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Quick ways to liven up your lunches when working from home

by Malou Herkes

published on 18 May 2020

Getting bored of your working-from-home lunchtime routine? We might have some answers for you. Here are some get-ahead tips and quick recipes to help you eat tasty lunches all week without the faff. 

5 quick tips to add flavour and save time:

1. Get ahead on the weekend. It can be as simple as roasting a big batch of vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, cauliflower, fennel, red peppers, courgettes or aubergines, or roasting a whole chicken or a batch of chicken thighs to chop up and add to salads, wraps and sandwiches throughout the week.

2. Stock up on flavour boosters. A jar of olives or anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers, or a simple jar of pesto or harissa are great flavour boosters to have to hand to spruce up pasta or couscous, a plain salad or a sandwich.

3. Make a batch of dough on the weekend or stock up on ready-rolled pastry to turn into tarts or galettes throughout the week using whatever leftovers you have in the fridge. 

4. Pasta and quick-cook noodles are great for adding bulk to last-minute soups and salads.

5. Get inspired by leftovers! Wrap yesterday's chilli into a burrito with plenty of grated cheese; liven up a day-old soup with plenty of fresh herbs, a swirl of pesto or toasted nuts. Get creative: leftovers don't have to be boring!

Here are some lunchtime recipe ideas to get you inspired while working from home:

working from home lunch recipes tomato pesto goats cheese tart little book of lunch

Tomato, pesto and goat's cheese tart from The Little Book of Lunch by Caroline Craig & Sophie Missing

A simple puff-pastry tart, topped with tomatoes, pesto and goat's cheese, is so quick to put together. Once you've got the han of this, stock up on a few rolls of puff pastry (freeze them to keep them for longer) and get creative with your own tarts using up leftover roasted vegetables and any cheese you have in the fridge.

Order a copy of The Little Book of Lunch here.

working from home lunches avocado hummus on toast oh she glows everyday angela liddon

9-Spice Avocado Hummus Toast from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon

Bored of avo on toast? Follow Angela Liddon's lead and make it more interesting with her homemade spice mix. Make a batch of spice mix and save it in a jar (it lasts for a couple of months) to sprinkle on whenever you fancy. 

Order a copy of Oh She Glows Every Day here.  

easy lunch recipes nadiya hussain instant noodles time to eat

Instant Noodles from Time To Eat by Nadiya Hussain

“Instant noodles are easy, simple to make and so versatile”, says Nadiya. Follow her instructions to make a flavour-packed spice paste (it'll last for two months in the fridge) to jazz up a pack of noodles in 5 minutes. Feel free to bulk them out with more vegetables, extra chilli sauce or your weekend leftovers. 

Order a copy of Time To Eat here.

working from home lunch recipe ideas pasta with feta sun dried tomatoes peppers  how to eat outside

Pasta with Feta, Peppers and Hazelnuts from How to Eat Outside: Fabulous Al Fresco Food by Genevieve Taylor

Feta cheese, crunchy hazelnuts and sun-dried tomatoes add quick flavour to lunchtime pasta salad – eat hot or cold.

Order a copy of How to Eat Outside here.

working from home lunch ideas tuna quesadillas eat well for less

Tuna Quesadillas from Eat Well for Less: Quick & Easy Meals by Jo Scarratt-Jones 

These Mexican 'toasties' are a brilliant way to shake up your sandwich routine, stuffed with tins of our storecupboard staples. Add some heat with a little chopped chilli if you like. 

Order a copy of Eat Well for Less here


easy lunch recipe ideas scrambled egg omelette jamie oliver 5 ingredients

Scrambled Egg Omelette from 5 Ingredients Quick & Easy Food by Jamie Oliver

Lunch doesn't have to be a big effort. Jamie shows us how to make a scrambled egg omelette using only five ingredients, and ready in 10 minutes flat. Make it more filling with a slice or two of toast.

Order a copy of Jamie's 5 Ingredients here.

easy lunch recipes working from home roasted vegetables with feta and herbs mary berry classic

Roasted Vegetables with Feta & Herbs from Classic by Mary Berry 

If you've pre-roasted a big batch of vegetables at the weekend, finish it off Mary Berry-style with a grainy mustard dressing, crumblings of feta cheese and plenty of fresh herbs. 

Order a copy of Mary Berry's Classic here

sesame leftover chicken salad the art of eating well hemsley and hemsley lunch recipe ideas working from home

Sesame Chicken Salad with Cucumber Noodles from The Art of Eating Well by Melissa & Jasmine Hemsley

This is the perfect way to use up leftover chicken, livened up with a zingy, sweet, sesame dressing and teamed with spiralised cucumber noodles. A low-carb salad to start your week.

Get your copy of The Art of Eating Well here.


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