Lunch at home Ideas
Lunch can be the escape you need in the midst of the lockdown mayhem and a mid day breather from the life that is. I am not suggesting that you cook up a storm, unless you have the time it can be a wonderful distraction, but for most that are time poor, you can just theme a lunch, give it a name and make yourself and the people under your roof feel like you have virtually escaped.
There has been a lot of chat on social media about the drudgery around the need to make lunch at home, for the lucky majority they had an in house caterer or access to numerous sandwich shops, takeaways and restaurants near their places of work. Popping out for a walk and a prepared something for lunch that you didn’t need to think ahead nor make for yourself and ate on a spontaneous whim. Now everything is more planned, ordered ahead and prepared by you or someone under your roof. I live in an area where food deliveries are not abundant, in London you can click a button and your favourite restaurant delivers to your door within the hour. So if you are like me and don’t have access to quick and easy food deliveries, here are a few ideas to help make lunches exciting where you can have a fun virtual escape in your lunch hour:
Greek Cypriot Escape
Meze ok not a full blown over 8 courses meze but picky eating, open a tub of humous, taramasalata, pop some olives in a bowl, cut a salad of choice. I opened and dressed a bag of spinach and dressed it with my Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing I toasted off some sourdough bread, you may have some pita bread indoors and I fried a block of halloumi. So simple and on a dreary winters day we felt like we were in the height of summer, we chatted and reminised about our holidays and felt energised after our virtual escape to go back to work/studies.
A Spanish Escape
This is such an easy recipe with the label of a virtual Spanish escape your Chorizo Cooked in Sherry and Honey can make for a change to your lunch time meals. The cooking chorizo has a very long date so it is a handy stand by meal too. A chunk of bread, my son and I do bake our own sour dough bread, however, I keep part baked baguettes in the cupboard. They have a long date and are really handy for meals like this. A salad of choice and you will love this easy to make dish.
Recreate your favourite lunch time purchase at home
If you popped to a shop and always bought their BLT recreate that at home. So many restaurants have generously shared their recipes online for the food you couldn’t buy from them in the first lockdown.
This is when everyone is just feeling flat, so yes Nachos, midday. This couldn’t be easier it is just opening a bag of corn chips, adding cheese, heat it through and top with guacamole and chopped onion and tomato or a jar of salsa. I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, as I don’t always have sour cream in the fridge. The excitement to have Nachos midday as a main meal is a delight to see. It is gluten free, gets children to eat avocados. Often after a Sunday roast my daughter will make us Nachos for a Sunday snack, it is always a hit.
Quesadilla think a toasted sandwich using wraps and any leftovers you have. My kids’ favourite is chicken mayo with leftover roasted chicken or cheese and jarred salsa.Two wraps (corn wraps for Gluten Free requirements) and cut into triangles when cooked, it is really an easy meal. I made so many in the previous lockdowns that my panini maker broke, so I use a frying pan and it works perfectly.
Pies make everything better
Ready made Cornish pasties are a great lunch. I bought mine via Ocado from M&S, these can be found in the fridge and other supermarkets keep Greggs pies in their freezer section. The M&S ones were very meaty and the family loved them. They are really handy, quick, responsibly priced and filling served as is or with a side salad, in summer or winter.
Fish Finger sandwiches or wraps, a few fish fingers, iceberg lettuce, mayo and my children love Nandos and gherkins added to the wraps. Such a fun meal and super easy.
I love making my own pizza and but sometimes I add ready made pizza the slightly smaller ones so the kids (well young adults really but they prefer a whole pizza to a few pieces of larger ones) to the basket for a lunch. My kids love pizza and this really boosts them for the week ahead, I like to front load the fun foods on a Monday Tuesday or Wednesday as Thursday and Fridays are exciting as you are heading towards the weekend anyway and we usually have fun food on the weekend.
A huge bowl of salad
My kids love all three of these salads and they don’t particularly like the stand alone ingredients in each of the salads, but combined they love them. I make salads and soups in exam weeks as you want them filled with goodness and not sluggish from treat lunches.
The Quinoa and Bulgar Wheat Salad, Lentil and Bean Salad are always a win, they can be made the night before and eaten over a few days. They are healthy nutritious and easy to make. All three are nutrient rich and very tasty.
In Winter we love a bowl of soup and bread on the side, it is quick and brilliant if you are all working on different schedules. The soup can be made ahead and served whenever someone is ready to eat and reheated in the microwave whenever anyone is ready to eat. This is when part baked bread rolls come in handy or a few slices of toast on the side to dip into the soup.
These are my go to soups, I have made the Cheats Tomato Soup, Quick Libyan and the Pea and Pesto Soup the most this winter:
So that is Lockdown Lunches Sorted and like many office workers the positive about lunch at home is you don’t waste your lunch hour looking for somewhere to eat!
I hope lunch becomes your favourite meal, it really can break the lockdown drudgery.