The benefits of packed lunches are not a recent discovery. Bringing lunch from home is cheaper, healthier and a timesaver for a tight schedule. Unfortunately, packed lunches are also synonymous with another adjective; boring! As patriotic as you may be, sometimes a Vegemite sandwich just won’t cut the (American-style) mustard. Instead, take some inspiration from the ideas below, mix and match combinations and experiment with ingredients to keep things interesting.
The New Sandwich
Spice things up with different breads, wraps and bagels. Head to one of Brisbane’s many gourmet bread makers, like Bagel Boys in the CBD or Sol Breads in West End, and try something new. Make your own BLT or a wrap with Tabouli, Avocado and Falafel. Top a bagel with Salmon, Cream Cheese, Dill and Capers. If you’re still stuck for inspiration, research a dream travel destination and take yourself on a mini lunchtime vacation.Rice Paper Rolls
Definitely not one to attempt when you’re short on time but perfect to prepare in advance on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe grab an extra packet of the rice papers if you’re a first timer, there’s definitely a trick to rolling those little suckers. Visit this link for a step-by-step guide to the perfect roll, along with some delicious recipe options.Frittata
Straightforward but it doesn’t look it, Frittata is basically scrambled eggs with the filling of your choice. Start here with this simple base recipe and be adventurous with your ingredients. Try Tinned Salmon, Dill, Sweet Potato, Spinach, Feta and Eschallots for a nutritious option to fire up those brain cells and bid adieu to those afternoon hunger pangs.Salads
Homer Simpson was wrong, you can definitely make friends with salad! There are thousands of delicious salad recipes floating around Pinterest at the moment. Often the portions are designed to serve parties of 6-8 people and can last 2-3 days depending on the ingredients. A personal favourite is this Asian inspired Cabbage Slaw from Good Food; it makes a great side dish and lasts particularly well. Pick one or two recipes to make at the start of the week and serve with chicken breast or a veggie burger. You’ll save time and make a name for yourself as the office foodie. Soup
Try this recipe for a hearty, wholesome option. It’s perfect for the few winter nights we have left in Brisbane. Freeze some portions to have on standby for last minute dinners.
1L Bottle “V” Vegetable Juice
2-3 tbsp Vegetable or Chicken stock, diluted with water up to 1L
1 bunch Basil
1 bunch Continental Parsley
1 bunch Coriander
1 cup mixed lentils (try: red lentils, split peas, chick peas)
5-6 vegetables of your choice, peeled (try: mushrooms, pumpkin, parsnip, swede, turnip, celery, zucchini, carrot, eggplant)
- Blend vegetables and herbs in a food processor or slice into small pieces
- Combine in a large pot with V juice and stock mixture. Bring to boil.
- Add sliced cabbage and lentils. Reduce heat. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes
What’s your go-to lunch recipe that makes you excited to hit midday and open your lunchbox?