Weekly Meal Plan #6: Make-ahead Lunches
Something a little different for this fortnights Weekly Meal Plan, I’ve decided instead of planning your dinners every weeknight, this week I thought starting on Sunday night I’d plan your make-ahead lunches for the week ahead. You can of course eat all of these for dinner (anything can be made night time suitable with the addition of a good glass of wine, I’ve found), so by following this easy plan you have both a week of great dinners ahead of you, and you get to be the smug person with the fancy packed lunch every day next week!
I’m pretty sure my Giant (Israeli) Couscous with Pomegranate and Pistachios is my most pinned salad recipe. If I were writing this recipe in 2018 rather than in 2014 I’d be using wholemeal giant couscous as I think it adds a bit more bite and a bit more flavour, and if you can’t find giant couscous but you can buy pearl barley, there is a version of this salad made with pearl barley in Student Eats. If you’re making this for dinner the night before, some grilled chicken, lamb or halloumi on the side would be fantastic to make it a bit more of an evening meal (marinate it in salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and dried oregano before grilling).
Tuesday: 5 Minute Skinny Smoked Mackerel Pate
One that is just for lunchtimes, but don’t let it put you off. I purposely stockpile cans of smoked tinned mackerel when it is on 3 for 2 so I always have the ingredients to hand. This recipe will make two portions, so either pack it up for the both of you, or eat it over two days. Pack it with a little packet of your favourite crackers or some fancy bread to toast at work, and a few pickles if you have those in your fridge, too. You can also use this with fat slices of cucumber and lots of black pepper to make a killer sandwich.
I think my Roasted Almond, Tomato & Feta Five Grain Bowl has to be my all time favourite hot grain bowl on this site, but that does not mean it is not also excellent cold. If anything, the flavours from the roasted onions and tomatoes, and from the herbs have had the chance to soak into the toothsome grains and soft, salty feta. Use any grain mix you like her, and use this whole recipe as a vehicle for using up any soft herbs hanging around in the fridge, and those odd bits of red onion you end up with when a recipe calls for ‘just half’.
Yes, I know I have featured this bowl a couple of times before on my meal plans (and we’re only on £6!) but I just can’t shut up about this fantastically flavourful Korean Prawn Rice Bowl with Sesame Pak Choi (which just so happens to also be my favourite go-to side for anything of an Asian persuasion) In case you’ve not already heard, this recipe makes two bowls. Unless you’re cooking for just you, double up, and as you’re plating up, also arrange spare portions in plastic lunch boxes. Let them go cold, and enjoy them at work with either a couple of those sachets of soy sauce you get with sushi trays, or a little bottle of my Asian Dressing, the recipe for which you’ll have to hand if you’re smart enough to own my book, Student Eats!
Friday: Greek Salad Lentil Bowl
I prefer to cook my own grains rather than buy them in in pouches, so if I’m after something a bit more instant my go to always has to be a lentil pouch. Puy is king in my kitchen, and this bowl inspired by a classic Greek Salad is fresh, tangy and extremely filling. The only thing to note with this salad is while it is a great make-ahead dish, it is best eaten the day after the night before while everything still has a nice texture – lentils have a tendency to soften and feta to go a bit chewy if left like this for more than a day or so!
A few ideas for the weekend: if you’re planning on brunching, make my Smoked Salmon Latkes with a Lemon & Caper Soured Cream (serve it with a green salad spiked with a mustardy vinaigrette, and a healthy amount of Bucks Fizz), do some baking with Mummy’s Classic Victoria Sponge Cake, if you have an ice cream maker (I use this one) churn some Mint Aero Ice Cream, and if you’re into the whole meal-prep thing but you don’t want to try too hard slow roast some cherry tomatoes to top a weeks worth of breakfast avocado toast.