Tag Archives: Lunch Ideas

Rapid But Delicious Avocado Toast

We don’t have a very positive relationship with food fads at the Mill, but we also live by a “don’t knock it ’til you try it” philosophy (within reason!) so I had to take advantage of a day at home to whip up this nutritious but delightful lunch. 

 avocado toast recipe 

You will need:

1/2 Hass avocado 

2 tsp lime juice

Good pinch salt

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2 slices of granary or other brown bread, toasted (I used homemade bread I had frozen in slices, popped straight in the toaster)

Optional: serve with a poached egg

 how to keep half an avocado 
1. Half your avocado, cutting around the seed and twisting it open. If you’re not making this for two, immediately cover the half with the seed remaining inside with lemon juice or lime juice, cling film and put in the fridge to help keep it as green as possible. 

 how to make avocado taste better 

2. Whilst avocado is delightful, I don’t like it to taste too creamy, so I generally add a good punch of lime juice) which has the added benefit of delaying the avocado turning brown), a bit of salt and a kick of chilli to wake it up and round it off. Scoop out the flesh of the half you’re using, and mash it up in a bowl or on a clean chopping board until sort of spreadable but not too mushy- I like to leave some unmashed pieces for texture.

  
3. Meanwhile, toast the bread. If you want a warm lunch, have the avocado ready to spread on by the time the toast is ready.

 how to make avocado toast 
5. Transfer the mashed avocado onto the toast, put on a plate and enjoy with a nice cup of Earl Grey!

  

Simple Tomato Soup 

Tomato soup. Even just the thought of it is like getting a big, warm hug. Is there anyone who doesn’t like tomato soup? It’s not quite Heinz Cream of Tomato but I’m pretty sure it’s a damn sight better for you.  

You will need:

2 onions

1 leek

2 cloves garlic

2 medium carrots or 3 small ones 

2 litres chicken stock (I used 2 cubes) 

Tomatoes – use as many as you like, whichever rules you like. For this recipe I used 12 salad tomatoes and 3 punnets of cherry tomatoes 

2 tsp dried oregano

Salt and pepper

Dash lemon juice 

Sprinkle of sugar 

Dash Worcestershire sauce

8 leaves or so of fresh basil 

  
1. Chop up the onion, leek and garlic. Add a splash of olive oil to your soup pot, heat on a medium heat, and chuck in the veg. Let those start to soften for 10 minutes before chopping and adding the carrots. 
  
2. Add the stock, stick the lid on and allow to simmer on a low heat. 

  
 3. The next part is what makes things simple! The worst part of making tomato soup, for me, is the process of blitzing and sieving the cooked soup. To try to make that a but easier, I’ve come up with a bit of a process. 

  

4. Chop the tomatoes. Put a large saucepan on the heat with a little oil in the bottom. Gradually chuck in each punnet of tomatoes as they’ve been chopped. The tomatoes you add earliest will have a bit of time to break down before you add the next, meaning you should be able to fit all the batches in. If not, use another saucepan. 

 5. You don’t need to add anything else at this stage. Stick the lid on and allow the tomatoes to cook down. If you have other things to do, this is the time for it. Clean, watch a movie, bake, whatever – just give these time.   

  
6. When the tomatoes have cooked down nicely, push them through a seive into the vegetable and stock mixture. This is time consuming, but trust me, it’s much easier then pushing the blitzed soup through the seive. You want to push as much tomato pulp through, whilst separating out the seeds and skins. 

  
7. Now add the rest of the flavourings and seasonings, apart from the fresh basil, which should be added in at the end to make the most of the flavour. 

  
8. Take the soup off the heat, pour into a bowl, add the basil, and blitz until smooth. You can do this in the pot if you’d like, I just like to pour it out into another bowl to avoid scratching my non-stick soup pot. Now taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary. 

Salmon and Cream Cheese Croissant

This is such a quick, easy, indulgent lunch. I know flinging a few things together doesn’t really constitute a recipe per se, but I know myself that it’s easy to get into a rut with lunch, so I figured I’d share this idea anyway because it’s pretty delicious.

  
You will need:

1 good quality croissant from the fresh bakery section of the supermarket or from a bakery 

2 slices smoked salmon

Cream cheese, Philadelphia will do

Salad leaves 

  
1. Preheat the oven. Slice the croissant open but leave it folded shut. Put it on a tray and allow it to heat through for 5 or 10 minutes, until nice and warm and slightly crisp on the outside. 

2. Remove from the oven. Open it up and spread both sides with cream cheese. Add a layer of salad leaves and lay the salmon neatly on top. 

3. Close it up and enjoy your indulgent lunch with some more salad. 

Bon Appetit!

Soda Bread (or bread for impatient people)

Sometimes you want decent bread, made at home, but you don’t have the best part of an afternoon to make it. Well, help is at hand!

This takes about 40 minutes to make and is absolutely delicious with soup, salad and cold meat, pâté or butter and jam.   

You will need:

170g self-raising flour

170g wholemeal flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

290ml buttermilk

  
 
  1. Preheat the oven to 200c making sure the shelf is low enough to fit the loaf in the oven! 

 
  2. Weigh out the flours, bicarb and salt and mix together.  
  3. Add in the buttermilk. Hint: the carton I bought was 284ml but it gave me 290. Mr Brooker suggested adding a dollop of yoghurt but I didn’t need to in the end. It’s a good plan if you’re running short though.  
  4. Mix everything together with your hands, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl for any spare flour. Do not over knead! 
  5. Remember that this is an unyeasted bread so please don’t over work it. You just need to knead it until it has formed a consistent dough. Roll into a ball, flatten and place on a floured baking sheet or stone. (Hilariously I just thought about using a baking stone…ah well…next time). I just added baking parchment to make cleaning up easier – it’s not essential.  
  6. Cut a cross into the bread, fairly deep so it will bloom out nicely. This is easiest if you make 4 separate cuts.  
  7. Sprinkle the top with flour (I added a sprinkle of rolled oats as well but that’s optional) and bake for around 30 minutes until hollow sounding when you tap it on the bottom. I’d advise leaving it to cool for 10 minutes or so to let the residual heat move through the bread and prevent doughiness. 
   Enjoy fresh, or toast the next day.