and cook while the rice is cooking which Is why I like them…

Fried Fish with peppercorns in black bean sauce.
Serves 1.

fish black bean sauce

  • 100 gm white fish cut into smallish pieces and rolled in rice flour.
  • Small onion roughly cut
  • 2 spring onion sliced
  • 1-2 chillies sliced diagonally
  • 1 stem of fresh peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Sm piece fresh ginger minced or finely Julienne
  • Fish sauce to taste.

Lets Cook!

Heat up the oil in a wok and shallow fry fish quickly on each side until it becomes golden brown, it will take around 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
In the same wok where fish is fried sauté garlic, chilli, onion and ginger.
Add green onion and peppercorns then stir-fry for a minute. Then add fish.
Add splash water, black bean sauce bring to a rolling boil, add fish and turn over once to coat with the sauce and simmer for 2 mins. If the sauce is thin you can add a bit of cornstarch/arrowroot slurry to thicken it.
Flavour with fish sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with steamed rice and a chilli dip( optional)

You could also make this at home and heat gently at work for lunch or microwave it.

Jacket Potatoes…Easy to do and will fill you up…If you have an oven at work then in your pop one in the oven and take a portion of chilli, baked beans, cheese, coleslaw, sweetcorn, caramelised onions and mushrooms what is your favourite topping?


My favourite is chilli be it a meat or vegetarian one or cheese and coleslaw if it isn’t too cold.

Carol’s Chilli Con Carne


  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)


NB. HELP! I would rather use dried kidney beans rather than tinned HOWEVER I soak them for hours then cook then add to my chilli and they are still not soft…I don’t have a pressure cooker but is there anyone who can give me some tips and I don’t add salt while soaking.

My second Chilli recipe from a friend of mine …Richard and it is his vegetarian chilli…Thank Richard it is very nice. It is Richards recipe with a Thai twist and tasty…

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.


  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves


vegetarian chilli with lentils


The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook ( there wasn’t any) just ingredients …he is also male…lol

For anyone needing more details then cook as my chilli recipe above but adding lentils instead of the meat. I did add a couple more tomatoes and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe….I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…


Both of these make great toppings for jacket potatoes or with rice …

Soup is also very good...You make a batch at home and freeze in portions it just needs reheating or take it in a thermos flask…

Yesterday I made a lovely mushroom soup …a new recipe and it needs tweaking my little taste tester told me what I needed to do….lol

It pleases me though because it means that he tastes the food and knows when it needs something else so that is good for a child.

Mushroom Soup…

2 lbs of mushrooms…mixed I used straw, button, crimini and some small ones which I can’t remember the name.

1 onion sliced

6 sprigs of thyme tied together

3 cloves of garlic

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups of water

1 cup of cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and cook until they give up their juices and reduce the heat. Cook stirring until the juice has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

crimini straw button mushrooms

Pick out a few nice pieces and set to one side for the garnish.

Mix the onions into the mushrooms and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and garlic and pour in the stock and water simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the thyme before blending the soup, if the consistency is still too thick then add more stock/water…Return to a pan and add the cream…Taste and season with salt and black pepper…

Mushroom Soup


I hope this has given you a few ideas about what to have for lunch…What is your favourite lunch?

I have added the link to a Chicken Noodle soup as it also has the recipe for homemade chicken broth.



All of these you could batch cook every two weeks and freeze in portions and you would never have to worry about what is for lunch… Just add your garnishes and herbs if required…

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients that I cook with have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you for reading I hope you enjoy the soup …Or maybe you have already tried it…Do you love it?? Please let me know in comments xxx