Lunches from home quickly become repetitive (we’re one more bowl of cereal away from lockdown lunacy) but we’ve got a few ideas to shake up your salads and sarnies with minimal effort.
Think crusty deli-style ciabatta stuffed with hearty fillings
We’ve dished up a few mouth-watering combinations to ensure your lunch breaks at home are all kinds of delicious. Think crusty deli-style ciabatta stuffed with hearty fillings and salads oozing with personality. We aim to please!
Forget lacklustre fillings, roast chicken tossed in pesto and goat’s cheese all bound together with rustic brown parchment paper and string is where it’s at.
With a few extra ingredients, you can pimp your everyday salad with ease, too. Here, we’ve taken some classic leafy green dishes and added a little va-va-voom with herbs, nuts, grains and vegetables.
Whether you’re lunching at your desk or grabbing a quick screen break in your garden, these are the satisfying recipes you can eat all week.
Let’s get stuck in!
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and cut the ciabatta into thin slices
Place the ciabatta on a baking tray and drizzle in a little olive oil. Pop them in the oven for a few minutes crust-side down until lightly toasted
Remove the ciabatta from the oven and arrange ingredients in each sandwich. Assemble with a slice on top and bottom.
Wrap each sandwich in baking paper and secure with string. Keep refrigerated until needed.
Greek Orzo Salad
If you like Greek salad, you’ll love this take on it. A colourful and refreshing salad, sweetened with juicy tomatoes, crumbly feta and orzo pasta makes for the perfect side dish.
Bursting with Mediterranean flavours, this is one salad that doesn’t suck. It’s also great for prepping and leaving to chill in the fridge ready for lunch the next day. Easy!
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a high heat. Cook the orzo (or other small pasta) for 8-10 minutes until al dente, or according to the packet instructions. Drain into a fine sieve and rinse under the cold tap for a minute to stop it from cooking. Set it to one side to drain fully.
Add the quartered tomatoes to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of salt and a crack of black pepper. Toss them in the salt – this will allow them to release their juice, which makes the dressing all the more delicious.
Add the cucumber, onion, peppers and olives to the bowl with the tomatoes. Crumble in the feta, sprinkle over the dried oregano and toss to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, honey and oil together and season with a little salt and pepper.
Add your cooled, drained orzo to the vegetables, pour over the vinaigrette and toss the whole lot together. Serve in a large bowl or platter and garnish with chopped parsley and lemon zest.
You can find more seasonal recipes just like this one in Cordially Invited.
Chicken Quinoa Salad With Fresh Herbs
A great fresh recipe bursting with fresh herbs, crunchy veggies and topped with toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. You can also make it vegan by replacing the chicken with roasted sweet potato, or simply enjoy it on its own with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees / 160 degrees fan
Squeeze the lemon juice over your whole chicken then put the squeezed halves and 2 of the thyme sprigs into the bird’s cavity. Brush the outside of the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season it generously all over with salt and pepper. Strip the thyme leaves from the remaining sprigs and sprinkle them over the chicken, then place in a roasting tin and pop in the oven to roast for 30 minutes per 500g (a 1.5kg chicken will take 1 ½ hours, for example). To test the chicken is done, gently cut into the crease where the leg joins the breast – if the juices run clear, it’s ready.
Remove the tin from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before shredding it with two forks and piling the meat on a plate or platter. You need 500g.
Heat your remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for about 8 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Add the courgette, season generously with salt and pepper and fry for 20-30 minutes. Both the onion and the courgette should be very soft, any liquid should have evaporated and the onion should be nice and brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Tip your quinoa into a medium saucepan, cover with the water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow the quinoa to cool slightly.
Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour this into a little serving jug.
Assemble the salad by gently tossing the onions and courgette in a large bowl with the quinoa, chopped herbs, pistachios and almonds. Add the chicken and toss through the pomegranate seeds, rocket and watercress just before serving. Dress the salad with a spoonful or two of the pomegranate dressing – add more if you like, but start with just a little and add more.