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What's for Lunch?
Guest Contributor Deema Elshourfa
Insurance Defence Lawyer, Evangelista Barristers & Solicitors
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hile some of us are transitioning back to the office soon, many are still working from home and may continue to do so in the future. If you’re like me, lunch has become a bit of a chore. Let’s be honest—it might have been fun making lunch at home in the early days of lockdown, but if you’re feeling tired of deciding what to make for lunch every day, you’re not alone. Some days you have 15 minutes between Zoom meetings and others you have the luxury of a full hour (or longer—I won't tell your boss). I've rounded up five of my favourite weekday lunches for you. Some are quicker to put together, and some are more involved, but all are delicious and will have you looking forward to your lunch breaks again.
Caesar Salad
You're probably thinking, really? Caesar salad? How innovative. Well you're right, I'm not inventing this lunch idea but guess what—you probably haven't had one in a while and probably haven't made one in even longer. It’s a classic for a reason! It also makes a great lunch option. It's extremely fast to put together and customizable to what you're feeling that day. Extra hungry? Add extra protein or put it in a wrap. Not feeling creamy dressing? Try a Caesar vinaigrette. Feeling fancy? Homemade croutons are always a great option. Caesar salad is easy, satisfying and tasty.
Rigatoni with Burst Tomatoes and Ricotta
Pasta doesn’t have to be an extremely long and involved process—this one can be whipped up in 15 minutes. Cook pasta in heavily salted water while frying up garlic and cherry tomatoes in olive oil. Once your pasta’s done cooking, add it to your garlic and tomatoes with a touch of pasta water to bring it all together. Then season to taste and top with ricotta and parmesan. Delicious.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad
This salad is extremely unassuming but will hit the spot each time. Take lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and shredded cheese and top with chicken and bacon (optional as always). Drizzle with ranch dressing and you're good to go. What kind of chicken is up to you, or you can substitute for another protein. Make sure to include lots of fresh veggies to balance out the creamy ranch and cheese. This will fill you up while not weighing you down and also works well as a wrap.
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Shrimp Salad
This salad can be whatever you want it to be. Chop veggies you have on hand in the fridge. Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes or carrots in there? Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until crispy. Season shrimp (I always like to have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer for lunches) and sauté about 5 minutes. Put everything together in a bowl and top with your favourite dressing. You can prep most of this in about 10 minutes and keep working while your veggies roast in the oven. Once they're done, it’s time to dig in.
Vermicelli Bowl
Also known as Bun Bo Xao in Vietnamese (when using beef), this is the most involved of these lunch options but also the most rewarding. It has everything you’d want in a meal—fresh and pickled veggies, protein, noodles, crunchy nuts and sauce to drizzle. Once again, just use what you have for veggies and protein. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions and put in a bowl with sliced veggies, pickled carrots and crushed nuts. Cook your protein how you like it and place on top of salad and noodles. Then finish with the real star—combine 1/4 cup water, 3 tbsp fish sauce, 3 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp lime juice, 3 cloves garlic and 1 chopped red chili (optional!) to create a delicious and refreshing sauce. Try this one out—I promise you won’t regret it.
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