#Whats4Lunch – The Salads 1

Mackerel Salad 1

Mackerel Salad 1

Smoked mackerel salad (total cost 90p)

Ingredients:

Salad ingredients

Salad ingredients

  • ¼ flaked smoked mackerel – 50p
  • 1 fresh medium tomato – 10p
  • 1/2 a whole lettuce gem – 10p (pack of 2 whole gems cost 37p)
  • 10 pieces of Italian mushroom antipasti – 20p
  • 1 leftover roast potato
  • Salt, dry garlic & black pepper

Method:

Separate the leaves from the lettuce and rinse off the earth on them. Cut roughly the leaves in 3 and set aside.

Rise and cut the tomato. Sprinkle it with freshly grinded pepper, salt and garlic Toss to combine and set aside.

Mackerel Salad 2

Mackerel Salad 2

Remove the mushroom needed from the jar.

Flake the portion of mackerel needed for the salad and check that there is not bones left in it. Set aside.

Mackerel Salad 3

Mackerel Salad 3

Since the salad is not being consumed immediately, place all the elements in the lunch box in a way that all of them will still be fresh and crispy at lunch time (4 to 6 hours away). The most fragile of them must be at the top and anything else that can remain wet and unchanged should be at the bottom of the lunch box.

So, layer the mushrooms first at the bottom of the lunch box with one teaspoon of oil from the

Mackerel Salad  layered

Mackerel Salad layered

mushroom jar, followed by the generously seasoned tomato. The mushroom will marinate in the tomato juices and seasoning. Now on top of the tomato, layer the cut potatoes, then the fish and the lettuce.

At lunch time, take your bowl, open it and cover it with a serving plate then turn it over to empty the content of the bowl upside down as if flipping an omelette. What this action will do is allow the juices that were at the bottom of the bowl to filter throughout the salad while acting as a vinaigrette.

These salads are called “salades composees” in France and often serve as a full lunch… nothing else is needed apart

Mackerel Salad 5

Mackerel Salad 5

from a small piece of baguette. If you make enough for lunch it should keep you full until the goûter time around 3.30 – 4pm when you can have an afternoon snack.

Do try to make it and let me know how you got on.

Et voila!

Next up, pulses salad and Chicken salad.

See the sandwich series here, here and here.

#Whats4Lunch – The Sandwiches set 2

Baguette avocado

Baguette avocado

Baguette sandwich – Vegan (total cost 54p)

Ingredients:

Baguette avocado 1

Baguette avocado 1

  • 3-4 Sundried tomato pieces – 10p
  • 3-4 Grilled red & yellow peppers pieces 10p
  • Pre-cooked baguette – 12p (pack of 4 mini baguettes cost 45p)
  • Avocado – 20p (1 whole avocado 80p, only 1/4 used)
  • 2 lettuce gem leaves – 2p (Pack of 2 whole gems cost 37p)

Method:

Pre-cook the baguette following the instructions on the packet. Leave it to cool down before making the sandwich.

Rinse the salad leaves flick out the water, set aside. Remove the sundried tomatoes and grilled peppers pieces from the jar/oil.

Baguette avocado 2

Baguette avocado 2

Peel and cut the avocado.

Now make a cut in to the bread and drizzle the inside with a very small amount of oil from the sundried tomato jar (see the antipastis section here). Then line the base of the bread with the lettuce, then the sundried tomato pieces, then, the avocado. Close the sandwich and then cut in half to allow it to fit easily in the lunch container.

Baguette avocado 3

Baguette avocado 3

Baguette avocado 3

Baguette avocado 4

Baguette avocado 5

Baguette avocado 5

All done.

Enjoy!

Next Up, the chicken sandwich with brown slices.

See the previous sandwich here.

#Whats4Lunch – The basics

One of the reason why people do not manage to pull off a work lunch with 5 minutes of prep in the morning is because of a lack of planning.

Before you even think about taking your lunch to work, you must work out how you will transport your food in.

Below is a collection of plastic containers all purchased from the £ or 99p store. Try to buy various size boxes. You might want to transport yogurt, vignette, dips or spread for your meal. For latter, you will need one of the smallest container which can be tucked in the corner of the salad container for example.

Lunch containers

Lunch containers

The other basics to have is a collection of dry spices. 3 basic ones: Garlic, mix herbs and ground black pepper. You can’t go wrong with this 3 and you can use them for salads and hot dishes. You might want to add on chilli flake or ginger if you like your spices. The spiced on the photo cost from 41p in Lidl to £4 de pending of what you are looking to achieve. But, the basics are 41-89p including sea salt and pepper grinder.

The spice rack

The spice rack

Next the antipasti collection: in it can have sundried tomatoes, grilled courgette, grilled mix sweet pepper, mix mushrooms, grilled aubergine and artichokes hearts. All cost from 89 to 99p except the mix fungi (mushrooms) which cost £1.19. They all come in flavoured oils… very handy as using the antipasti means that you won’t be using other oils in the house.

The antipastis

The antipastis

If using antipastis in a salad, all you will need to add is a drizzle of oil from the jar, salt & pepper with maybe some lemon. I find them really practical. You will get at least 3 to 4 serving out of any jar, so, it is worth having one or 2 jars of those every month.

The Antipastis

The Antipastis

Last but not least, it is always great to have a collection of frozen vegetables. Most supermarket sale 1kg of green or mix vegetables for £1.00 or less. So you can buy a bag of Green beans, mix, broccoli & cauliflower, petit pois & carrot etc…

And my last recommendation is for the breads. Most bread can be frozen after purchase. If you visit some supermarkets after 7pm you will be able to bag some great quality bread for 90p or less as they are reduced before closing time. You can buy brioches (they are great for sandwiches), Scones, seedy bread, brown bread etc… If you are a fan of sandwiches do not limit yourself to bread slices… Explore.

In the next few posts, you will find idea for sandwiches, ideas for salad & hot foods using all the above.

It idea here for you to realise how much you save just by planning… not only on the money you spend at lunch time, but also the time you spend going to and from the shop, therefore missing out on chewing and relaxation time…

Don’t forget to let me know what you think.

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