Whether you’re back at the office or still working from home, it’s easy to give in to the lure of the takeaway sandwich and packaged food cravings. Gousto’s cooking guide prepares nutritious lunches.
Juggling work and a healthy, balanced diet is no easy task, so Gousto’s Senior Recipe Developer, Jordan Moore has shared his top tips to perk up your lunch al-desko.
These 10 make-ahead lunches which you can prep in 10 minutes for a productive week ahead. From protein-packed to vegetarian-friendly, there’s plenty of recipe inspiration to get you started!
They’re speedy, satisfying and easy to make!
Lunchtime Cooking Tips From a Recipe Developer
While many consider breakfast the most important meal of the day, lunch is equally important and is often overlooked with our busy work schedules.
Gousto’s Senior Recipe Developer, Jordan Moore shares 8 top tips so you can switch up your weekly meal prep routine and look forward to a midday meal that not only tastes great but is good for you too!
Cook in advance for the week ahead. “Meal prepping can save you time, money and it makes eating healthy, home-cooked meals throughout the week easier. Cook your favourite recipes in advance and portion them out to be enjoyed for lunch throughout the week.
Why not try Gousto’s recipe for a zingy rice salad” – Szechuan-inspired Nutty Bang Bang Chicken & Rice salad.
Invest in quality storage containers. “Protect your favourite grub during transportation with airtight, durable storage containers. Find a container with handy dividers, to keep your food separate and fresh. Splashing out on reusable storage can keep your meals fresher for longer and tasting better!
“Bring along a separate container for your salad dressing to prevent soggy leaves and weeping veg. Or seek out a rugged salad leaf, such as kale, chard or radicchio”
Repurpose leftover meals. “If you have any pasta, rice, meat or veg leftover from your dinner, turn them into something tasty for your lunch the following day. Leftover pasta is (probably) the most versatile leftovers-for-lunch option out there, just top with pesto, cheese, tomatoes and serve cold from the fridge.
“For a quick and easy pasta topping, freeze pesto sauce in ice cube trays in advance – perfect for packed lunches in a pinch.”
Make use of your slow cooker. “Crank up your slow cooker for a tasty prepped meal, just toss a bundle of ingredients inside, set it and forget about it until the evening. The best thing, you can make up multiple servings and use up throughout the week (or freeze to save for later).
“When slaving over the hob after a long day in the office seems impossible, try Gousto’s Chicken Mole Pablano, just place on a low temp and leave to stew. Make your slow-cooked recipes taste extra fresh by topping with cheese or herbs when serving.”
Plan your midweek meals in advance. “The dreaded supermarket run on your way home from work is avoidable if you plan your meals in advance. Choose your weekly recipes with Gousto and prep in advance to help keep your midweek eating on the right track, monitor a balanced diet, and reduce food waste!
“Why not get inspiration from blogs and websites like the Gousto Cookbook, for exciting new recipes to try each week, and create a safe place to store recipes for future use.”
Upgrade your everyday favourites. “Don’t settle for a boring sandwich, mix things up a little! Transform your basic butty into something bursting with tons of flavour, use up leftover meats or repurpose Saturday’s cheese board for a cheese and pickle sandwich.
To avoid soggy wraps, keep your mayo and dressing separate until ready to use!”
Avoid the microwave queue with no-heat lunches. “Don’t be hanging around waiting for a microwave to become available in the office, just pre-prepare a cold dish.
“Pasta salad is a great option and there are so many alternatives to try; tuna pasta salad or lemon-basil pesto pasta salad.
“Why not invest in ice coolers, to keep your dish fresh during your commute to work?
“Looking for a quick and easy cold dish? Try Gousto’s Smoky Halloumi & Carrot Wraps.”
Keep your desk drawer stocked up. “Why not turn your desk drawer into a mini-pantry to spice up your meals.
“Keep salt, pepper, hot sauce, olive oil, soy sauce and anything shelf-stable – you’ll be able to spruce up a flavourless salad or sandwich in an instant.”
Super Easy 10-Minute Midweek meals
No more spending hours in the kitchen preparing your meals for the week. These speedy recipes take just 10 minutes to prepare and cook, and if you make more than you need, you’ll have plenty leftover for the next day.
We bring you Gousto’s fastest midweek recipes yet!
10-Min Creamy Chorizo Gnocchi With Spinach
This creamy chorizo gnocchi is ready in a flash! Toss tender gnocchi with a rich, smoky British chorizo, spinach and garlic sauce. Simmer, sizzle, done!
10-Min Thai Basil Pork With Green Beans
Inspired by Thai street food this dish was made to be consumed on the go so it’s the perfect quick win! With sweet and sticky hoisin sauce, a little heat from red chilli and a generous helping of ginger & garlic, this dish will leave you licking your lips and going back for seconds!
10-Min Miso Mushroom Stir-Fry
Get this delicious plant-based dish on the table in minutes. Pan-fried portobello, chestnut and baby chestnut mushrooms are cooked in intense miso, sesame and chilli sauce. Packed with baby kale and served over fluffy rice
10-Min Harissa Haddock Stew with Yoghurt
With flaky chunks of haddock in a delicious herby Moroccan tomato sauce, this hearty fish stew is as comforting as it is tasty! Finished off with a crusty ciabatta roll on the side for dunking it’s the perfect meal to treat yourself to after a busy day.
10-Min Spag Bol
Nothing brings the whole family together quite like a good old’ spag bol. And this delicious recipe gives you all the richness that you’d expect from a slow-cooked ragu in a fraction of the time – what’s not to love?
10-Min Cheesy Black Bean Chilli
Satisfying, speedy and superbly tasty, this meat-free Mexican inspired dish is packed with plant-based protein and just the right amount of savoury spice. Topped with creamy yoghurt and grated cheese – you won’t be able to resist diving in!
10-Min Ginger Chicken Stir-fry & Noodles
This tasty stir-fry will be ready in a flash! Cook diced chicken with baby corn and sugar snaps in a fragrant ginger and honey sauce. Serve over fine egg noodles and top with black sesame seeds and spring onion – yum!
10-Min Mushroom Bibimbap With Sriracha
This dish is bursting with flavour! You’ll get sweet and saltiness from the honey-ginger mushrooms, nuttiness from the sesame spinach and fresh acidity from the pickled carrots. All topped with an oozy fried egg and fiery Sriracha (a deliciously moreish Asian hot sauce). Get ready to break that yolk and enjoy it all together for the perfectly balanced bowl.
10-Min Smoky Halloumi Tacos With Tomato Salsa
For this speedy dinner, you’ll grill halloumi, zap tortillas in the microwave, whip up a fiery chipotle yoghurt and homemade salsa, and let everyone make their own tacos. Delish!
10-Min Smoky Chicken Rice
The classic combination of flavours here was inspired by paella – earthy saffron, smoky paprika, punchy garlic and fresh lemon juice do the work here, so you don’t have to! It’s packed with crisp green beans for goodness and drizzled with a lemon aioli to finish it all off!