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