We all know that feeling when it’s coming up to lunchtime – and we’re really looking forward to taking a break, whether we’re in the office, doing chores or looking after children at home. But all too often our hearts sink when we open our lunchbox or fridge – there’s just nothing there that takes our fancy. Here are some great healthy lunch ideas, that will take no more than five minutes or less to prepare.
Tortilla wraps can often seem a lot more appetising in a lunchbox than a boring old sandwich and seem to survive better with moist fillings like hummus without going soggy. Some great fillings to try are: Chicken, lime, chilli and avocado; hummus and chopped red pepper; tuna, sweetcorn and rocket. Somewhat surprisingly, last night’s take away can also work really well in a wrap! Cold curry, or left-over Peking duck can work really well. Add some salad leaves on top of the filling, and make sure you roll the wraps really tightly – don’t overfill them!
But don’t ignore about the humble sandwich completely. An egg sandwich may sound like a rather retro option – but it’s gorgeous! In 5 minutes a boiled egg will be cooked just enough to chop and mash with a little bit of mayo and add plenty of salt and pepper. Make sure you put plenty of butter on the bread to stop the egg mayo from making it soggy and add some salad leaves. Being full of protein, eggs are the ideal lunch and on seedy brown bread this is a very nutritious option.
A pack of straight-to-wok noodles is extremely quick to prepare. Toss in a wok (as instructed on the packet) with a small amount of water and oil plus the other ingredients of your choice and you have an easy meal. Either make it and eat straight away while it’s hot, or put it all together in the morning so the flavours can marinade, and it will be a gorgeous room-temperature salad at lunchtime. A nutritious mix of ingredients to try is soy sauce, finely chopped matchstick carrots, spring onions, and shredded chicken. Or how about a mix of red, green and yellow peppers with chopped ham or turkey?
Cans are the busy person’s best friend. Open a tin of chickpeas, and add some roasted peppers (from a jar) chopped fresh tomatoes and plenty of parsley for a very nourishing lunch – make double and keep some for the next day. Next in your store cupboard may be a can of sardines; open them up, whack them onto some toast and grill for about five mins – this might sound like the sort of thing your mum enjoyed when she was a girl, but there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s scrummy – and oily fish is super-good for you! A tin of cannellini beans mixed with a tin of tuna is the basis for something really lovely. First, put some asparagus tips or thin stems of sprouting broccoli into a pan of boiling water. By the time you’ve opened and emptied the cans the veg will be tender, and you can toss it gently with the bean mix also adding seasoning, a chopped red onion and a quick olive oil and vinegar dressing. Tip the whole lot into a salad bowl, et voila! And a can of mixed beans, plus chunks of crisp cucumber and tomato, with a few olives and pieces of feta cheese is a quick tasty take on a Greek salad. Bon appetite!