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Best Easy Lunch Recipes

Best Easy Lunch Recipes

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Easy Lunch Shopping Tips

For sandwiches, choose whole wheat or whole grain breads and lean meats. For salads, choose a light dressing and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Easy Lunch Cooking Tips

Substitute butter for olive oil, and bake, broil, or grill instead of fry.

Student recipes

Going to uni and never cooked before? Our student recipes are a great way to get started with easy, cheap and filling dishes that are packed with flavour.

Roasted aubergine & tomato curry

Slightly sweet with added richness from the coconut milk, this simple vegan curry is a winner. It's also freezable if you need a quick midweek fix

Cauli-kale sausage bake

This cheap, crowd-pleasing meal is easy, hearty fare. This needs hardly any prep and it's pure comfort food, with a good helping of veg and hot bubbling cheese

Yotam Ottolenghi’s three-course store-cupboard meal

Chickpea and rainbow chard soup (above)

Kitchen aide: If you can’t get chard, use savoy cabbage or mature spinach, or kale or cavolo nero (though those last two are much more robust, so will need cooking for longer). And if you don’t have fresh thyme, try oregano or marjoram instead.

Courgette chickpea and herb pancakes

KA: You could try making these with carrot, too and remember, courgettes are a member of the squash family, so a par-cooked (to soften) and shredded butternut squash would also work. And if you don’t fancy making the cashew cream (though it is delicious), serve topped with a dollop of yoghurt and/or a squeeze of fresh lime.

Courgette, chickpea and herb pancakes Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

Coconut ice-cream with strawberries and crisp coconut

KA: As with many summer fruit recipes, any soft fruit you can get your hands on can take the place of the strawberries here. Or swap them out for any frozen fruit you have lurking in the bottom of the freezer, but make sure it’s thoroughly defrosted before mixing it with the lime juice.

Coconut ice-cream with strawberries and crisp coconut Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

35 Easy Cold Lunch Ideas

This list of cold lunch ideas includes everything from homemade lunchables to chicken wraps and filling salads.

They’re easy to make and some can be made in just 5 minutes using leftovers and fresh produce.

Whether you’re low-carb, looking for something to indulge in, or just looking for unique lunch ideas, this list has something for you – even ideas that work great for the working man in your life, whether that’s your husband or you!

There are 35 ideas in this list that prep well and taste incredible when cold. That means you can just pack your lunch up with an ice pack and enjoy it hours later no matter where you are. No microwave required!

We love to make these lunch ideas for work while working at home since they’re easy to prep ahead and have ready to eat for those busy days!

3. Yummly

Another excellent website to get top-notch recipes is Yummly. This platform boasts an appealing and easy to navigate interface, as well as plenty of filters to help you navigate easily in the database, which boasts over 2 million recipes. The site also features fantastic recipe videos that are often displayed on social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook. The site allows users with an account to save recipes, share their creations, and make shopping lists.

  • Features outstanding videos
  • Boasts a plethora of different filter options
  • Clean, fun and easy to use website
  • Ability to create meal plans based on diet restriction and allergies

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir occasionally.

While the toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin even layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate, and press in slightly. Putting a plastic bag over your hand will minimize the mess.

Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

Best Chocolate Brownies

Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.

If one is going to take the trouble to make chocolate brownies, one may as well make them right. Brownies from a box? No thank you.

Easy Chocolate Brownies from Scratch

I got this chocolate brownie recipe years ago from my dear friend Suzanne, who had adapted it from an Alice Medrich recipe from the book Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate she found on Epicurious.

Suzanne uses the same method and proportions, but instead of using vanilla, she flavors the brownies strongly with almond extract. So good! The almond extract gives these brownies a wonderful flavor, a perfect blend with the cocoa and pecans.

A Dense, Fudgy Brownie

They are the kind of brownie that can't make up their mind whether they would rather be cake or fudge. They're quite dense and fudge-like, but have just enough flour and eggs to keep them in the brownie camp.

