Carrying on with the theme of economical eating, I have recently become a tupperware lunchboxer. No longer do I consult the shelves of Pret or treat myself to a POD Thai Green Curry. Gone are the days of a Bircher Muesli pot and coffee en route to the office. And au revior to my incessant diet coke drinking.
I’m trying hard to make sure that everything I eat is healthy, nutritious and desperately cheap! (January is such a b*tch).
So, I thought I’d share some of my favourite recipes and lunchbox essentials that I’ve been enjoying over the past few weeks.
Two hard boiled eggs. Always. I find this the simplest and most satisfying way to start the day. (And as you will know if you read this regularly, I am an egg FIEND). Just pop the eggs in the pan when you get in the shower and voila, they’ll be ready when you’re out and dressed. Carry them in a jar to prevent them cracking en route to the office.
Here’s a selection of things I fill my packed lunch with. I was initially inspired by Deliciously Ella’s Rainbow Bowls, and so try to mix up lots of different flavours and textures to keep it interesting. I prepare everything on a Sunday night and it will easily all last until Friday. Usually I’ll have four or five of these in my fridge.
Roast peppers: Slice the peppers in quarters and remove all of the seeds. Place the quarters skin down on a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven (preheated to 200*C) for approx 40 minutes, or until the peppers are soft and the skins slightly charred.
Pea puree: The simplest thing to make. Boil some frozen peas or petit pois until soft. Drain and put into a blender along with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Coriander and cumin hummus: This recipe is based on Deliciously Ella’s ‘Best Hummus‘. I stick to the quantities of this, but swap the basil for coriander and tahini for sesame oil.
Chilli and lemon courgette: This is my favourite way to do courgette. Take a potato peeler and ‘shave’ your courgette into thin slices. Place in a frying pan with some olive oil, some fresh red chilli and lemon juice. Cook until soft (there’s nothing worse than raw courgette!)
Simple guacamole: This couldn’t be easier, mash an avocado with a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lime, pinch of chilli flakes and salt. Simples
Carrot, raisin and lemon salad: I use my food processor for this, but if you have time, grate the carrots by hand. Mix in a generous handful of raisins, a big squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped herbs. I like coriander with it, but if that’s not your thing, parsley would work well too. (N.B this gets better the longer you leave it, so Friday lunch is always a treat!)
Roasted red pepper and smoked paprika hummus: Another recipe from Deliciously Ella that is so tasty and easy to make. I recommend not being too shy with your chilli as the spicy kick adds a nice bit of fire to your lunchbox.
Roast beetroot: Wash and trim the beetroots (I like to keep the skin on). Slice into cubes and arrange on a baking tray with a drizzle of oil, some herbs (I used coriander, which didn’t work, so try something a little woodier like rosemary or thyme) and season. Place in a preheated oven (200*C) for 45 minutes, or until tender.
Soy, garlic and ginger kale: Finely slice both the garlic and ginger and add to a hot wok with a little olive oil. Let these cook, but be careful not to burn them. Once browning add the kale and a big splash of soy sauce. Keep on the heat until the kale is tender.
Cinnamon and paprika sweet potato: The spice inspiration for this comes from Tess Ward’s new Skinny Bitch cooking class, which I went to last week. Rinse your sweet potatoes and chop into cubes (I like to keep the skins on). Place in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and a good few teaspoons of cinnamon and smoked paprika and some salt and pepper. Next, get your hands dirty and mix it all up until the potato pieces are evenly coated. Place in a preheated oven (200*C) for 30-35 minutes, or until soft.