Sunday, December 29, 2013

Triple J Hottest 100 of 2013

My votes:
  • Phoenix - Chloroform
  • Phoenix - Entertainment
  • Phoenix - S.O.S. In Bel Air
  • Polica - Chain My Name
  • Polica - Tiff {Ft. Justin Vernon}
  • The National - Graceless
  • The National - I Need My Girl (my #1)
  • The National - I Should Live in Salt
  • Lana Del Rey - Young And Beautiful
  • Violent Soho - Covered In Chrome
Would have loved to fit in:
  • Arcade Fire - Afterlife
  • Pond - Xanman
  • Major Lazer - Jessica
I pretty much had to restrain from my list being just Phoenix, The National and Polica (which it mostly is anyway), and chucked in the last two based on the songs that have most made me sing out loud in the car. Also my #1 song wasn't actually in the list (the other two The National songs were), but it really was the best song of 2013 for me.

I think voting in the hottest 100 is a great way to find out about new stuff to listen to and also remind yourself about stuff you used to like but don't anymore (or have forgotten about). I realised that there's a lot of bands I've lost touch with including The Knife, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Royksopp, and I was surprised (and excited) to see a Postal Service song in there.

An early and inevitable congratulations to Daft Punk!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lunch for the week in less than an hour

The last few months I've been trying to eat really healthy at work. I've found that preparing lunch on Sunday for the whole week means that you don't have to think about what you're having every day and you don't have the chance to make bad lunch decisions.

The habit I've gotten in to is to make boxes of steamed veggies, eggs and fruit to last me the whole week, and if you don't mind the repetition (I don't, I always look forward to lunch!) it's a really convenient way to stay on top of your 2 fruit and 5 veg a day.

A few people have asked me about it so here it is :)

When I started doing this I tried a bunch of different vegetables but a lot of them didn't keep very well for 5 days or didn't reheat well in the microwave (e.g. don't use squash or asparagus). This is the list I've whittled it down to along with how much time they need to steam (I like them fairly firm):

  • 5 carrots (4mins)
  • 1/2 cauliflower (4mins)
  • 5 brussel sprouts (3mins)
  • 1 broccoli (3mins)
  • 1 zucchini (2mins)
  • 3 bok choy (1.5mins)
  • 5 eggs

I've managed to get this whole process down to under an hour including preparation and cleanup. Set up 5 lunch boxes ready to transfer the vegetables in to as they're finished steaming.

Wash all the veggies (I do the bok choy separately because it's really sandy):

Chop up the cauliflower and carrot:
Carrot and Cauliflower

Steam the cauliflower and carrot in a stove top steamer (pan with a steamer top attachment) with the lid on. If you have room you can do both at the same time since they're both 4 minutes:

While that's steaming, cut up the broccoli, zucchini, brussel sprouts and wash the bok choy.
Bok Choy, Zucchini, Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts

When the carrot and cauliflower are done, move them to the boxes and then steam the broccoli and brussel sprouts together for 3 minutes, then steam the zucchini on it's own for 2 minutes. Here's the boxes before the boy choy:
Veggie boxes

Last thing is the bok choy for 1.5mins on it's own. This oversteams very quickly so keep an eye on it:
With Bok Choy

When you get a chance (or at the end) boil 5 eggs. I use the Burton Timer, I love that thing (thanks Andrew!).:

Each box reheats in about 3 minutes in the microwave.

For the fruit salad I always use whatever fruits look good. I usually make two big boxes of fruit salad (one for myself and one for Andrew) which is nice because you get a better variety of fruit that way.

And here's all my lunch for the week!
Lunch Boxes

Calorie Breakdown
This is approximate and will vary based on which fruits you choose and also the size of the egg. Also I only season the vegetables with salt and pepper, so add more if you're using anything else.

  • Mixed steamed vegetables: 125
  • Boiled egg: 70
  • Fruit salad: 80
  • Total: 275 calories

This lunch keeps me full most days and I usually don't need a snack, but if I do I have some Pura Veda (a kind of museli but made with seeds instead of grains) and yoghurt or some peanut butter on it's own or with celery. You can also add some grilled chicken breast if you're finding the calorie intake isn't enough for your diet.

I haven't gotten bored of this yet, and it's been really convenient. Hope this inspires someone to start steaming their way to a healthier lunch!