Totally Adorable Lunches To Make That Are Better Than Spending £6 At The Sandwich Shop

We're all going to be rich. Rich I tell you


by Jess Commons |
Published on

This WILL be the year we stop buying lunches and start bringing them to work. Here to help is the lovely Little Book of Lunchwritten by Caroline Craig of the blog Al Desko and Sophie Missing from publishers Penguin.

Determined to stop you buying sad egg sandwiches from the local supermarket, Caroline and Sophie’s book is packed full of cheap and easy recipes for you to bring from home. Some of them do take a wee bit of organization so for those ones – where it says ‘do this while you’re getting ready’ we chose to ‘do the night before so we can have a lie in’.

Happy lunching.



Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 5 minutes assembly. Makes 1 serving

• 2 spring onions, finely chopped

• 450ml weak chicken stock, either home- made, ready prepared, or from a stock cube (Knorr pots are good)

• very small splash of fish sauce

• 1⁄2 lime

• handful of mint, leaves picked and washed

• handful of coriander, leaves picked

and washed

• handful of basil, washed and leaves torn

• large handful of leftover chicken, roughly pulled into pieces

• 1 portion of rice noodles

• 1⁄2 red chilli

• Srichacha chilli sauce (optional)

Wonderfully aromatic and light, this is a soup to both soothe and lift the spirits with all the essential flavours of pho and not so much of the faffing around. If you are in the lucky position of having leftovers from a whole roast chicken then you could make your own stock for this but shop-bought stock or a stock cube works just fine. You’ll need to have a few utensils waiting for you at your desk: a clean pair of scissors, a bowl, chopsticks and a spoon.

In the morning

Fill your kettle and put it on to boil (this way you can enjoy a cup of tea while making lunch). Add the chopped spring onions to a non-stick pan on

a low heat, and cook until they start to colour.

Put the stock in a pan on a medium heat, adding the fish sauce and the juice of a quarter of the lime. You want to heat it until just before it begins to boil, so while it is heating prepare your herbs and place in a container.

Place the chicken in a separate container, or wrap in a small piece of foil. Place the rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl, and pour over the boiling water from the kettle. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 3 minutes.

Remove the spring onions from the heat and wrap in a small piece of foil. The stock should now be simmering, so turn off the heat and empty into your thermos. Drain the noodles in a colander, shaking vigorously to get rid of any excess water and place in a Tupperware.

Come lunchtime

Find yourself a nice spot: this soup goes well with some quiet reflection. Carefully decant your hot stock into a bowl, then add the noodles, chicken and herbs. Lastly, using your scissors, snip the chili into the bowl, and squeeze the remaining quarter of lime juice generously. A squirt of chili sauce can be nice.


Preparation time: 20 minutes Makes 1 serving

• 8 - 10 small, or new potatoes

• 2 eggs, at room temperature

• 15cm of chorizo sausage tbsp fresh

• chives, chopped

• salt

This recipe was inspired by our cheap and cheerful Spanish holidays. The buttery tasting Vivaldi potato works well here. But really any small salad variety will do. This dish is best prepared in the morning before work.

Wash the potatoes and if on the big side, chop in half, adding to a pan of cold, salted water as you go. Bring to the boil and simmer until they are cooked and can be pierced easily with a knife. Usually about ten to 15 minutes.

To save time and washing up, cook your eggs in same pan as the cooking potatoes: Give your them a good rinse under the tap to remove any scum, and pop into the pan with the boiling potatoes . Cook for about 7 minutes for a soft-yolked egg before removing from the pan and running under the cold tap.

Meanwhile, chop the chorizo up into small chunks and heat a non-stick pan on the hob. Simply add the chopped chorizo– resisting the temptation to use olive oil – and cook until the fat begins to run and the sausage is crispy.

Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander and add to your lunch pail. Top with the cooked chorizo, a drizzle of olive oil, and the chives. Give it a stir and sprinkle over some salt.

Wrap the two eggs in their shells separately in kitchen roll. On arrival to work, this dish is best left at room temperature.



Preparation time: 10 minutes preparation time, 40 minutes cooking time

• 1 aubergine

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 6 ready-made falafels

• 1/8 red cabbage

• 3-cm piece of cucumber

• 1⁄4 red onion

• 4–5 cherry tomatoes, halved

• 1 pitta or flat bread

• salt and freshly ground black pepper


• 4 tbsp natural yoghurt

• juice of 1⁄2 lime

• salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp any chopped fresh green herb

The best falafels we have tasted so far are from L’As du Fallafel on Rue des Rosiers in Paris. This recipe is an homage to the best-tasting street food in Paris. This dish is all in the careful packing, and assembly at work. You can make everything the night before, but be sure to keep the dressing in the fridge.

The night before

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Chop your aubergine up into 3-cm chunks and lay on a roasting tray. Drizzle over

the olive oil and the salt and pepper and roast for 35 minutes or until golden and squishy. Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the falafel to the oven dish. When the time is up, leave to cool on the counter under some tin foil.

In the morning

Grate the cabbage into ribbons, the finer the better. Cut or grate the cucumber into small pieces. Finely chop the onion. Add to your designated container along with the cherry tomatoes, cooled falafel and aubergines.

Find more lunch recipes and tips in The Little Book Of Lunch

Follow Jess on Twitter @jess_commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us