The secret to loving lunch

This is a story I wrote about the different types of lunch – those you loathe and love, those you endure and those you relish. it’s partially a story about the corporate grind and part a story of my love of food and cooking.

The story

The rumbling began dull and low, then spun back on itself to a gurgle, before finally resting after a final deep sound that must be what a full stop would sound like if it had a sound. Frank was determined not to look up from his laptop to acknowledge the unsettlingly loud noise that signalled to his entire pod in the open plan office that he had waited far too long to go for his lunch break. Some of his colleagues noticed it, but others were plugged into their headphones and probably wouldn’t have heard the fire alarm if it went off. One that did was Frank’s office confidant, Ashley, who came over to his desk and said, “spare us all your pleas of ignorance Frank and go get something to eat – it’s way past lunchtime and I know that email can wait.”

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Argentinean/Swedish turkey meatballs

I love tart and tangy flavours and when I was first introduced to chimmichurri as a sauce for steak, I fell in love. It (stupidly) took me a while to realise that the sauce was not exclusively a dressing for steak but went well with many grilled meats. Later I realised you could put it on virtually anything. And so, when I don’t want Swedish meatballs with cream sauce and lingonberry jam, I make this mush mash of turkey meatballs with mash – a leaner, zinger, but just as tasty meal for lunch or dinner.

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Frittata, the best all day egg

There is an important distinction in my house about two types of egg dish that I usually lump in the same group – tortilla versus frittata.

I concede that the tortilla is slightly different than the way I do my frittatas (fry and then under the grill), but they’re very similar and both delicious. For the sake of harmony, I don’t call anything I make tortilla, even when I’ve only used potato and onion.

As with many of these types of food, the best thing is that you can use whatever veg you have in the fridge – egg is the only vital ingredient. Also, this can be breakfast, lunch or dinner – not like the very breakfast focused versions of other egg meals (in my opinion – I guess really you can eat whatever you want whenever you want).

Kale and potato frittata with cheddar cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 3-4 medium potatoes
  • Handful of kale
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 dl grated cheddar

Method

  1. Slice up potatoes and shallow fry until soft
  2. Toss in finely chopped shallots and garlic
  3. Turn the girl on high
  4. Chop the kale and toss in the pan together with everything else
  5. Beat the eggs and pour into the pan
  6. Cook on medium to low until some bubbles form and the edges are cooked
  7. Put grated cheese on top and then put under the grill
  8. Take out when cheese is bubbling and browned
  9. Eat on its own or serve with salad

Dead easy, one portion pasta (G.C.P.H. Fusilli Bucati)

I didn’t take a picture of this one because I didn’t think it would be anything special, but it was a damn good little snack/lunch size portion so I decided to share it.

This one was made by me for me as a snack because it was a bit hungry but couldn’t be bothered with a faff. Pretty customisable so just use whatever you have lying about.

Garlic, Cheese, Pine nuts and Herbs Fusilli Bucati (makes enough for 1)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 dl Fusilli Bucati (or any pasta you want)
  • 10-20g grated ossau iraty
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp pine nuts
  • 2-4 fresh basil leaves
  • 1-2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp Creme fraiche
  • Salt/pepper

Method

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and then cook pasta per instructions on pack.
  2. Chop up the basil, sage, pine nuts and garlic and mix together with the cheese.
  3. When pasta is boiled drain, but keep a bit of the liquid in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place pasta back in the pan and add the rest of the ingredients (including creme fraiche, salt and pepper to taste)
  5. Serve with a bit of grated cheese and cracked black pepper on top.