Bar lack of time, one of the biggest deterrents to preparing your own packed lunch is not feeling inspired about what you’re making. This doesn’t just apply to lunch: most people will have reached for the takeaway leaflet after quickly surveying the fridge and not being able to stomach yet another omelette.
So, speed and making something a bit different are both key, and while it’s hard to beat a sandwich for lunchtime convenience, the fillings can be predictable. Tuna mayo, BLT, chicken salad … even the newer fillings – falafel salad, which by some law of sandwich-making is always dry – have started to get samey.
Here are some quick and different filling ideas to jazz up your lunch break and help you find a new favourite. We’ve suggested baguettes, as the frozen home-baked ones are a godsend when you’ve run out of fresh bread. Plus, if you are assembling at home, they are far less likely to go soggy, due to their sturdy crust.
If you are able to do some quick assembly at work, then this could be the egg sandwich for you. Cook 2 eggs in boiling water for exactly 7 minutes then submerge in cold water. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel or put in a container ready to take to work. In one plastic container, combine crumbled feta, chopped green olives and parsley leaves. In another place sliced pickled beets. Come lunchtime, spread a split baguette with mayo, and top with slices of your egg. Season with salt and pepper, then top with beets and the salad.
Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing are authors of The Little Book of Lunch (Square Peg)