On a busy office day, the temptation to remove yet another decision between meetings and grab a boring sandwich and a packet of crisps makes total sense. But, there’s an unfettered joy to be had when you have full access to your own kitchen – these 15 lunch ideas for working from home are some of my favourites.
Did you know that according to research one third of Britons eat the same lunch daily, and half say they have been eating it for six years? Well, forget that old cheese and hamd sandwich – switch them up for one of these simple dishes that you can grab between video calls or a slightly more complicated one that you can pop in the slowcooker the evening before.
All of them are tasty and make for such a refreshing change to limp sandwiches or a hastily snatched bowl of cereal.
On the spot lunches – very little thought required
> Toastie Sandwiches
– take the traditional sarnie and flip it into a hot dish. All you need is a frying pan and a steady hand for turning… alongside good cheese, my favourite fillings include onion chutney, tuna, gherkins, pulled chicken… Full recipe and filling suggestion here
> Gourmet Toasts (/waffles/pancakes) Oh, toast, how I love thee. Your singed, crispy exterior blushfully hiding a sinfully soft inside. Hot buttery toppings pooling on a naturally uneven surface, crying out to be crunched, dipped or simply transport a plethora of possibility…. Go full millenial and load up some avocado, flick a few mushrooms into a pan with a bit of garlic (add water and a lid for a few minutes to level it up), perhaps add some cream cheese and a sliver of salmon, fry a cheeky egg – the flavour world is your oyster.
> Salads Yes, yes, at first glance having a salad for lunch is basic – but with a full kitchen at your disposal you can rustle up a delicious tuna nicoise studded with capers, chuck a ploughmans selection (wooden board optional), throw together a warm potato salad cut through with spring onion or pull out the leftover roast vegetables and dash on a little balsalmic vinegar. Scrumptious!
> Egg Bowls
Flick the oven on, liberate that languishing loaf of bread and crack a few eggs! Full Egg Bowl Recipe
> Omelettes Liberate these eggy favourites from the breakfast/weekend menu, and flip out your favourite fillings for a protein filled lunch.
Something a little more interesting for lunch – taking a little time to prep
> Flatbread Pizzas/Quesadillas These are as simple as taking pita or chapati, adding a tomato or white sauce base and topping with your favourite flavours and grilled with cheese. We love hawaiian (YES PINEAPPLE), brie and chorizo, chicken satay with cream cheese or a vegetable medley. Add a lid and you’ve got a quesadilla!
> Ramen Bowls
I LOVE lunchtime ramen, it’s just the perfect pick me up. Olive Magazine
has a awesome selection of recipes to start off with.
> Deconstructed Sushi You’ll need to do a little shopping at your local asian market or in the supermarket’s international aisle, but take a bowl of freshly made sushi rice and top it with your favourite fillings; salmon, cucumber, carrot… and finish it with a side of soy and pickled ginger. Yum.
> Vada Pav
If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I’m rather obsessed with this Mumbai streetfood that encases chutneys and a potato patty (the Vada) in a pillowy roll (the Pav). They’re pretty quick to put together if you have the chutneys on hand, or make them in advance – Cook with Manali
has a lush recipe. (I check and order them from a lovely small business near me.)
> Gourmet Fish Finger Sarnies Another dish that can be freed from the weekend – gourmet it up with your favourite accompanyments (I recommend lashings of tartare sauce or caramelised onion chutney for a bit of a difference!)
Lunches that take some advance planning
> Vegetable Soup and Buttered Toast
I love clearing out the fridge & cupboard, and cobbling together a hearty soup in my slowcooker – full vegetable soup recipe
> Pasta bakes (tuna etc) Combine a white sauce (starting with a simple roux), tuna, your favourite cooked pasta, scatter with cheese (and crumpled crisps) before finishing off under the grill.
> Bacon And Egg Pie
Longterm readers will have seen one of my favourite tastes of childhood pop up often… full recipe here
This egg filled crustless quiche
is a delight to have hot or cold, and can be a good receptable for filling with vegetables.
> Tacos with pulled [insert chicken, pork, beef, jackfruit…] These make for a scrumptious lunch – especially on a Tuesday. The aliteration is especially pleasing if you’re that way inclined…
What’s your favourite working from home lunch?
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