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Lunch recipes: Elevate your lunch game with these 4 quick, yet delicious gourmet lunches

By Natasha Heard  |  September 18, 2021
lunch food

Whether you are back to the office after long spell working from home or you never left, coming up with inspiring and flavoursome lunches that fill you up, are tasty and also quick and easy to prepare can seem like quite the task. Perhaps you are heading to the local sandwich shop all too often and you would like to mix things up a little bit by bringing in some fresh and flavoursome ingredients that perk you up for the afternoon ahead.

If trying to conjure up new and exciting lunches every day seems like a chore, then let us do the hard work for you. Just because you are limited on time, it doesn’t mean that you should be subjected to boring, poor-quality lunches that often contain ingredients you don’t even like just because you think you don’t have the time to prepare a delicious meal for yourself.

Sack off the soggy sandwich and continue reading for four simple recipes for quick, yet delicious lunches that are sure to elevate your lunch game and have you reaching for the ingredients on repeat.

Crab and avocado on sourdough toast

crab on toast

A simple, yet utterly delicious, lunchtime treat, this healthy, refreshing and simple-to-prepare midday meal will have your colleagues gazing over in envy in the few minutes it takes you put it together.

You will need:

2 slices of sourdough
1 ripe avocado
Black pepper
100g crab meat
1 lemon
Cucumber ribbons

To prepare:

Pop the sourdough slices in the toaster, and in the meantime peel, de-stone and then slice or mash the avocado depending on how you usually like to devour it. When the toast pops, layer on the avocado with a little pepper followed by the crab meat, a squeeze of lemon and top with a few ribbons of cucumber for a fresh finish. You can always add a little paprika or spice up your crab with some lime and chili for an extra kick.

Spicy egg fried rice

fried rice

Microwavable rice is real Godsend when it comes to conjuring up quick and easy meals and the below microwavable egg fried rice recipe from Minute Rice has a deliciously spicy kick to liven up your lunch. The addition of coleslaw mix, egg, peas and soy sauce elevates a typical lunchtime snack, and you can go further by adding some pre-cooked chicken or pulled pork to the plate at the end.

You will need:

1 cup Minute Ready to Serve Jasmine Rice
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup pre-shredded coleslaw mix
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce

To prepare:

Heat rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap, poking a few holes to vent. When the rice has finished, microwave the eggs on a medium to high heat for 60-90 seconds, or until eggs look cooked and puffed. Shred into bite-size pieces using fork.

Toss together the coleslaw mix, peas, soy sauce and Sriracha in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, or until heated through and cabbage is tender. Stir in the cooked rice and scrambled eggs before serving.

Creamy parsnip soup with truffle oil and croutons

parsnip soup

There are no excuses with this one as you can prepare a delicious batch of soup at home and simply warm it up at work when lunchtime arrives, though you will be counting down the minutes when you know you have this creamy and delicious treat to look forward to. This creamy parsnip soup recipe is adapted from Becca Spry’s BBC Food recipe and makes four servings.

You will need:

1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
600g parsnips, cut into 1cm cubes
1 litre hot vegetable stock
200ml double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare:

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the parsnips and garlic and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer before cooking with the lid on for 12 to 15 minutes or until the parsnips are tender. Take the soup off the heat and blend with a hand blender until smooth, before returning the soup to the heat. Stir through the cream and warm through, seasoning to your taste. 

When it comes to serving your soup at lunch, you can add a drizzle of truffle oil and top with rosemary croutons or try pieces of crispy bacon, toasted hazelnuts or a sprinkling of chilli flakes for a spicier option, depending on your preferences.

Pesto, sundried tomato and mozzarella toasted sandwich

Italian sandwich

Some days simply call for a grilled cheese sandwich and this Italian inspired version provides plenty of flavour, while feeding your soul at the same time. You can freshen this up by adding some salad leaves on the side, too, and swap out the ingredients for other types of breads, cheeses and fillings as you see fit. If you don’t have the equipment at work to cook this, you can always pop the ingredients into a big sub and enjoy at any time with ease.

You will need:

2 slices of your favourite bread
1 tbsp butter/spread
1 tbsp basil pesto
1 Mozzarella ball – drained and sliced
5 sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp pine nuts
Salad leaves

To prepare:

Heat a large, non-stick pan over a medium heat and butter the two slices of bread on one side, turning over and spreading the pesto evenly on the other sides. Place one piece of bread, butter side down, into the pan and layer on half of the mozzarella slices. Place the sun-dried tomatoes on top and scatter the pine nuts before placing the rest of the mozzarella and the other slice of bread, pesto side down, to create a sandwich.

Once the sandwich has been cooking for a few minutes and the bottom side is a golden brown, carefully flip the sandwich over and cook until the cheese is melted and the bread on the bottom is a nice golden-brown colour (buttered side of the bread should be touching the pan). Plate up and serve with some salad leaves of your choice.