Lunch box: Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Dear Readers, you might be wondering why there has been a lack of post the last 2 weeks. Well, firstly we in South Africa had numerous public holidays for Easter and have in effect only had a couple of workdays. Secondly little Em has been very sick cultivating in a hospital visit last Friday. But fear not, there are still lunches to be had!

So what did I have? A comfort-lunch box. Homemade spaghetti Bolognese, a Woolworth's custard slice (my favourite indulgence) and fresh mango and strawberries! All in all a great way to brighten my day.


Chicken, Avo and Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

I mentioned it before and I will again: I love jalapeno poppers! So much so that I have been including it into everything. But this sandwich is a bit different. I added some elements of a popper being the cream cheese, mozzarella and jalapenos but added spicy roast chicken and avo. It turned out great.

• 4 slices bread
• 2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
• ½ avo, smashed, with salt and pepper
• 2 tbsp cream cheese or 2 blocks Kiri cheese squares
½ cup grated or sliced mozzarella
• 2 tsp pesto (optional)

1. Spread 1 block of Kiri or 1 tbsp cream cheese on 2 slices bread.
2. Divide the avo between the two slices and spread evenly.
3. Top with the sliced chicken and divide the grated cheese evenly.
4. Spread 1 tsp pesto on the remaining slices bread each.
5. Close the sandwiches and toast in a panini pan until golden and the cheese is melted.
6. Enjoy


Lunch box: Friday, 25 April 2013

Left overs really are a saviour. Quick and easy and usually a complete meal with both protein and carbs. This lunch was a heavy dose of left over shepherds pie. It's a stew with tomatoes, beer and fillet with lots of veggies topped with creamy mash and grated cheese. As I didn't have to add anything else to round out the meal I decided to just add fruit. Leftovers are really the best option for quick lunches especially if you have access to a microwave.


Chicken, Avocado, Mango and Pesto Warm Wrap

This is probably Hubby's most favourite meal. I can say without fear of any contradiction, that if he had to choose one dinner to eat every night, then this would be it. And as always, it is quick and easy. It literally took longer for me to write this post than for Hubby to make the wraps!

1 chicken breast,cooked
¼ mango sliced
¼ avocado, mashed
1 tbsp pesto
1 multi grain wrap


1. Slice the chicken breast. Place in the middle of a wrap.
2. Add the lettuce, avocado, mango and pesto.
3. Wrap the tortilla close and place on a grill.
4. Grill until crispy.


COHEN DIET | Chicken or Mozzarella basil and Apple Salad

This worked so well that I cheated and used chicken and mozzarella to make up my protein, which isn't allowed so use only the one or the other.

• 1 cup diced chicken or mozzarella or a combination
• 1 honey-crunch apple diced
• ¼ cup basil, chopped
• ¼ small green pepper ( I used orange as I didn't have green)
• 1 cup baby butter lettuce
• 1 tsp mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp vinegar

I put all the ingredients (except the lettuce) into my lunch box and mix well, then layer the lettuce on top. This will keep the lettuce from going soggy.


COHEN DIET | Steak/Chicken/Feta and Fruit Salad

I was so tired of the same old salads and I had a sweet-craving competing with a crunch-craving. So without being allowed any sugar or honey, I added fruit to sweeten the deal. I added both a plum (for the glorious red colour) and an apple (for the crispness and sweetness). I added the vinegar for the sour effect but couldn't decide on the protein. So now you have 3 options:

The basis of the salad is as follows:

• 1 plum, diced
• ½ an apple, diced
• ¼ onion sliced
• ½ cup sliced cucumber
• 1 cup lettuce and or spinach.

Then add 1 cup beef (as in my lunch) or 1 cup chicken, sliced. Or add ½ cup (1 wheel) feta, broken up or sliced. For Hubby I added the feta AND the chicken for added protein. 

