Following on from last week’s post on 3 healthy breakfast recipes on a budget, I thought I would continue the theme with some ideas for lunch time. Now, lots of people go out for lunch, or end up rushing something whilst sat at a desk working at the same time, but lunch is the perfect time to eat something that’s healthy, tasty and on a budget too. I’m also incorporating all of this into my Working Week Challenge.
1) The humble sandwich. Now, some memories of sandwiches when I was at school do not inspire me to make these everyday. Soggy bread, squished up sandwiches and the ever-predictable fillings meant that sandwiches for lunch would never be my first choice. Ever! But, done right, sandwiches can be nutritious, filling and cheap. One of my favourite sandwiches at the moment is the classic cheese and chutney. We’re working through a large jar of homemade spiced plum chutney, which goes really well with a medium cheddar. Put between two sandwiches of nice wholemeal/granary bread, and it’s a winner. Even better if you can make your own bread!
2) Vegetable soup (or other flavours, if you like). Cheap, filling and warming on a gloomy day, soup is a fantastic choice for lunch time. It’s also perfect for using up those iffy-looking carrots, languishing onions and any other veg that happens to be lurking at the bottom of the fridge. One of my favourite soups is leek and potato. For this you will need:
- tbsp of butter and a splash of oil
- 1 leek, sliced thinly
- 1 potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- any other veg that needs eating!
Melt the butter and oil together in a pan. The oil is there to make sure the butter doesn’t burn. Add the leek and onion, and sweat until softened. Add the potato and fry for another minute, then add the stock and simmer until the vegetables are cooked. I like my soups smooth so I blend mine afterwards. Last time I made this we had some cream in the fridge, so I added a bit of that too. Waste not, want not!
3) A seasonal salad. Now, eating healthy does not need to be expensive. Using seasonal vegetables (and fruit, if you want) you can make a delicious salad for not too much expense. Using salad leaves (even better if you grow your own), some diced cucumber, tomatoes and shredded carrot as a base, you can add pretty much what you like. What about beetroot and goats cheese? How about grilled chicken and walnut? Or cooked ham? Or, what about making some homemade falafel and having that with salad and hummus? I like making a simple ham salad, then making my own salad dressing to go with that, comprising of whole grain mustard, lemon juice and oil. Simple and delicious, and not overly expensive!
Lastly, as an extra bonus point, is use your leftovers! I quite frequently make more than required for dinner, and save some for me to take to work the next day. Sometimes I don’t make extra, but really watch our portion size and the end result is the same. Some things, like stews, taste even better the next day, so eating leftovers really isn’t a chore.
What’s your favourite healthy lunch recipe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!