My top five workday lunches

One thing I’ve been trying to avoid since I went back to being office-bound 5 days a week is falling into the old routine of sarnies & crisps for lunch, but It’s not easy!! When you are knackered and in a rush all you want is something simple to make but I’ve spent too much time and effort getting fit to fall into my old routine again.

If, like me, you are not organised enough to get everything ready the night before, then here I’ve given you my top five easy to prepare workday lunches. You should be able to prepare each in the morning but more importantly each should keep you full but interested throughout the week…

DAY ONE…Lunchbox noodles (thank you Nigella)
These are divine for a healthy feeling but satisfying salad. I replaced smooth with crunchy peanut butter because I love it!!


for the dressing
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Squeeze of garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
100 grams crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons lime juice (use bottled)

for the salad
Mangetout or sugar snaps
Beansprouts (rinsed)
Red pepper (deseeded and cut into small strips)
Spring onions (finely sliced)
Egg noodles (ready prepared)
Sesame seeds
Chopped fresh coriander

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jug.
Put the mangetout, beansprouts, red pepper strips, sliced spring onions and the noodles into a bowl.
Pour the dressing over them and mix thoroughly to coat everything well.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chopped coriander and pack up as needed.

I adore this on its own but equally with leftover meat too, hence it’s on my Monday divine with some cold rare roast beef slithers!!

DAY TWO…My Mum’s ‘Not Quite’ Risotto
I had this loads as a kid and my mum called it risotto. It was only when I grew up I found out what risotto really was. It often had different ingredients in so feel free to change.

Rice (use leftover rice or a microwave pack)
Tin of tuna
Peas or sweetcorn or both
A hard-boiled egg
Salt n pepper
Celery stalk chopped
A spring onion finely chopped.
Tablespoon of Mayo

Boil your egg when you wake up (add handful of peas to the water to cook them)
Get your leftover rice out the fridge or microwave your own
Finely chop your spring onion and slice celery
Add tuna, peas chopped egg, celery & onion to your rice, Season & combine with mayo.

Once made this stores great in the fridge so make a batch and whack what you need each day in a lunchbox ready for work. If you have a microwave this is nice slightly heated too on a cold day!!

DAY THREE… Mackerel Pâté on crackers
This is my mums favourite and caught me completely by surprise, you can make this with smoked salmon ends but either way is Flabulous

Smoked mackerel
Philadelphia or other soft cheese
Horseradish sauce (to taste)
Squeeze of lemon
Salt n pepper

Whack all ingredients in a bowl
(be careful with horseradish- less is more)
Blitz with a hand-blender
Store in an airtight container!

Take as much as you need to work with crackers, French stick, crudités…the choices are endless
Gorgeous with the above and a small salad made of cherry plum tomatoes and rocket

DAY FOUR…Falafel and Houmous wraps
This isn’t a recipe as such but is the closest thing you will get to a sarnie here.

Ingredients 20130615-194316.jpg
Ready made falafel
Salad items (Tomato, lettuce & cucumber)
Pickled red cabbage or beetroot
Feta cheese
Ready made wraps or pitta pockets
Lemon wedges

If using pitta then toast them whilst preparing the falafel if uncooked
Spread Houmous on wrap or in pitta adding falafels and salad
Add generous amounts of either cabbage or beetroot and sprinkle with feta then Wrap

Before eating squeeze a lemon wedge over and enjoy with crudités & olives or even dill pickles.

DAY FIVE… Leftover pasta
Not a recipe as such but delicious none the less. and by the end of the week If you have any leftovers then for god sake recycle them!!

Leftover Pasta
Pesto sauce
Black olives (halved in jar is fab)
Rocket or baby spinach leaves
Pine nuts
Parmesan or feta

Combine pesto sauce with pasta
Add in pine nuts, black olives and mix again,
Finish with some grated parmesan or crumbled feta and salad leaves on top.

This is great as a veggie option but equally good with either leftover chicken or crisped Parma ham!!!

If your still reading this (and not raiding the fridge) then I hope I’ve inspired you to put some pizazz into your lunchbox. Please share your brilliant lunch ideas in the comments section and whatever you have for lunch this week…



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