The salad dressing is:
• 1 tbsp vinegar
• 1 tsp mayonnaise
• ½ sweetner packet or ½ tsp honey


COHEN DIET: Monday 14 April 2014 | Curry Salad Dressing

I wanted a curry salad but not too much curry and mayo, so what do I do? I make a curry dressing! And it is so easy to do: 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon mayonnaise, ½ teaspoon medium curry powder and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder - mixed really well and pour over your salad. I poured it over my chicken and mango salad and it was excellent! Just the right amount of curry flavor to give a whole new dimension to my salad.

The salad is just 1 chicken breast, 1 cup butter lettuce (yes, Hubby remembered this time!), ½ a green pepper (or in my case red as Hubby didn't remember everything when he went shopping...), ½ cup sliced cucumber and 1 cup diced mango. In other words my standard chicken and mango recipe give or take an onion.


COHEN DIET | Chicken and Parsley Salad

This salad was based on the Beef and Parsley Salad of Monday except that I had to use red peppers as I ran out of green pepper. For some odd reason the Cohen Diet excludes red and yellow pepper but allows green peppers and it is such a shame because it gives a beautiful collection of colours to any dish. I checked and a 100g green pepper versus a 100g red pepper comes to about 10 calories. So using 10g of either makes a difference of 1 calorie.

So with my 'chicken salad' I had cooked cauliflower as I am still not inclined to use Hubby's lettuce. The peppery taste of the rocket would dominate this mellow salad too much. I made the same lunch for Hubby using 2 chicken breast and adding ½ cup fresh mozzarella and ½ and avocado with baby spinach leaves that I pile on top so the vinegar doesn't make it wilt. I hope he liked the combination...


COHEN DIET: Curry Mince and Vegetables

This is so quick and easy and I always make double because it really is brilliant the next day as well. Because Hubby ate as well, I made a big potion. This would be enough for 4 portions for me or 2 portions for me and one for Hubby. I like a lot of turmeric as I love the yellow colour and the peculiar taste but change the amounts of turmeric and curry powder (even pepper) according to your taste.

500g extra lean mince
300g broccoli and cauliflower
200g mushrooms, sliced
50g green pepper chopped
2 tbsp mild curry powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
About ¼ water

1. Fry the mushrooms in a hot pan sprayed with Spray and Cook.
2. Add the mince and break it up as it cooks.
3. Add the pepper and powders and stir to combine.
4. Add the water and the broccoli and cauliflower, cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes or until cooked.
5. Enjoy!

For a sweeter taste you can add one sweetener (as we usually enjoy it with chutney). If you are not following Cohen add 1 Knorr Beef Stock Pot with the water and eat with rice and a big dollop of chutney!


COHEN DIET: Beef and Parsley Salad / Lunch box Tuesday, 8 April 2014

What happens when you 5 month old baby girl has perforated eardrums and Hubby does the shopping? Well, you make do with what you have! As mentioned I hated the lettuce Hubby bought so the salad was changed: I added parsley instead and used the leftover allotment for raw cauliflower 'bites'. And I had my lovely, juicy mango cut in half. The salad was so good I'm definitely having it again! The red looks like beetroot but it is actually a sweet red plum.

For you (and because my memory is crappy) herewith the ingredients:

Beef and Parsley Salad

1 cup chopped, cooked beef
¼ chopped green pepper
¼ red onion
¼ chopped parsley
1 red plum chopped
1 tsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp vinegar

Mix it all together and enjoy!


COHEN DIET: Lunch box Monday, 7 April 2014

Hubby did me a favour and did the weekly shopping...well some things were mixing...nectarines, zucchini and goodness what else. I know I mustn't complain but well, I'm going to! Instead of plain lettuce he bought this weird mixture of rocket and stringy green stuff. I love rocket here and there but not the other stuff. Anyway, I digress. So I made this salad and some of the less stringy green stuff.

Chicken Salad No3(or is it no 4?)

