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Lockdown lunches

Even with a slight relaxing of the lockdown restrictions, most of us will be still be based at home. This means that we are still eating all of our meals in the same place, which is unusual, as normally most households have some members eating lunch at work or school on weekdays.

Many people feel that they are spending more time in the kitchen than ever! So here are some healthy lunches to serve to a hungry family that are quick to prepare and won’t leave you with kitchen fatigue:

Pitta pizzas – give each person a wholemeal pitta, spread with some tomato passata and then let each person decorate their pizza with their toppings of choice. Some ideas are: olives, sweetcorn, pepper, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and bung under the grill for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted

Baked sweet potatoes – an alternative to the standard jacket potato, using sweet potatoes providing beta-carotenes which may be beneficial for the immune system. Serve your baked potato with some protein, for example, flaked salmon, tinned chickpeas, cottage cheese or baked beans, to keep you satiated till your next meal

Sushi salad(pictured above) so much less faffy than sushi. Boil up some rice (you can use sushi rice or any rice you have to hand). While the rice is cooking, chop up cucumber, carrot, avocado and smoked salmon. Drain the rice and rinse with water to cool it. Mix the rice with the vegetables and smoked salmon. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar to taste. Sprinkle with nori and sesame seeds for an authentic finish.

Tuna and bean salad – this one is nearly entirely made with store cupboard ingredients. Mix tinned tuna with any tinned bean (it can be haricot, cannellini, chickpeas or sweetcorn). Add sliced olives and a chopped pepper (rich with vitamin C), some lemon juice, dried herbs and a little mayo. Can be eaten on its own or served in wholemeal pitta

Wraps – I love wraps because you can fit so much more filling in than a regular sandwich. Try filling yours with mashed avocado, leftover roast chicken, hard-boiled egg and some cherry tomatoes. The trick is to eat it all up before it falls out the other end!

Soup – who doesn’t love a nice warming bowl of soup at lunchtime? For those kids (mine included) who always take packed lunch, a hot lunch has to be one of the upsides of the lockdown. Add some protein to the soup to keep tummies full, e.g. tomato and lentil soup, bean and barley or sweet potato and chickpea.

©2020 by Esther Donoff Nutrition