Gochugaru Girl co-leads a women’s Fellowship Group. In some countries, this is called a Cell Group. For anyone unfamiliar with these terms, it is not what you think. No one is obsessed with The Ring or is My Precious. Neither has it anything to do with Biology or imprisonment.
Our group meets weekly to study certain passages from the Bible and to pray for each other. Once a term, we have an extended session ending with lunch. The only way to manage the catering without getting hysterical is to do some of the preparation ahead of time.
In summer, this leads to thoughts of a meal which can be served at room temperature. Looking around at what was available in my store cupboard and refrigerator, a menu devised itself. The attractiveness of these two dishes is that each can stand alone as a separate entity or if eaten together, neither will dominate the other in terms of taste.
It is necessary to start this menu the evening before if a 6am wake-up call is to be avoided. With a bit of judicious timing, it is even possible to make a cake on the morning itself – perhaps the banana, walnut and cardamom cake. Each recipe feeds eight adults.
For the Rice:
500 g pre-mixed brown basmati and wild rice
3 tablespoons light olive oil
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons soya sauce
500 g cooked chicken, diced
100 g dried cranberries
100 g flaked almonds, fried in a teaspoon of sunflower oil until brown
50 g fresh parsley, chopped
50 g fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
How to Make:
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet.
Whisk together the oils, lemon juice and soya sauce. Add this to the rice as soon as it is cooked, giving everything a good stir.
When the rice is cooled, add the chicken and cranberries.
All the above can be done the night before the lunch. Cover the rice and store in the refrigerator.
On the next morning, add the flaked almonds and herbs. Give the rice salad a good stir and taste for seasoning before serving.
For the Roasted Vegetables:
1 large red onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large aubergine
4 bell peppers
8 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make:
Cut the onion, aubergine, courgettes and peppers into even sized pieces.
Place all the vegetables in a large roasting pan, along with the garlic and olive oil. Give everything a good stir.
All the above can be done the night before the lunch. Cover the vegetables and store in the refrigerator.
On the next morning, roast the vegetables in an oven at 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF for one hour.
Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper before serving.