Quick Summer Lunch Inspiration

Lunch is a tricky subject for most people, whether you are in the 9-5 working world, are a student or a parent trying to juggle many tasks at once, lunch is often a time of day that gets repetitive, boring and/or overlooked. Fret not, I come to you with some of my favourite lunch recipes that are quick and easy and will hopefully spark some inspiration for your mid-day meals!

Before getting into the recipes I thought I would give some tips for keeping inspired with your lunches. It is not always going to be the case that you are going to have the time to meal prep on a Sunday or want to cook a semi-elaborate lunch so having some staples in your cupboard (as always) will help massively. I, for example will usually pick up a couple of avocados, some bagels and eggs to cover a lot of basis incase I want something quick and easy. I also try and predict what I might want for lunch so if it comes to 12/1 o’clock and I am not sure what I want, I have options to fall back on.

I’d also always recommend having some foundational seasoning ingredients in your repertoire so you can make the simplest of dishes a lot more exciting. I use a lot of smoked paprika, mixed herbs, chilli flakes, garlic (fresh or granules depending on what you want to use it for), soy sauce and honey. Whether used alone or together, these ingredients tend to cover adding spice, salt and fresh flavourings to your dishes.

Sourdough Toast

Picking up a nice loaf of bread can make any lunch a lot more exciting. Whether that is from your local bakery or quite simply your local Lidl; adding hummus and roasted tomatoes with some smoked paprika is the perfect lunch time meal.

We often pick up a free sourdough bloomer with the ‘free bakery item’ from lidl which you get using their rewards app once you have spent £50.

To Do:

  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees and place cherry tomatoes into a oven proof dish. Add a light amount of Olive oil, salt, pepper and some balsamic vinegar (if you have it) and cook for 10 minutes or until blistered.
  • Simply cut two slices of sourdough (or any loaf of bread) and lightly toast.
  • Spread hummus onto toast – I have used both caramelised onion and red pepper hummus and add an even amount of the roasted tomatoes to both slices of toast
  • Finish with smoked paprika and enjoy!

Sausage Traybake

If you’re looking for something healthy, filling and easily made in advance then I have got just the recipe for you! Additionally you can make this Vegan with a sausage substitute (I have heard a lot of good things about the Richmond Meat Free Vegan Sausages).

To Do:

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and get a decent size oven proof dish (this depends on how much you’d like to make)
  • Cut sweet potato into small fries, an onion into quarters and break up slightly in the oven proof dish, as well as any additional veg (you can add peppers, tomatoes, broccoli etc.).
  • Add to the dish alongside the sausages – If I am making a single portion I will put on two but additionally 6 will work if you’d like to bulk make the meal.
  • Sprinkle with oil, paprika and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-40 minutes/until the sausages are nice and crispy (I will cook mine until they have a dark colouring on the outside – if you wish to miss the sweet potato this can be cooked in roughly 20mins)
  • Once you have roughly 5 minutes left add a few handfuls of kale on top of the sausage mix and place back into the oven for the remaining time.
  • Once you have finished roasting the above ingredients, lay a handful of spinach into a bowl and then place your two sausages and roasted veg on top of the spinach.
  • I tend to avoid adding any dressing to this as the roasted kale adds a rich depth to the dish with a pop of sweetness from the onion and tomatoes. However, adding sesame oil, some balsamic vinegar to the spinach or a simple mixed dressing involving some oil, mustard, honey etc. could also work well.
  • To make this in advance you can roast the veg and sausages and simply place some kale into the oven for 5 minutes before serving (Kale crisps can also make a great snack!).

Mixed Veg Rice

Looking for an easy lunch that can be prepped in advance and is quick? I have got your back!

Lidl’s Golden Vegetable Rice is incredibly easy to make and will give you 2-3 lunches. If you don’t have a lidl near you, don’t stress. Most supermarkets have rice packs on hand and they are extremely cheap.

To Do:

  • Follow the instructions on the package, most will get you to add the dried ingredients to a bowl with water and either microwave or leave to sit for 15-20 mins in hot water. I tend to add extra frozen peas and sweetcorn. You can also add a stock cube (would recommend chicken or vegetable) for extra flavour.
  • Once done and when I am ready for lunch, I will fry an egg seasoned with mixed herbs, smoked paprika and salt and pepper. If you don’t like fried eggs you can also scramble them through the rice.
  • And that is it, extremely easy and filling.

Lemon Pesto Pasta

Not a fan of rice? Or do you need something that is easy to reheat and is very filling? Well look no further – this pesto, pea and lemon pasta is extremely easy and tasty.

To Do:

  • Boil whatever pasta you want in salted water according to the cooking instructions (the attached is macaroni). Add in frozen peas for the allocated time when cooking the pasta or do it separately if you need more room/aren’t confident to do both.
  • Drain the above ingredients and add a handful of spinach so it will wilt when the ingredients are still hot.
  • Depending on how strong you want your pesto and how many portions you are making, add 1-2 teaspoons of pesto for a portion of pasta.
  • Next, add about 2-3 teaspoons of lemon zest to your pasta and season with pepper.
  • Serve up and enjoy!

And that is it, 4 very easy and delicious lunch ideas! Perfect for those who are lacking some inspiration and the good news is, there are so much you can do with these. Simply switch out some veg and/or protein and change up some of the seasonings and you’ve instantly got a slightly different dish. So, if you easily get bored of things, try and think about what you can switch out!

What has been your recent go-to lunch? Are you tempted to try any of these? Let me know in the comments!

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