As we all settle back to our desks after the weekend, we have put together some tips on desktop dining and included our top recipes.
If packing a lunch is an alien concept to you, then read on. A little know how and a little planning is all you need to make your lunch the envy of everyone you know.
These days, we’re all counting the pennies and trying to get the best value for money. While five years ago, some of us thought nothing of wittering away €10 on a super-sized coffee, muffin and juice to get us through the morning, these days it’s far more fashionable to be seen toting a lunch bag packed with a thermos of your caffeine hit of choice.
That’s not to say that packed lunches aren’t totally, mind-knumbingly boring sometimes. We know, we’ve been there. It’s really difficult to fight through the mind fog each morning to come up with something tasty and delicious that will leave you satisfied and your co-workers totally jealous.
So, what’s the solution? Well, like your Mammy used to say, PLAN, PLAN AND PLAN SOME MORE. We love to make anti-pasti platters of leftover meat, yummy cheese, an olive or two and some crackers. Equally, a pot of soup is super easy to make and will pay massive dividends during your working week. If you make pasta for dinner, make a little extra, cool it down with cold water and toss it in olive oil, ready to be shaken up with some chopped cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves. Cheer up leftover curry with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and a swirl of natural yoghurt. Serve with leftover naan and some mango chutney.
Rice, couscous and quinoa make great bases for veggie rich salads and leftover roast meat. Cook them in stock, add lots of fresh herbs and lemon zest, and pimp them out with diced raw veg and leftover meat. If you have some Feta cheese in the fridge, crumble in a small amount just before serving for a salty, savoury hit.
We are huge fans of the frittata here at I Love Cooking, because they taste just as good at room temperature as they do heated up. Spritz an oven-proof dish with oil and layer in cooked vegetables, herbs and maybe a little cured ham if you have it handy, before pouring in some beaten, seasoned eggs and baking at 180C/350/gas mark 4 for about 40 minutes, or until just set. Cool in the dish and when cooled, cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Still at a loss? Check out some of our lunchbox friendly recipes: