From your office lunch to kids’ school meals, making your own midday meals can save you money and give you more control over what your family is eating.
But there’s no need to slave over a mountain of sandwiches every morning. Try these supper dishes that transition effortlessly from leftovers to lunch...
Make extra salad at supper time and you pretty much have lunch sorted. Throwing in grains, protein like chicken or sliced steak (again, use your leftovers), tinned beans, crumbled cheese or nuts will add substance.
‘Bigger’ salads, like this one by Gimme Some Oven, are the easiest to convert to a satisfying midday meal.
The grilled meat and veg from skewers tastes even better cold. Pack up with some salad, pittas and a little plain yogurt. Great for using up BBQ leftovers. Sausages and burgers work well too.
These kebabs with chicken and sweet potato, by Little Broken, will work well with spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes and avocado.
Cold pizza isn’t just for the lazy and hungover. Pack slices in a lunchbox with some salad and leafy greens. Kids and adults will love making DIY ‘sandwiches’.
Cold roasted veg are divine in a sandwich, perhaps with a little cream cheese and spinach. It can also be bulked out with grains and/or tinned beans for a protein-packed meal.
Your Sunday roast loves weekdays too. Stuff sandwiches with salad and coleslaw. Toss into couscous with chopped herbs, spring onions and any other veg you fancy.
This one’s easy. Any soup can be reheated for lunch the next day or kept hot in a flask. Mix things up with different toppings such as cubed tomatoes, spring onions, diced avocado, tortilla chips, fresh herbs or a little yogurt.
Pasta and grains
Plain cooked pasta, rice, quinoa and couscous are all excellent bases for a nutritious lunchbox. Throw in raw or cooked veg, a little dressing or a squeeze of lemon and top with chopped nuts, cheese, dried fruit, chicken or prawns.
Even sauce-coated leftovers can become lunch with some spinach and tomatoes tossed in.
Stews and casseroles
Anything packed with veggies and beans can be tossed through grains or pasta for a lunch to enjoy hot or cold. Beef stew is delicious at any temperature, especially with a little bulgur wheat or couscous.
Think about throwing in some extra veg or salad, like spinach leaves and diced tomatoes. Pitta bread or tortilla wraps work well too.
Noodles or rice with flavour-packed veggies taste delicious the next day. Liven it up with a squeeze of lemon or lime, chopped nuts, avocado and extra salad, or wrap stir-fried veggies in a soft tortilla.
Most curries taste better the next day, when the flavours have blossomed in the fridge.
Whether it’s the remains of your takeaway or a homemade batch, pack the leftovers up to eat as they are or with extra grains, cubed boiled potatoes and/or salad.
Toss in some spinach leaves for a health boost.
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