1 cup lettuce
1 cup chopped chicken
¼ cup sliced red onion
¼ cup sliced green pepper
½ cup sliced cucumber
1 tsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp vinegar

Mix it all together and enjoy.


Cohen Diet Weekly Menu

I admit it: I'm a weak-willed person with no self control and a rubber arm that can detect a dessert 10 paces away while still in the fridge! I tend to eat to celebrate, to overcome frustration, anger or boredom or sometime only because it is there. And I've come to realise that as my weight increase my enjoyment of food decreases. So this time I attack the situation head on with a Cohen Diet weekly meal plan. It incorporates Saturday family gatherings around the braai and rugby and Sunday roasts.  So what does this plan look like I hear you ask...


Breakfast: yoghurt and 1 rice cake, apple slices
Lunch: Chicken, mango salad on 2 crackerbread
Dinner: Steak and steamed broccoli with nectarine and onion salad


Breakfast: yoghurt and mango smoothie
Lunch: Steak, nectarine/peach, green pepper and lettuce salad
Dinner: Pizza with mushrooms, green pepper and red onion on 2 crackerbread


Breakfast: yoghurt and 1 rice cake, apple slices
Lunch: Chicken, mango curry sandwich on 2 crackerbread
Dinner: Steak and broccoli and cauliflower mash,


Breakfast: yoghurt and provitas 'cereal'
Lunch: Steak, nectarine and green pepper or Steak, coriander and tomato on 2 crackerbread
Dinner: Curry mince with zucchini pasta or cabbage, apple slices


Breakfast: yoghurt and 1 rice cake
Lunch: sliced chicken breast, cucumber and mango
Dinner: Hamburger patty on 2 crackerbread with mayo, tomato, onion and lettuce


Breakfast: yoghurt and provitas 'cereal'
Lunch: Steak, tomato on 2 crackerbread, lettuce, onion and mango salad
Dinner: margarita pizza (tomato, mozzarella and basil) on 2 crackerbread or curry mince as on Thursday.


Breakfast: yoghurt and mango smoothie
Lunch: Roast chicken, mushrooms, zuchinni and patty pans
Dinner: Chicken and vegetable salad

Depending on my mood that changes constantly and whatever is in the fridge, I might deviate from the menu but will be attempting to stick to the plan.


Linguine Carbonara

I love pasta even if pasta doesn't love me (it does love my hips though...) and the easiest recipe that I know is Carbonara. It's even easier than macaroni and cheese or spaghetti Bolognese. So I thought I would share my version of this creamy dish.

1 packet linguine pasta
500g brown mushrooms
2 packets back bacon
1 onion
1 tub low fat cream cheese
250ml cream
1 cup milk or pasta water reserved
1 cup Parmesan cheese grated

1. Bring a big pot of water with lost of salt to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.
2. Meanwhile chop the bacon into its and add to a pan to fry until cooked and brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Chop the onion and mushrooms and add to the hot pan. Fry until the mixture is browned and cooked.
4. Pour the pasta into a strainer and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
5. In the big pasta pot add the cream cheese, milk and cheese and stir until melted.
6. Add the bacon, mushrooms and onion to the cheese mixture and season well with salt.
7. Add the pasta and stir through. Add some milk or water to get a loose creamy consistency.
8. Top with more Parmesan and enjoy!


Lunchbox: Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Today Hubby and I are having the same lunch for a change: a chicken avocado and feta salad with mango and it is so good! Crunchy green pepper and cucumber, salty feta, juicy chicken and sweet mango with the smooth avocado: you really can't go wrong here. The only issue was I forgot my salad dressing and I can't eat a salad 'dry' so I ordered from the restaurant a creamy dressing.

For dessert (yes I'm having dessert at lunch, don't judge me!) is a sago pudding pot from Woolworth's. I have a severe custard craving (as you can see from Monday's Lunch) and this pudding is as close as you can get. And I am allowed as my lunch is so healthy....