If you are one of the thousands of Irish employees who go out for lunch every afternoon you could be spending up to €1300 each year and that is assuming you are only spending €5 on a sandwich and a bottle of water. This costly food habit can really punch a hole in your paycheck and most of the time your roll or sandwich isn’t even worth it. Making your own lunch at home can save you hundreds and even though it can be a pain to make the night before we think it is worth the extra pennies in our purses. We’ve been trying cut back on our convenience food reliance in the Her.ie offices too and we’re here to dish out our favourite ideas for a cheaper lunch without compromising the yummy.
Chicken, Avocado and Lime Wrap
Wraps are very versatile and you can really throw anything you want into one. Lime is one of our favourite flavours and this recipe is really delicious. Fry one clove of garlic and half a red onion in a frying pan before placing one boneless chicken breast onto the heat. If you wish you can add slices of bell peppers. When the chicken is thoroughly cooked through allow to cool before slicing into strips. Assemble the chicken onions and garlic onto a large fresh tortilla wrap. Slice up your avocado and add to the wrap. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the mixture and if you wish, add a dollop of sour cream.
Easy Vegetable Soup
Make this recipe in bulk at the weekend and freeze into individual portions to take with you to work straight from the freezer. It is a great way to use up the vegetables in your fridge before they go off. Gently fry two red onions and two cloves of garlic in a large saucepan for three minutes. Next add root vegetables such as potato, carrots, butternut squash, turnip or sweet potato to the onions. Pour a pint and a half of chicken or vegetable stock over the vegetables and allow boil for ten minutes. If you have mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, spinach or other vegetables throw them in also. A can of chopped tomatoes always provides a lovely flavor to the soup. When the root vegetables are soft blitz up the soup with a hand held blender. Taste it and flavor with salt and pepper to your taste.
Roasted Vegetable Couscous with Balsamic Vinegar
Roast any vegetables you may have in the fridge (we love sweet potato, butternut squash, peppers and mushrooms) and flavor with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook your couscous as the instructions recommend and when finished add the roasted veg to the mixture. Sparingly pour some balsamic vinegar onto the couscous and the juice of half a lemon.
Chickpea Pitta with Spinach and Rocket
Drain the liquid from one can of chickpeas and gently fry them for five minutes on a medium heat. Toast your pita and cut it open. Spread mayonnaise inside and place a small amount of rocket and spinach at the bottom. Flavour your chickpeas lightly with salt and ground pepper and pour the contents into the pitta bread. Place some more rocket and spinach onto the top and if you wish some sliced cherry tomatoes. Finish with a spoon of natural yoghurt for a creamy finish.