If you’re working from home, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet can be a challenge. Without official meal times and regular tea breaks with colleagues, it’s easy just to snack all day and forget to cook proper meals. We’ve put together a recipe collection designed to help you through your working day at home, from healthy snacks to nutritious lunches that will power up your brain for a productive afternoon.
At the risk of sounding like an overly-concerned mum: don't skip breakfast! It sets you up for the day and will help prevent a wave of fatigue at around 11am. These overnight oats with chia seeds from Derval O'Rourke are filling, substantional, and packed with omega-3. Derval adds a raspberry topping, but you can adapt this as you like – peanut butter and banana, dried fruit, and toasted pecans with maple syrup are all great options.
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These energy balls from Jamie Oliver are packed with fibre and protein in the form of almonds and pumpkin seeds. They're made with dates and just a touch of cocoa powder, so they're sweet enough to satisfy those mid-morning sugar cravings.
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Creative Crisps from My Zero-Waste Kitchen: Easy Ways to Eat Waste Free by DK Publishing
These vegetable crisps are not just a wholesome alternative to shop-bought crisps – they're also a great way to reduce food waste and economise in the kitchen. Made using vegetable peelings, or old veg that would otherwise have gone in the bin, these salty, crunchy snacks will get you through that mid-afternoon slump.
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Everyone’s favourite savoury snack gets the Nigella treatment, with the addition of a whole head of sweet, slow-cooked garlic. Make a batch of this and keep it in your fridge to eat with carrot sticks, crackers, pitta (see here for an easy homemade pitta recipe), or the Creative Crisps above. You could also slather it inside a sandwich along with some slow-roasted vegetables or eat with falafal and salad for a tasty, Middle Eastern-inspired lunch. Looking for more homemade hummus inspiration? Check out this more traditional recipe, or get some extra veggies in with this roasted carrot hummus recipe.
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How better to wake up your taste buds over lunch than with some authentic Bangladeshi street food? These crisp, egg-fried tortilla wraps are filled with creamy spinach and paneer, flavoured with garlic, cumin, and chilli flakes. They’re tasty, filling, and rich in iron to help maintain your energy levels.
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This mouthwatering salmon dish takes just 30 minutes to prepare, so it's ideal for a quick dinner. Better yet, it's fantastic eaten cold, so makes for a tasty and nutritious next-day lunch – plus it's full of omega-3 and essential vitamins. Serve just as it is, or with rice or noodles for a more filling feast. If you don't have the exact veg specified in the recipe, don't worry! This can easily be adapted to use up any fresh or frozen green vegetables you happen to have, including broccoli, peas, spinach, kale, and greeen beans.
From the book
The Quick Roasting Tin
75 fast and simple one dish recipes to revolutionise the way you cook
Leave the hard work to the oven with minimal prep and less washing up
From fast dinners to simple desserts
This simple, spiced egg and tomato dish makes a fantastic lunch. Ottolenghi adds red peppers in this version, but you can adapt this easily, adding potato, spinach, aubergine, courgette, mushroom, or squash.
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This simple salad is made with just 5 ingredients and packs a seriously nutritious punch. You can use any kind of quinoa you like (white, black, or a mixture) or substitute rice, bulgur, or couscous. There's no need to use broccolini – regular broccoli, tenderstem, green beans, or leafy greens will work very nicely, and you can replace the almonds with chopped walnuts or a handful of seeds.
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If you're going to snack, you might as well do it right! These home-made digestives have a coarser texture and a more satisfying crunch than the shop-bought versions. You can adapt them by adding a layer of melted chocolate, or make a savoury version to eat with cheese and dips.
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