Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Summertime Lunches for Work

All through the autumn and winter (and the spring!) I eat soup for my lunch at work. Sometimes I buy it tinned, sometimes freshly cooked from my local deli and occasionally, I will bring my own homemade to heat through. But now the weathers a bit warmer it seems wrong to be eating soup - so I decided it was time to go for salad lunches.

All the pre-packed salads haven't really appealed to me - all seem to have loads of pasta and thick mayonnaise sauce - and one shop assistant told me that they are made way ahead of time and frozen! .......... Which put me right off buying one!   ........... So I decided to make my own - this way you know exactly what your eating!

First off I made up a few in plastic tubs and munched my way through them - but I don't know, I felt like I did when I was a little kid and mum gave me my packed lunch for school - I wanted something a bit more grown up!

Having seen pictures of lunches and salads in kilner or mason jars, I thought I'd go with that idea and decided a bonne marie jam jar would be the perfect size for me!

So here are a few of the things I've come up with and lessons learnt .........

So ..... don't just cram it all in and screw on the lid .....

There is an art to layering..... always start with your dressing, follow with the 'meat' of the salad - i.e. prawns, boiled eggs, cheeses or cold meat like chicken. And then pop your salad leaves on the top. This stops your salad getting soggy!

When your ready for your lunch take the salad out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you ready to eat and then give it all a good shake to distribute the dressing around the salad.

It doesn't just have to be a salad .......

Some days I have made up a breakfast jar - yogurt or skyr, loads of granola, nuts, honey and fresh fruit .... again make sure you put the yogurt in first!

It doesn't have to be fancy ........

One of my favourites is a simple take on a caprese salad - just olive oil, whole baby tomatoes, mozzarella (or feta) and loads of basil with fresh baby salad leaves. If you pop this one in the fridge the olive oil will go cloudy so make sure you give it a good 15 minutes to warm up before eating.

You can be organised and make up ahead of time....

I make up a few in advance and pop them in the fridge - they keep well and as long as you 'layer' properly all stay fine and dandy!

So far I've found most salads work well - couscous, pasta, loads of just fresh fruit, veg and cheese - in fact what ever combination you fancy - just remember to keep the lid on whilst you shake the dressing and don't forget a fork!! Oh and for future reference ..... beetroots can really muck up your fancy work blouse so I'm steering clear of those in the jar from now on!!

Have a great day
Love Lizx