Recipes: 3 easy and delicious lunches to take back into the office
Food and Drink

Recipes: 3 easy and delicious lunches to take back into the office

As we head back to the office, it’s time to give our from-home lunches a new lease of life. Try these three delicious lunch recipes for an easy, quick and tasty meal.

With many of us preparing for a return to the office this month, with it comes the return of planning: what we wear, how we get to work, and what we’re going to eat for lunch.

When working from home, it’s more than easy enough to snack throughout the day, or just wander over to the kitchen cupboards and see what’s knocking about when 1pm hits.

But once we’re back at work IRL, we’re going to benefit from a bit more planning and preparation lest we spend our entire break (and salary) in Pret or Itsu.

So we asked the women behind three of Instagram’s best food accounts for a simple, filling and easy-to-pack lunch recipe. With vegan, vegetarian and meat-eating adaptations, these picks are perfect for anyone to chuck in a container and tuck into at your desk. 

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Shorvedar sabzi 

Amie Lister, the private chef behind @parlour.homecooking shares an Indian-inspired dish that is full of flavour and easy to batch cook.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Shorvedar sabzi is an easy and warming dish for autumn
Shorvedar sabzi is an easy and warming dish for autumn

Ingredients (serves four)

600ml water

400g maris piper potatoes, skin on and cut into wedges

1 cauliflower, cut into florets

2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

400ml tinned plum tomatoes

A handful of frozen peas

Ginger

Garlic

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

Half a teaspoon of fennel

2 teaspoons of coriander

Half a teaspoon of chilli powder

Half a teaspoon of turmeric

Salt to taste

Method

Roast your potatoes with oil for 25-30 minutes (or until golden brown) in a 220c oven.

In a separate tray, add your cauliflower florets, with oil, for 10-15 minutes or until browned, but firm.

While they are roasting, heat two tablespoons of oil in a large pan on a medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seed, cumin and fennel and reduce the heat so that you don’t burn them. Fry for 30 seconds.

Now add chopped ginger and garlic and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add turmeric, coriander, chilli and salt to the mix.

Add your tomatoes and 600ml of water and allow to simmer for around 5 minutes. Chuck in your carrot rounds and cook for two minutes.

Now add your roasted potatoes and cauliflower. Mix carefully and bring to a gentle bubble. Keep the lid off and reduce the sauce for 5-6 mins, stirring gently. Once your mixture has reduced down around the veg and has thickened, add your peas.

Serve with a warm chapati/roti bread.

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Yakitori chicken skewers with a cabbage and sesame salad

Amiee Hamby, the foodie behind When Home We Feast, shares a quick grill recipe that can be easily made vegetarian with meat substitutes or grilled mushrooms.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

These yakitori grill skewers are perfect for a quick and easy lunch
These yakitori grill skewers are perfect for a quick and simple lunch

Ingredients (makes roughly five skewers)

3-4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

3 spring onions

Salt

Skewers

For the salad:

1/2 white cabbage

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon (sesame oil works well however sunflower or vegetable oil are a good substitute)

Method

Cut the spring onions into 1-inch pieces and chop the chicken into bite size pieces.

Add 3-4 pieces of chicken onto each skewer with a spring onion between each chicken piece.

Sprinkle with salt until happy and grill on high heat for 10-12 minutes, turning over occasionally. Your skewers are ready once the chicken is browned and hot throughout. Brush with or dip in soy sauce to finish.

For the salad, slice your cabbage thinly and bunch into your bowl or lunch box.

In a pan, lightly toast sesame seeds until golden brown. Then grind your seeds into a rough powder and stir into your mayonnaise and oil.

Pour over cabbage and top with any leftover seeds.

Cajun mushroom tacos with pickled red onion

Rachel Ama, author of One Pot 3 Ways, shares a tasty vegan lunch with a cajun twist, inspired by her time in New Orleans.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Cajun Beer Battered Oyster Mushrooms Cajun Tacos with Pickled Red Onion and Tartare Sauce
Try these cajun beer battered mushroom tacos for a midday pick-me-up

Ingredients (serves two)

For the mushrooms:

150g plain flour

50g cornflour

300g oyster mushrooms, torn into bitesize pieces

1 can of lager or soda water

Garlic clove, minced

Half a tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoon sweet paprika

Half tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoon salt

For the tacos:

4 tortilla wraps

1 avocado

Handful of lettuce leaves

Handful of fresh coriander

1 red onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt 

Method

For the mushrooms:

Mix the flour, baking powder and all the seasonings together in a large bowl. Place the cornflour in a separate bowl or on a large plate, and place the mushrooms in a third bowl.

Pour a 2cm depth of oil into a deep frying pan or wok and place over a high heat until it registers 180°C on a thermometer. Alternatively, test the temperature by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in it – if it’s hot enough for frying, the oil should bubble around it. Be careful not to overheat the oil or it will begin to smoke.

Whisk the cold beer or soda water into the seasoned flour mixture to make a batter.

Then, working quickly, take a piece of oyster mushroom and dip it in the cornflour. Shake off any excess, then dip it in the beer batter before carefully transferring it to the hot oil.

Working in batches, cook for 3– 4 minutes, or until each piece is golden and crisp. Once cooked, drain the mushrooms on a wire rack or a plate lined with kitchen paper. Season with extra salt and squeeze over a little fresh lemon.

For the tacos:

Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan. Meanwhile, make the pickled onion. Place the sliced red onion in a bowl and pour over the vinegar. Add the salt, stir to combine, then set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Warm the tortillas in a frying pan over a medium heat for two minutes on each side. To assemble the tacos, place each wrap on a plate and pile the battered mushrooms on them.

Top with the avocado, lettuce and coriander, then drizzle over some tartare sauce and sriracha. Fold the wraps over and serve.

One Pot: Three Ways: Save time with vibrant, versatile vegan recipes by Rachel Ama is out now (Yellow Kite, £22.00)

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Images: Amie Lister/ Amiee Hamby/ Haraala Hamilton