3 uber-simple lunches you can make at work in less time than it takes to go out and buy something

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tomato, almond & pesto saladtomato, almond & pesto salad

We all know that bringing your lunch to work is a great way to save money. But I know it can feel like hard work at times…All that extra planning and thinking ahead.

I know I’m really lucky that I work from home and don’t have to pack my lunch anymore. But that doesn’t mean I’m also on the lookout for quick lunch ideas.

When I posted recently about one of my favourite lunches – a washing up-free salad, Stonesoup reader Jez suggested in the comments that they’d like to see more recipes you can make at work. The type of things that you can do with just a sink and maybe a microwave.

So here we are. Enjoy!

tips for ‘cooking’ lunch at work

1. stock your work ‘pantry’
Dedicate a small shelf or a drawer to lunch things and kit it out with the basics. At the very least some salt and maybe a little disposable pepper grinder. Although I’d also include some olive oil and vinegar so you’re always prepared for an impromptu salad. A packet of dried chilli and your favourite spice are also great to have on hand.

A little bag of nuts can also double as a snack. You could even get super organised with cans of tuna, chickpeas, beans or other good shelf-stable essentials.

2. stock up with the tools you’ll need
Depending on your work set-up, you might like to include a little chopping board and a pocket knife in your work lunch arsenal. If cutlery and crockery are scarce it might be a good idea to get a little lunch bowl and fork or spoon.

3. figure out the best storage options
Most workplaces provide a fridge you can store your lunch. But if not, consider investing in a little chiller bag. Or if you have access to a good food shop nearby, maybe allow time to pick up whatever you need in your lunch hour.

4. allocate the time you need
I always find cooking or preparing food a great way to relax and unwind. If you’re already using dinner time to relax, why not think about adding a couple of minutes to your lunch break for a little cooking relaxation. It’s a great opportunity to add a little de-stress in the middle of the day.

mixed sprout & avocado salad
mixed sprout & avocado salad recipe
white bean & tomato soup
white bean & tomato soup recipe
tomato, almond & pesto salad
tomato, almond & pesto salad recipe


video version of the 3 recipes


This week at the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School we’re focusing on healthy 10 minute dinners and common mistakes with the Slow Carb diet in the Reclaim YOUR Waistline class.

CLICK HERE to join us!


tomato, almond & pesto salad recipe
serves 1

1 punnet cherry tomatoes (250g / 9oz)
large handful roasted almonds
generous dollup pesto
1. Rinse tomatoes and halve crosswise if you have a knife, otherwise leave whole.
2. Scatter over almonds and serve with pesto on top.
3. Season with salt & pepper, if you have them.

white bean & tomato soup
serves 2

1 can white beans (400g / 14oz)
1 jar tomato pasta sauce
parmesan cheese, to serve, optional
1. Combine beans, the bean canning liquid and the tomato in a heat proof bowl (or 2 bowls).
2. Microwave for 3 – 4 minutes or until very hot. Alternatively heat in a saucepan on the stove until hot.
3. Taste. Season. Serve with parmesan shaved over the top, if using.

mixed sprout & avocado salad
serves 1

100g (3 1/2 oz) mixed sprouts
squeeze lemon juice
1 small avocado
generous handful brazil nuts
1. Rinse sprouts well and place in a bowl.
2. Drizzle lemon juice over the sprouts.
3. Halve the avocado and scoop bight sized pieces of avocado into the salad.
4. Season generously with salt & pepper and top with brazil nuts.

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