Easy summer recipes to jazz up boring lunches


cauliflower salad and potato pancakes

Some new recipes to try (Picture: Tommy Banks/Cocotte)

Working lunches can often get a little repetitive.

Usually, we tend to go for the same type of thing again and again.

In fact, recent research from Tilda has revealed that a third of Brits are bored of their lunch after eating the same dish, four days a week.

And the most boring lunches were found to be salads (22%), sandwiches (21%) and soup (20%) – despite most people eating these every day.

So, perhaps you’re looking to jazz up your lunchtime routine a little?

You can still make lunch exciting while keeping it relatively simple – so we’ve asked chefs to share some easy yet delicious recipes.

Potato pancakes with asparagus and poached eggs recipe

potato pancakes

Pancakes for lunch? Why not (Picture: Tommy Banks)

This recipe from Tommy Banks serves two.

Ingredients:

  • 12 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
  • 400g mashed potato
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Poached eggs
  • Small handful of chives, chopped, to garnish

Method:

1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring a pan of water to a rolling boil. Add asparagus and blanch, for about one minute. Remove, drain and set aside. Pre-heat grill.

2. In a large bowl, combine mash, flour and egg and season generously with salt and pepper. Shape the potato mixture into pancakes, size depending on appetite, and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, combine asparagus with 1tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper. Place under the grill for about five minutes, or until they begin to char and blister.

4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1tbsp oil and cook until golden, about two minutes each side.  

5. To serve, place two warm pancakes into the centre of your plate, topped with poached eggs and grilled asparagus and finish with a sprinkling of chives.

Roasted squash and mozzarella salad recipe

butternut and mozzarella salad

Dive in (Picture: Munchy Seeds)

This salad recipe, courtesy of Munchy Seeds, serves two as a main.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and sliced into crescent shapes
  • 1 large ball of buffalo mozzarella, drained
  • A mix of fresh salad leaves, rocket and salad spinach
  • 2 tbsps seeds, such as Munchy Seeds Sesame Sprinkles
  • Drizzle olive oil, to serve
  • Squeeze of lemon, to serve
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped, to garnish

For the marinade:

  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cinammon powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl then add the sliced squash to coat. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes or until tender. Cool for 15 minutes.

2. Arrange the salad leaves on a platter then spread the squash over the top. Place the buffalo mozzarella in the centre.

3. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, the chopped mint and a drizzle of olive oil with squeeze of lemon.

Roasted cauliflower salad recipe

courgette salad

Ramp up your regular salad with this (Picture: Cocotte)

This recipe is courtesy of Romain Bourrillon, from Cocotte.

Ingredients:

  • 200g cauliflower heads
  • 5g ground cumin
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • 35g oyster mushrooms
  • 3g rocket
  • 8g cashew nuts, toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the coconut and coriander sauce:

  • 10g coconut yoghurt
  • 5g cashew nuts
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • Dash of lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Slice the oyster mushrooms and place in a roasting tray. Lightly oil the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Place these in the oven and roast at 180 degrees for 7 minutes.

2. Once cooked, remove from the oven and roasting tray and leave to cool in a heatproof bowl. Heat oven to 200 degrees. 

3. Cut cauliflower heads into quarters, mix well with oil and ground cumin.

4. Place in a tray and roast at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Once removed from the oven, leave to cool on the tray and reduce oven temperature to 180 degrees.

5. Place the coconut yoghurt, cashew nuts, fresh coriander, lime juice and salt and pepper in a blender and mix until smooth.

6. To serve, place the cooked cauliflower back into the oven for 5 minutes. Once heated, add the cooked oyster mushroom to heat through in the oven for another 1-2 minutes. Ensure to keep the cauliflower and mushroom separate in the tray.

7. Once both are heated, remove from the oven. Place two tablespoons of the sauce on a serving plate and smear with the back of a spoon. Put the cauliflower on top and scatter the oyster mushrooms over and around the cauliflower.

8. Crush the toasted cashew nuts and scatter over the cauliflower, and finish with the rocket and a drizzle of oil.

Whipped miso tofu with grilled courgette, peas and mint recipe

This recipe, from Shuko at Koya, serves 6-8, so can be made as a batch and eaten throughout the week.

Ingredients:

  • 3 courgettes
  • Handful of fresh peas
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt

For the miso tofu:

  • 1 and a half packs of tofu
  • 40g white miso
  • 25ml extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of salt

To finish:

Method:

1. Bring a pot of water and salt to boil and add fresh peas, turn off the heat as you add the peas and let it cool in the water and drain just before serving.

2. For the whipped miso tofu, blitz together all the ingredients with an electric hand mixer or food processer.

3. Cover whole courgette in olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and grill. Keep turning the courgette until surface is charred. Slice at an angle to 0.5mm thickness.

4. On a large plate, smear the miso tofu and lay the courgettes, and sprinkle with peas. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, roughly chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon.

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