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Grown-Up Packed Lunches

Out with sad soggy sandwiches, uninspiring and unfulfilling salads, and the daily "what to eat for lunch?" dilemma!

From filling frittata's to easy-to-make open sandwiches, here's five of our favourite grown-up packed lunches to prep the night before or whip up on the day...

Lemon, Tomato & Feta Coodles 

Serves 2

I N G R E D I E N T S 

4 medium courgettes
2 handfuls of cherry tomatos
Handful of feta
1 clove of garlic
4tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1tsp honey
Salt & pepper

M E T H O D 

Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F. Crush your garlic and add to 2tsp of olive oil. Half your tomatoes, pop onto a flat baking tray and drizzle with your garlic oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss them about. Put your tray in and roast for 15 mins. Leave on one side to cool while you spirilize.

Crumble your feta over the top, followed by the tomatos. In the same pot you used for the garlic oil, mix together the lemon juice, honey and the rest of the olive oil.

Pour over your Coodles. Toss it about a bit to make sure that dressing gets everywhere. 

Recipe & photography by The Londoner 

Prawn, Watercress & Radish Open Sandwich 

Serves 2

I N G R E D I E N T S 

1 ciabatta
4 large radishes
3 spring onions
100g of prawns or crayfish tails
Handful of watercress
1tbsp olive oil
4tbsp Mayonnaise
Sea salt & pepper
1 Lemon 


Cut a ciabatta loaf in half horizontally. Toast the bread on the cut side.

Put four heaped tablespoons of good mayonnaise in a mixing bowl, season it with black pepper and with the finely grated zest of a small lemon. Reserve the lemon.

Finely slice four large radishes and put them in a mixing bowl. Trim three spring onions, discarding the tough, darker stalks, then cut the rest into small pieces and add to the radishes.

Drain 100g of crayfish tails or prawns and roughly chop them. Wash a handful of watercress, discard any tough stalks, then add to the radishes together with a trickle of olive oil and a little sea salt and toss the mixture gently.

Cut each half of the ciabatta into two. Spread the lemon mayonnaise over it, then divide the crayfish salad between them.

Recipe by Nigel Slater & photography by Jonathan Lovekin

Quinoa & Lentil Salad with Asparagus, Mint & Haloumi 

Serves 2


200g puy lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g quinoa, rinsed well
16 spears asparagus, woody ends removed, spears cut into 2.5cm pieces
1 x 180g piece haloumi, cut into thin strips
Juice and finely grated zest of 2 limes, plus extra lime cheeks, to serve
1 punnet (250g) cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 long green chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced
1 large handful mint leaves, very roughly chopped
Crusty bread, to serve


Place the lentils and 750ml cold water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, the reduce the heat an simmer over a low heat for 25 minutes until cooked (they should be slightly soft yet still al dente and nutty in texture). Drain, then run under cold water to rinse. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool completely before adding the olive oil and red wine vinegar and seasoning well with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, place the quinoa and 500ml cold water in another small saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low and cook for 10-15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the grains appear translucent. Remove from the heat, fluff up the grains with a fork and transfer to the bowl with the lentils.

Half fill a small saucepan with water, bring to the boil and add the asparagus. Cook for 2-3 minutes until al dente, then drain and plunge immediately into a bowl or iced water. Drain again and add to the bowl with the lentils and quinoa.

Heat a chargrill pan over a medium heat and add the haloumi to the pan. Drizzle the lime juice over the cheese and sear for 2-3 minutes until golden brown all over. Cut into small squares and add to the lentil mixture, along with the tomatoes, spring onions, chilli, mint and lime zest, then season well with salt and pepper.

Garnish with extra lime checks and serve with crusty bread.

Recipe & photography by What Katie Ate

Ricotta, Tomato & Spinach Frittata

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
Onion, finely sliced
300g cherry tomatoes
100g spinach
Spinach leaves
Small handful basil leaves
100g ricotta
6 egg, beaten
Salad, to serve

M E T H O D 

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the onion for 5-6 mins until softened and lightly golden. Add the tomatoes and toss for 1 min to soften.

Remove from the heat, add the spinach leaves and basil, and toss together to wilt a little. Transfer all the ingredients to a greased 30cm x 20cm rectangular baking tin. Take small scoops of the ricotta and dot over the vegetables.

Season the eggs and beat well, then pour over the vegetables and cheese. Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until pale golden and set. Serve with salad.

Recipe & photography by BBC Good Food 

Super Powered Tomato & Basil Collard Wraps

Serves 4


1 block of tempeh, cut into half inch strips
1 chili, sliced
4-5 sprigs of basil, divided
Splash of red wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup quinoa
Handful of sundried tomatoes (not the oil-packed ones), small dice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 tbsp tomato sauce
8 large collard leaves
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced (or 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes halved)


In a shallow dish, place the tempeh pieces, sliced chili, 2-3 tablespoons of chopped basil, the red wine vinegar, sliced shallot and a good glug of olive oil. Season the mix with salt and pepper and toss to coat the tempeh. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and a fat pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the quinoa to a boil and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Scrape quinoa into a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool.

Once cool, to the quinoa add a glug of olive oil, 2-3 tbsp chopped basil, the diced sundried tomatoes, and some salt and pepper. Toss to combine. In a shallow dish, mash the chickpeas with the tomato sauce, salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. You want a mixture that kind of holds together but also a few whole chickpeas too. Set aside.

Heat a grill to high and place the marinated tempeh slices on the grates. Grill both sides until char marks appear, about 4 minutes per side.

To make the collard wraps, start by laying one collard leaf down on a cutting board so that it’s on a horizontal orientation. Lay another collard leaf on top, overlapping the stem ends considerably. You should have an almost solid rectangular-ish sheet of collard green now. It almost looks like a very chunky figure 8.

Spoon some of the chickpea mash into the middle, pressing it down. Lay two tempeh slices on top of the chickpea mash. Then place some sliced tomato on top of the tempeh. Place a few slices of tomato and whole leaves of basil on top. Pull up the long side of the collard wrap and fold it over the filling. Bring in the short sides as if you were making a burrito. Then roll the whole thing until you’ve sealed the wrap.

Repeat this process with remaining ingredients. Secure wraps with toothpicks if necessary. Slice wraps in half to serve.

Recipe & photography by The First Mess

Tags: foodpacked lunchlunchofficerecipes
Posted on 31st August 2016 by Hush