Inspiring lunchbox ideas

By Hannah Roberts

Lunch, one of the three most important meals of the day and a dangerously easy way of wasting your monthly pay check. For those that have made the transition from intern to full-time employee, you’ll no doubt be aware of the obligation to save you monies and bring in a packed lunch. It is in honour of this that the Inspiring marketing team have decided to put together some of their favourite lunchbox delights. Enjoy!

Andrew’s Mediterranean vegetables and couscous

• Selection of vegetables (up to you but I usually use): 1 courgette, 1 small butternut squash (or sweet potato) skin on, 1 green pepper, 1 red onion and 1 aubergine
• Couscous
• Big glug of olive oil
• Splash of balsamic vinegar
• Handful of fresh rosemary
• 6/7 leaves of fresh basil
• Salt
• Pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Chop the veg into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a decent-sized roasting tin. Liberally pour olive oil over them. Roughly chop the rosemary and basil and scatter over the top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cook for roughly 40 minutes. Give them a good mix up half-way through.

When the veg have about five minutes left, boil a kettle and put your couscous into a bowl. Pour the boiled water into the bowl so that it covers the couscous and cover the top of the bowl with a plate or some cling film. Leave to sit for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork (you can also stir through some butter or olive oil if you’re feeling adventurous).

If you’re cooking for lunch, transfer the couscous to your favourite Tupperware then tip the vegetables over the top, ensuring all that all the delicious juicy goodness goes in as well. Splash some balsamic vinegar over the top and voila! Delicious, healthy lunch ahoy.

Pimp my veg
You want more do you? More?! I like that attitude. You’ll go far. Well try adding some crumbled feta to your couscous for a delicious cheesy addition. Where’s the kick? I’ll give you a kick…OK then, finely chop a small red chilli and scatter over the veg before roasting. You want to get a bit nutty? Alrighty, get yourself a couple of handfuls of pine kernels, chuck them in a hot frying pan for a couple of minutes to toast them, then chuck them in with the couscous. D-lish.

Pasta al Hannah

• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 small onion
• Approx. 200g chorizo
• 1 fresh chilli
• 1 tin plum/chopped tomatoes
• Approx. 500g pasta
• 125g mozzarella
• Fresh basil
• Seasoning
• The above should make enough to satisfy two hungry individuals for dinner and lunch the following day

I don’t cook, but when I do I mean business, and like to make enough to show the office how great I am the next day. A standard fail-safe favourite that keeps me well-fuelled goes a little like this…

• Get a flat-mate/man to chop a clove of garlic for you (thereby avoiding garlic smelling hands). NB not endorsed by the Inspiring management – chop your own garlic!
• Likewise with the onion – fry these (in a very minimal amount of olive oil) ‘till golden, add the garlic once the onions have softened.
• Then whack in a little/lot of fresh chopped chilli, copious amounts of chopped chorizo and a healthy glug of red wine.
• Once this has browned a little and generally looks so irresistible you’re tempted to just have it on toast, add a tin of plum or chopped tomatoes.
• Somewhere in between the garlic and the chilli, you should of considered boiling the kettle and putting on some pasta. No specific rules on which type (I like fusilli) but I would avoid spaghetti for lunchbox purposes.
• Depending on how wild you’re feeling, let some fresh mozzarella melt into the sauce and add a good handful of chopped basil. If you’re strapped for readies, settle for a little dried oregano and a good grind of s & p.
• Bring into work the next day in somebody else’s Tupperware and place in fridge – this is important. When hungry, heat in the microwave for a couple of mins to rerelease aroma and watch as your colleagues look on in envy.

Alex’s norty nicoise

• Tin of tuna
• Green beans (boiled up)
• Eggs (hard boiled)
• Brown rice, long grain personally (follow instructions on packet)
• Salad beans (drain from can & wash)
• Tomatoes (chop up with a chopping knife on a chopping board)
• Salad leaves

Stick this in a lunchbox, remember to take it to work the next day… 50% fall at this hurdle.
You got yo’self a badass protein filled version of the tuna nicoise salad. Dress her up with olive oil & balsamic vinegar (that you can keep at work) an’ you’re ballin’.

Would you class yourself as a foodie? Do you dream of a career that incorporates your passion for grub? You may want to check out this Digital Marketing Food Internship with an online food company. Scrumptious.

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She tweets about all things golden here: @hlcroberts and pins all things pretty here: gildthelilly. You can also connect with Hannah on Google+