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Don’t have enough time to put together a delicious work from home lunch? We’ve hand-picked three quick and tasty recipes from food brand Green Food Kitchen’s latest cookbook that you’ll end up relying on.
On those days when we’re working from home and that to-do list is piling up by the minute, the prospect of lunch becomes even more tempting. We want something nutritious and of course, delicious. Though, let’s face it – with the sun making an appearance, we want to spend more time enjoying it and less time preparing it. So, in our quest for flavourful, quick lunches, where do we turn?
Swedish food brand and lifestyle platform Green Kitchen Stories has us covered. Ever since founders Luise Vindahl and partner David Frenkeil created their recipe repertoire in 2008, they’ve been focused on bringing healthy, tasty vegetarian food to the fore. Already the authors of five recipe books with the same ethos, tomorrow, they released their latest cookbook Green Kitchen: Quick + Slow (Hardie Grant).
The premise of this cookbook is one we can all get on board with. Vindahl and Frenkeil look at cooking as self-care and at times, a form of therapy. And while some of the dishes don’t take long to put together on a Wednesday night, there are others inside the cookbook that let you get lost in the process when you’ve got more time on your hands. If it’s little effort, maximum flavour recipes you’re after, this cookbook is packed with them.
We’ve hand-picked three incredibly delicious, time-conscious recipes for your WFH lunch that are sure to become regulars in your lunching life.
First up, if you’re looking for a way to jazz up your usual avocado toast, Vindahl and Frenkeil have just the recipe including kimchi and mushrooms. Spicy, creamy and crunchy, this dish delivers with every bite.
If it’s a dish that’s herby, light and refreshing that’s on the mind, look to Vindahl and Frenkeil’s yoghurt bowl with harissa chickpeas and persimmon salad.
Lastly, when you’re looking to pack in as many veggies as possible, Vindahl and Frenkeil’s creamy green kale, broccoli and pea pasta hits the spot. Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s method of blitzing vegetables into a silky sauce, this is the pasta that looks as good as it tastes.
Kimchi, Mushroom and Avocado Toast
Luise and David say: Let’s up your sandwich game. This is one of the most flavour-packed sandwiches I know, with warm, rich mushrooms, spicy kimchi, creamy avocado and crunchy lettuce. We first made this sandwich for an online cook-along we called Lunch Therapy and have seen so many people making it and reporting back to us, so it’s truly tried and tested. Best of all, impressive as it looks, it takes no more than 15 minutes to make. So: three, two, one, go!
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tbsp kimchi
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
- 2 tbsp vegan (or regular)
- 2 romaine lettuce leaves,
- coarsely chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium–high heat and add the garlic and mushrooms. Let them colour on one side first for 2–3 minutes, then give them a toss. Splash over the soy sauce or tamari and give them another toss.
Reduce the heat to medium–low and add the kimchi to the pan. Let it sizzle for no more than 1 minute, then take off the heat. Toast the bread, then spread a layer of mayo on each slice. Top with thechopped romaine, followed by the sliced avocado. Add the kimchi mushrooms on top, then sprinkle with the spring onion and sesame seeds. Dig in!
Mushrooms: We used a mixture of shiitake and brown mushrooms here, but you can also use oyster mushrooms, or whatever you can get your hands on.
No kimchi? Just fry your mushrooms in a bit of hot sauce to give them a similar punch of heat.
Make it gluten-free: A good-quality gluten-free bread works just as well here.
And use tamari instead of soy sauce.
Yoghurt Bowl with Harissa Chickpeas and Persimmon Salad
Luise and David say: In our house, ‘Yoghurt Bowl’ is the answer to many questions. Breakfast? Yoghurt Bowl. Lunch? Yoghurt Bowl. Sometimes, it can even be dessert. For a lunch bowl, we stir herbs into the yoghurt, heat a pan of chickpeas and harissa, and serve it with a crunchy salad, with seasonal fruit for balanced sweetness. It’s creamy and crunchy, warm and cold, spicy and fresh – always delicious. And best of all, it’s quick!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp rose harissa (add more or less as you prefer)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 400g tin chickpeas – butter beans or cannellini beans would work well, too
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 celery stalk, finely sliced
- ½ cucumber, sliced into half rounds
- 4 romaine lettuce leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 persimmon, chopped into wedges
- handful of dill, finely chopped
- handful of mint, finely chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- 250ml plain yoghurt
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil, harissa, garlic, cumin and chickpeas in a large saucepan over a medium–low heat and let them sizzle for a few minutes, then add the sesame seeds and season to taste. Reduce the heat to very low while you prepare the rest of the meal.
In a large bowl, combine the celery, cucumber, lettuce, persimmon wedges, and half of the herbs. Squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then toss together.
Divide the remaining herbs between 2 serving bowls. Add the yoghurt to the bowls and stir together, swooshing it up around the edges. Add the salad to the bowls over the yoghurt, then top with the spicy chickpeas, drizzling over any leftover harissa oil from the pan. Dig in with a spoon.
Seasonal swaps: Try dried apricots, fresh cantaloupe melon or grapes instead of persimmon, for a bit of sweetness.
No harissa? You can add other flavours to your chickpeas: try sesame oil and soy sauce, or cumin and paprika.
Creamy green kale, broccoli and pea pasta
Luise and David say: Here is a super-quick, vegetable-packed pasta recipe for stressful weekdays. Most people think of pasta as something carb-heavy and rich, but this dish is fresh and light. The vegetables get blanched along with the pasta – inspired by a Jamie Oliver method – and we then blitz some of them into a sauce that becomes a creamy base for the pasta.
- 250g bucatini or the pasta of your choice
- 4 large leaves kale or cavolo nero, stalks discarded
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 75g frozen peas, thawed
- handful of basil or parsley leaves
- handful of mint leaves, plus extra to serve
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice of ½ lemon, plus extra if needed
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast or vegetarian Parmesan
- 200g broccoli florets
- handful of hazelnuts or pine nuts, toasted and chopped
- sea salt
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions. Add the kale to the pasta pan, along with the garlic clove. After about a minute, use a pair of tongs to remove the kale and garlic, along with a cupful of the pasta water.
While the pasta continues to cook, add the kale and garlic to a blender, along with half the peas. Add the basil, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast (or Parmesan) and 4 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water. Blend until smooth, then taste and adjust the flavour and texture as needed. You want the sauce to be entirely smooth, but not too runny. If it’s too runny, you can add more peas, herbs or cheese to thicken.
When there are just a few minutes left of the pasta’s cooking time, throw the broccoli and remaining peas into the pan to cook. Drain the pasta and veggies in a colander, then return them to the saucepan. Pour half of the green sauce over the top and stir.
Divide the remaining sauce between 4 plates and spread out into round puddles. Top with the pasta, then scatter over the toasted nuts, along with some fresh mint leaves and a grating of Parmesan or some nutritional yeast. Finish with some lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper.
Extra toppings: If we have za’atar at home, we add that on top as well. You could also just sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Green Kitchen: Quick + Slow by Luise Vindahl and David Frenkiel (£27, Hardie Grant) is out tomorrow
Photography: ©David Frenkiel