One simple shopping list and five easy lunch ideas

Ham and cheese jambon, pot noodles, pizza pinwheels, soup, mac and cheese

Working from home – or at least being at home more than usual – does have its positives. One is lunch breaks. Having full kitchen access, those at home, like me, don’t have to be confined to the humble ham sambo anymore. A few easy lunch ideas made up of store cupboard staples can really switch things up, especially when every day starts to look the same.

And, if possible, getting the kids involved in the lunch prep not only teaches them about ingredients and where our food comes from, it also gives them life skills that they will have forever, long after this pandemic is over.

Shopping List

  • 1 pack dried noodle nests (4 in a pack)
  • 1 pack macaroni pasta
  • 2 packs puff pastry
  • 2l of milk
  • 1 family sized block of cheddar
  • 1 block Parmesan cheese
  • Chicken stock cubes
  • 1 pack grated mozzarella and cheddar mixed
  • 2 packs sliced ham
  • 1 pack pepperoni
  • 1 pack cooked chicken breast
  • 1 large tin tuna
  • 1 tube tomato puree
  • 1 tin sweetcorn
  • 1 small tin garden peas
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 potato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 ginger root
  • 1 jar curry powder
  • 1 jar turmeric

1) Ham & Cheese Jambon

Place a saucepan over medium heat and melt one tablespoon of butter. Add one tablespoon of flour and whisk for five minutes.
– Pour in 200ml of warmed milk, whisking as you add. Let the mixture thicken.
– Grate 100g of cheddar and 50g of Parmesan into the saucepan and mix until it's melted.
– Add in a handful of chopped ham and season with salt and pepper.
– Slice a sheet of ready-made puff pastry into rectangles.
– Add a tablespoon of the cheese mix to the centre of each pastry rectangle.
– Fold in each corner and brush with egg yolk.
– Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 180 degrees.

2) Home Comfort Pot Noodles

Boil three dried noodle nests according to the packet instructions.
– Spray a wok with a little oil and add a clove of crushed garlic along with a tablespoon of garden peas and sweet corn.
– Add the chopped cooked chicken breast and pour in a chicken stock cube dissolved in 10ml of hot water.
– Finish off by adding the drained noodles to the wok and mixing together with a dash of soy sauce.
– Serve in little pots.


3) Pizza Pinwheels

Unroll one pack of ready-made puff pastry and spread a tablespoon of tomato puree evenly over it.
– Sprinkle with a tablespoon of oregano and 100g of grated cheddar.
– Scatter with pepperoni slices.
– Roll the pastry back up and slice into 2cm rounds.
– Place them cut side up on a baking tray and top with a little more cheese.
– Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees until golden.

4) Orange & Carrot Soup

Add a knob of butter to a large saucepan over a medium heat.
– Then add in one clove of crushed garlic and a nub of peeled, chopped ginger.
– Peel and dice one onion, one potato and four carrots, and chop the orange into segments.
– Add the orange and vegetables to the saucepan and sauté in the butter for about five minutes.
– Cover with a stock cube dissolved in boiling water (just enough to cover the veggies) and simmer for 35 minutes until they are soft.
– Blend with a stick blender.
– Finish with a teaspoon of mild curry powder and turmeric.

5) Mac & Cheese

In a large saucepan over a medium heat gently bring a litre of milk to a simmer.
– Add in 400g of macaroni pasta and cook until the pasta is tender.
– Turn off the heat then add in 1 tablespoon of butter and 200g of grated cheddar and mozzarella mix. Season with salt and pepper.
– Stir the butter and cheese in with the pasta until both have melted into the milk to create a thick sauce.
– Serve with some fresh, crusty bread.

1 shopping list, 5 breakfast ideas
- 1 shopping list, 5 lunch ideas