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Wednesday 26 March 2014

Top Lunch Recipes

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, lunch must be the most taken for granted. We know that we'll eat lunch, we'll find something, and we don't give it much thought. Most of the time it's a beige pasta salad from the corner shop, a greasy panini from the local cafe or a powdery jacket potato from the staff canteen. Not any more! After reading this round-up of brilliant lunch recipes there's no excuse for a crap lunch ever again.

All too often sandwiches are slightly squashed affairs with sad fillings. Actually, when they're done right, sandwiches are really very exciting - like the shooter's sandwich. You don't need a boring old sliced white loaf either, we've made the most exciting sandwiches with naans and chapatis. While we've at it, Vada Pau and paratha aren't technically sandwiches, but they are filled bread so I'm counting them as lunch.

I once cooked fish fingers in the staff room toaster: it worked, but it's not something I'd recommend. Unless you really, really want a fish finger sandwich. We've got a gluten free version, too, so nobody misses out.

Salad needn't be boring, we've already established that. Our Tex Mex salad is delicious and filling and uses up all those extra bits in the fridge, as does our Mediterranean buckwheat salad. A Buddha bowl is a great way to have a varied lunch, filled with all kinds of tasty things. Our prawn and avocado salad is a winner on warm days, don't forget to toss the avocado in lemon juice so it lasts until lunchtime.

A (big) slice of savoury tart with a few salad leaves is a great lunch that's easy to chuck together. Try not to eat all of this red onion and Emmental tart at dinner the night before and you can throw the leftovers in a lunch box. Same goes for our salmon and broccoli and pear and Dolcelatte tarts. Vegetarians - make a couple of extra spinach and feta tartlets and lunch is sorted! Of course, a few sausage rolls would be equally welcome at lunchtime (leaves are optional).

I've worked in an office with a fully equipped staff kitchen, complete with toastie maker and another that didn't even have a kettle. You don't need any cooking facilities to bring soup to work in a flask and it's a welcome lunch while the weather is still chilly. Sweet potato and sweetcorn, spicy bean, honey spiced pumpkin and roast tomato, chill and cumin soups are all good choices when you need to warm up.

Our sausage, chorizo and red lentil soup is a chuck-it-all-in kind of soup that would bubble away quite happily on the hob while you browse unicorns on Etsy work from home. Italian wedding soup requires a little more attention, but it's entirely worth it. French onion soup is one of my absolute favourite lunches, but it can be time consuming to make. We've got a cheaty version for those days when you need lunch with little effort.

One of the benefits of working from home, aside from staying in your pyjamas until 11am, is the fact that there's no limit to what you have for lunch. That said, I'd happily eat stuffed sweet potatoes and croque monsieur potatoes every day. If that sounds like too much cheese for your liking, try our gorgeous samosa stuffed potatoes instead. If you want to take any of these to the office, you'll be pleased to know that they all microwave well.

Want more great recipe ideas? Check out the rest of our top ten posts.

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