Over time it’s easy to forget what your goals are. When I have started to write this blog a few weeks after lockdown began, the aim of these posts was to introduce simple recipes using seasonal and store cupboard ingredients, on a low budget and to keep of all us in good health and well fed. Through this journey, I have posted classic French recipes like the Chicken Blanquette and also easy, healthy recipes like the Broccoli Soup, Leek and Potato Soup and Mushroom Soup. (I added the link of each of them as a reminder!).

Long story short, today is to illustrate how quick it can be to deliver of plate of food that is still nutritious and cheap, but can also work well in an office or your canteen at work. Now that some of us are starting to go back to work and the lockdown measures are being eased, it is easy to fall back to bad habits thinking we don’t have enough time. So, to keep you inspired I have suggested some of my favourite easy and quick recipes that cost under £1! You are going to be able to enjoy a tasty plate of food without the hassle of queuing at the supermarket or to be in the kitchen the all time.

My first plate is a baked goat cheese on toast with a beetroot salad. A five minutes plate costing around 70p per portion. A bargain! A pack of cooked beetroot from the shop, a bit of double cream and goat cheese. Job done!

Ingredients: 4 slices of Soda Bread**; 1 pack of cooked beetroots; 125g goat’s cheese; 50ml double cream; Salt; Pepper; Olive oil; Balsamic vinegar.

Method: Crumble the goat’s cheese in a mixing bowl. Add the double cream and whisk until you obtain a homogeneous texture. Season with salt, pepper, dry thyme (optional) and olive oil to taste.
Slice 4 slices of soda bread, toast them. Wait until they are cool and start spreading the goat’s cheese mix on top of them. Make sure that the mix is spread heavenly and roughly ½ cm thick.
Turn the oven on “grill mode”.
Place the 4 toasts on a baking tray and grill them until the cheese start to colour and to be crispy.
Meanwhile make the beetroots salad, dice the beetroots, put them in a salad bowl and season them with salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar.
Take a plate, dress the salad and goat’s cheese toast on it. Enjoy!

** I made my own soda bread, you can use a shop bought loaf, but I recommend trying to make your own bread when you can!

The best side salad – tomato, cucumber and mint. They are available the all year but at this time of the year they taste a bit more special, they taste of Spring time!

Cooking should be fun so if you want to plate your cucumbers like scales on a fish, please do it! It would not change the taste but it will make you feel a bit more special – a good one if cooking with kids!

What do you really need to make a ‘good salad’ a ‘great salad’? A fabulous dressing. And the easiest way to make a dressing is the famous French dressing. You will need to whisk a tablespoon of Dijon mustard with 1 cup of vegetable oil. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and pinch of salt. “Et le tour est joué”! Bon Apétit!!

This next lunchtime dish is so easy that I feel a bit ashamed to share it with you, but it’s one of my favourite. Tuna on toast with tomato and baby gem. It will cost you around £1 to make two portions, which is going to help you to go through your busy afternoon. It’s so easy! Take a tin of tuna, open it, drain it and mix the tuna with two tablespoons of mayonnaise. Toast two slices of soda bread and spread the tuna mixture on top it. Meanwhile, get ready with the cherry tomato and bay gem to compose the salad. Your lunch is ready! I never said delicious had to be complex!

Frittata originates from Italy and it means Fried. A Frittata is something personal, you can make it with ingredients you love the most, or simply to use up what you have left in the fridge! For us, it was leftover of gammon and potatoes. Dice the gammon and the potatoes. Beat your eggs in a mixing bowl, (2 eggs per person generally works out nicely), toss the diced potato in a pan with some oil, add the gammon and finally the beaten eggs. Cook it slowly. The eggs should be cooked through. What I like to do is to finish mine in the oven! The picture attached below, is a Frittata made by Jayne and her dad, Peter. Simple, cheap and easy to impress your family for lunch! Frittata can be eaten cold, so great to take in a lunchbox the following day with your salad and French dressing!

Cooking your lunch might be a difficult task because you don’t want to spend too much time prepping for what is going to be a 30 minutes lunch break so I will suggest try these recipes. They could safe you time and cash! Remember all the things you can make in advance too, such as the frittata, the soda bread and the salad dressing.

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