Struggling to take a lunch break, bored of eating the same measly ham sandwich every day? Allow us to help you with that.
I have officially been working from home for over a year now – something I hadn't realised until I was reminded by an old post of mine sharing my then-novel kitchen table turned desk. Over the past year, I've learnt a lot. I've learnt that my partner is the ultimate procrastinator and wonder how any of his colleagues ever get work done with him around. I've learnt how to tilt my screen to a slightly different angle when on Zoom calls so I can hide my messy kitchen in the background rather than clean it. I've learnt how much I took my office chair for granted and I've learnt how to expertly style a blouse with pyjama bottoms.
But despite all the lessons I've learnt working from home, there's one major perk to working from home that I've still yet to master: WFH lunches. I struggled to take a lunch break long before the pandemic and ate most days 'al desko' but being near my oven and stove at lunchtime offers all kinds of opportunities. Yet, here I am, week 2,010 of working from home and settling for a measly ham sandwich.
Well, this week, I'm no longer going to take having access to an oven and stove at lunchtime for granted. With government talks speculating we'll all be back to office working by September and before I know it, I'll be back setting for €3.50 meal deals and microwaved leftovers.
So with that in mind, I've decided to dig through the FOOD&WINE archive to discover some much-needed lunchtime inspiration. From upgraded sandwiches and salads to pasta and noodles you can prep ahead of time, here's some quick and exciting working from home lunch ideas.
Mushrooms on toast with goat's cheese and candied walnuts
We all have those days when all you crave (read: your wallet will allow) is a simple slice of toast. While delicious, it's not exactly filling. Why not elevate that slice of bread by topping with butter fried mushrooms and goat's cheese? Sounds delicious, right? Try the recipe, here.
Southern-style crispy chicken with blue cheese Caesar salad
If the warm weather holds up this week, a crunchy, creamy salad will be a perfect addition to your lunch menu. Donal Skehan has the perfect recipe for crispy chicken, making this dish an absolute must-try. While Skehan opts to serve this salad as is, you could easily put add it to a roll or wrap to make an easy-to-eat, portable version of this Caesar salad. Get the recipe, here.
Fish Burrito bowl
Loaded with spiced basa fillets, fried rice and beans, a refreshing salsa, lettuce leaves and an optional dollop of soured cream, these deconstructed fish burritos take bowl food to a whole other level. Not only are they high in protein and one of your five a day, but they are also low in salt and saturates, making them the perfect wholesome midweek meal. Try the recipe, here.
Lemon and garlic chicken wraps with a yoghurt sauce
Quick and easy to make, this tasty wrap comes together in just 15 minutes leaving you with 45 minutes to take a break from your screen. Not to mention, it tastes so so good - you'll never miss lunchtime again! Get the recipe, here.
Thai king prawn stir fry
Packed with flavour, colour and nutrients, this stir fry is simple, fast, easy and cost-effective to make. Oh, and the best part? It only takes twenty minutes to prepare and can be pre-made so it will be even quicker to cook on your lunch break. Try the recipe, here.
The Ultimate Ham and Cheese Toastie
As much as we try to act like we're too good for a ham sandwich at lunchtime, there really is no beating this simple pleasure - especially when paired with cheese and toasted! In this take on the classic, Conor Higgins of Oxmantown Café shares his recipe for the ultimate ham and cheese toastie. Get the recipe, here.
Easy pasta with coriander pesto
If you’re used to store-bought pesto, believe us when we tell you that this homemade version will change your lunchtime for the better. It’s just so much more vibrant and fresh, plus - all you need is five ingredients and a food processor. Once it's made, all you need is to boil some pasta and voila! Try the recipe, here.
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