Stop eating cereal for every meal with these five appetising lunch-time hacks, by Katie Bryson
Broken sleep is a cruel, cruel thing. Whether it’s the first six weeks with a newborn or you’ve had years of it with small stubborn children, it’s unspeakably awful. Lunch soon descends into shovelling dry cereal into your mouth or hoovering up packets of biscuits. But what your poor tired body needs right now is nutrition, so here are five delicious lunches you can put together with next to no effort using just four ingredients.
1. Super Noodle Jars
1 packet dried brown rice noodles
1 sachet miso soup
1 handful kale
1 handful marinated tofu pieces or paneer cheese
1. Pour 400ml of boiling water into a saucepan and cook the noodles for 4 minutes.
2. Stir in the miso soup concentrate, take off the heat and add the kale, pour into jars or bowls then sprinkle with marinated tofu pieces or grilled paneer cheese.
You could substitute the tofu/paneer with leftover roasted meat, scatter the whole thing with seeds or spice it up with chopped fresh chilli.
2. Tomato and Basil Omelette
1 handful grated cheddar cheese
1 fresh plum tomato, roughly chopped
fresh basil leaves
1. Crack the eggs into a mug with a splash of water and beat lightly with a fork adding some salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the egg mixture.
2. As the egg sets at the edges of the pan, use a spatula to drag the cooked egg into the middle and swirl the pan to let the uncooked egg run to the edges to take their turn for cooking. Once it feels set underneath scatter the cheese on top and than flash under the grill until it’s fluffed up, golden and bubbling.
3. Fold in half and serve immediately scattered with the chopped tomato and torn basil leaves. A fat slice of crusty bread and butter might also be needed…
3. Creamy Sweet Chilli Spuds
1 baking potato
3 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 handfuls salad leaves
1. Stab the potato several times with a fork, then pop it in the microwave on full power for 5 minutes. If you can be bothered, crisp up the skin by giving it 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
2. In a little bowl mix up the cream cheese and sweet chilli sauce with some salt and pepper. Slice your cooked jacket spud in half and then fluff up the insides with a fork then slather the creamy sweet chilli cheese all over it. Serve it up with all those lovely fresh salad leaves.
If you’ve got a pot of fresh coriander toss some chopped leaves in with the cream cheese. If there’s a lime languishing in the fridge, you can get a bit of zest in there too.
4. Sweet Potato Soup
1 large sweet potato or half a butternut squash
300ml vegetable stock
300ml coconut milk
1 red chilli, chopped (frozen chopped chilli is a lot less effort)
1. If you’ve got the energy then peel and chop the sweet potato/butternut squash. Alternatively pick up a bag of prepared veg from the supermarket.
2. Pour the veg stock and coconut milk into a pan and bring the boil, add the cubed veg and chopped chilli, then turn down to a simmer until it’s softened which should take about 20 mins.
3. Allow to cool slightly then blitz with a blender. Serve immediately and chill the leftovers for another day - you should have enough soup for about 3 lunches.
Soup toppers are always a winner, you can try scattering toasted seeds or even fried chopped chorizo/bacon.
5. Egg, Avocado and Tomato Open Sandwich
1/2 ripe avocado, chopped
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully drop your egg in and simmer for 8 minutes. Lift out and run under the cold tap until it’s cool enough to handle. Peel then chop and add to a bowl with the avocado and tomato and mix with a fork, mashing the avocado a little for extra creaminess.
2. Toast the sandwich thins then pile the avocado mixture on top. Feel free to be a clean-eating show off and instagram this one! No wait a minute, you’re sleep deprived so that might be a bit ambitious ;-)