Cooking Lifestyle

5 easy lunches you can make in advance

Credit: Eszter Biro - Unsplash - The Growing Up Guide

Adulting is hard enough as it is but one thing I still struggle to get my head around is packed lunches. To this day I wonder how my mum did it; how she planned lunches in advance, packed them each night for the morning after AND managed to somehow make them remotely healthy.

I, on the other hand, never used to plan at all. I’d vaguely think about making a lunch and then forget, and would instead find myself wasting unnecessary money in places like McDonalds/Pret A Mangers/Subway (delete as appropriate).

But over the years I’ve managed to (mostly) overcome this problem and have managed to whittle down my lunches to a staple five or so somewhat healthy choices. Of course there’s still times when I can’t be bothered/just give in to a Maccy D’s craving, but as a whole, these five lunches make me feel like I’ve got my shit together.

Here’s five easy lunches you can make in advance.

Credit: Roychan Kruawan - Unsplash - The Growing Up Guide

Tomato mezze

This fail safe lunch is a recipe I took from The Debrief and has been a fave ever since. It uses minimal prep, can be made in a microwave at work and has the bonus of looking super complicated, so people will totally think you’re a really good cook. In reality, it’s just a spicy tomato sauce with hummus, bread rolls and rocket salad, but it’s ever so delicious and really filling for winter too.

What you will need:

  • Hummus
  • A handful of rocket salad
  • A bread roll (or pitta, bread etc whatever you like)
  • ⅓ a pack of cherry tomatoes
  • Smoked Paprika

Method:

  1. Chop up the cherry tomatoes in half and pop them in a mug with a dash of water and some smoked paprika (depending on how smoky/spicy you want the sauce to be), and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Microwave for three minutes (it’s recommended to pop a plate on top as otherwise it might make the microwave messy!).
  3. Whilst the sauce microwaves, chop up the bread roll into pieces, add a generous dollop of hummus to your plate, sprinkle some paprika onto the hummus and add a handful of rocket salad.
  4. Serve the tomato sauce alongside and enjoy.

Italian wraps

This one is probably the easiest lunch of the lot and the addition of rocket salad makes it healthy too. Basically, in place of a typical sandwich, choose a wrap and fill up with delicious fillings. For an extra healthy boost, pick wholegrain wraps.

What you will need:

  • One tortilla wrap
  • A handful of rocket salad
  • Salami slices
  • Mozzarella

Method:

  1. Simply pop the ingredients into the wrap together and that’s it!For added yumminess, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and mayonnaise and/or italian dressing also go well, but I prefer to stick to the above ingredients to avoid there being an overload of flavour. Note – be aware of your wrap sizes.

Credit: Vishang Soni - Unsplash - The Growing Up Guide

Italian red pepper sandwich

This fully vegan lunch is one I found courtesy of Euphoric Vegan and, as a bonus, you can always use your hummus from your tomato mezze lunch (either by having plain hummus for both meals or red pepper for both). You can also have this as a sandwich, but a ciabatta roll is just that more fancier.

What you will need:

  • One ciabatta roll
  • Red pepper hummus (either make your own or pick a ready-made tub)
  • One large tomato
  • Rocket salad
  • Avocado

Method:

  1. Cut your ciabatta roll in half
  2. Spread the red pepper hummus on the base in place of butter
  3. Top the sandwich in the order of tomato on bottom, rocket and then avocado

Mushrooms on toast

This is more of an end of week recipe when you have leftover ingredients from dinner or lunch but it’s also really filling and a real home favourite. The only issue is that you need a pan and hob for the mushrooms, but if you’re making it for work, you could always do the mushrooms the night before and then reheat them quickly in the microwave the following day.

What you will need:

  • Bread (or slices of a baguette!)
  • Mushrooms
  • Two cloves of garlic (or less/more depending on how much you like your garlic)

Method:

  1. Chop up your mushrooms into slices
  2. Heat some butter in a pan on the hob then throw in the mushrooms
  3. Once they start to brown, crush the cloves of garlic and add into the pan
  4. Toast your bread
  5. Once everything is ready, simply butter your toast and drizzle the mushrooms on top.

What you get is basically mushrooms on toast but with lots of flavour; plus the butter and flavouring will have created a thin but tasty sauce with it all – I’d recommend chewing some gum after eating this one.

Credit: Unsplash - The Growing Up Guide

Greek salad

This one is perfect for summer but also really filling in winter too. The ingredients can easily be swapped and exchanged for something you might like more though.

What you will need:

  • Feta cheese
  • Olives
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber

Method:

  1. Chop everything up
  2. Add it all into a bowl
  3. Add a dash of salt, pepper and olive oil

This greek salad is really yummy and filling and if you’re not a lover of salad like me, it’s good because it shies away from your typical leafy or pasta salad! The only thing I’ll note here is that usually when you make it the night before, by the time you have it for lunch the following day, sometimes there’s some tomato juice at the bottom and everything mixes a bit so doesn’t look as appealing but still is. Try making the morning of, if you have time.

Five super easy and somewhat healthy lunches that can be made in record time. Three are fully vegan (with the other two easily made vegan by removing the cheese/salami), and you can always swap ingredients if you want to stock up at the start of the week and save money. 

REMEMBER TO FOLLOW THE GROWING UP GUIDE ON PINTEREST FOR MORE RECIPE AND FOOD INSPIRATION

 

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