We as a nation don’t make enough time for weekday lunches. All too often we grab an unsatisfying sandwich or carton of soup from somewhere and eat it whilst still sat at our desks. Not only is this bad for our health and digestion, it is bad for our souls and our overall happiness. All meals are an opportunity to stop, relax. To talk to friends and loved ones. To daydream, read a book or do the crossword.
We Brits need to reclaim our lunch breaks. Get away from our offices or workstations and take time to slowly, thoughtfully eat something that will fuel and uplift us and take us through the rest of the working day. Taking time to make a fabulous lunch is a way of telling yourself that you’re worth it. That’s hard to do with a bought egg and cress on white plastic bread.
Currently where I work I have no choice but to eat at my desk. We’re in the middle of building works and don’t have a staff room. However, I do have a choice whether to pop across to the evil empire (Tescos) for a rubbishy sandwich or over vinaigretted salad or to bring something from home; something delicious, nutritious and mood enhancing
Yes it takes time, and yes you have to be prepared, but I will gladly trade 20 minutes of TV watching etc in the evening to ensure that I have something to look forward to come 12.30pm the following day.
Feta, grape and lentil salad
This is a gorgeous lunchtime treat. The combination of ingredients may be hard to imagine together but the nuttiness of the rice and lentils, the sharp, salty tang of the feta, the sweet and juicy grapes and the ping of the parsley (See what Sunila has done to me!!) combine to make a salad that is comforting, uplifting and lively all at the same time. Perfect.
Makes enough for two lunchboxes
1/2 mug of uncooked brown rice
1 small tin of brown lentils
a handful of red grapes
2 matchboxed sized pieces of feta crumbled up
small handful of parsley, chopped
juice of one large lemon
Cook the rice and allow it to cool. I cook on a very low heat for 20 mins with the lid on, then turn the heat off and let it stand for 10 mins. In the meantime, crumble the feta, chop the herbs and halve the grapes. Drain the lentils.
Combine everything in a bowl. Add the lemon juice. Divide into two lunchboxes. Leave until totally cool before putting the lids on. Stick in the fridge overnight and don’t forget to take with you the next day. Nothing worse that getting to lunchtime and realising your lunch is several miles away. Spoken from experience. You can also pack a little bag of salad leaves to eat alongside - watercress would be lovely.