How to Tell When the Brownies Are Done

With many brownies, you want a bamboo skewer or toothpick inserted into the center to come out clean to ensure they're done. Not so with these brownies, because they're dense and fudgy. If the skewer or toothpick comes out clean, these brownies will be overbaked.

To tell if these brownies are done, you want the end of the skewer or toothpick to come out a little moist, but not dripping with batter. When you take the pan out of the oven, make sure they cool completely before slicing. They need time to set up, or they'll fall apart when you cut them.

If you love extra-fudgy brownies, try this trick from chocolate maven Alice Medrich: pop the pan into the freezer right after it comes out of the oven. The freezer "shocks" the brownies so they stop cooking and stay fudgy. Remove them after about an hour. Bonus: this makes them a to easier to cut.

Best Mix-Ins for Chocolate Brownies

If you want to substitute something for the pecans, try one of these mix-ins.

  • Milk, dark or white chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Plain M&Ms
  • Mini marshmallows and chopped almonds (this will make them rocky road-like)
  • Mini marshmallows and graham cracker pieces (s'mores-like)
  • Dried cherries
  • Pretzel pieces

Can These Brownies Be Made in Another Size Pan?

Yes! You can use an 8-inch round cake pan instead of an 8-inch square pan. You can also pour the batter into greased muffin tins, and start testing the brownie muffins at 20 minutes for doneness.

If you chose to double the recipe, the best size pan to use would be a 9 x 13-inch pan. You'll have to increase the baking time by about 20 minutes if you double the recipe.

How to Make Nut-Free Chocolate Brownies

These brownies are fine without the pecans, or any mix-ins at all, if you want nut-free chocolate brownies. If you're omitting the pecans because of nut allergies, make sure you also substitute 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract for the 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.

Tips for Storing and Freezing Brownies

To store the brownies on the countertop, keep them in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. If they aren't eaten by then you can store them in the refrigerator for another 3 to 4 days, or you can store them in the refrigerator immediately for up to one week.

To freeze the brownies, put cut brownies - unwrapped - on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer until just frozen through. Wrap the frozen brownies individually in plastic wrap and then store them together in an airtight zip top bag in the freezer for up to three months. Brownies can be defrosted one at a time in the refrigerator or the countertop.

More Tips for Making the Best Hummus

  • Process the tahini and olive oil first: when you buy tahini, often the solid part of it is compacted and separated from the oil. If you process it in the food processor first, you'll be able to start with a creamier base.
  • Peel membranes for extra creamy hummus: If you have extra time and you want to make hummus that is extra creamy, peel the membranes off the cooked chickpeas before you purée them. The best way to do that is work with about 1/2 can of chickpeas at a time, drain them and rub them vigorously between two large paper towels. That will make it much easier to slip off the membranes.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.

Step 2

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-low speed to break up egg whites, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until whites are very foamy and barely form soft peaks, about 45 seconds longer. Gradually add granulated sugar and continue to beat on medium-high speed until whites are firm and glossy and hold stiff peaks (if you overbeat, the meringue will look dry, grainy, and curdled). Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.

Step 3

Remove bowl from mixer. Sift one-third of dry ingredients over meringue. Return bowl to mixer and beat on low speed until incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer again and repeat sifting and mixing process 2 more times. Remove bowl again and fold batter several times with a large flexible spatula, scraping and lifting batter from the bottom to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Step 4

Scrape about half of batter into ungreased tube pan. Using a spoon or small offset spatula, push batter around bottom of pan, into corners, and up sides and center tube (this helps form smooth sides and eliminate air pockets) it’s okay if batter forms a little bit of a trough, with the center at a lower level than the outer edges. Scrape remaining batter into pan, spreading evenly and smoothing top.

Step 5

Bake cake until top is puffed, split, golden, and springs back firmly when touched and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35–40 minutes. Immediately invert pan, placing hollow part of tube over a long-necked wine or other glass bottle to elevate it (if your pan has feet, simply rest upside-down on feet). Let cool at least 1 hour, then turn right side up. The upside-down cooling is key for a cake that doesn’t deflate and sink onto itself. Using a thin metal spatula, cut around sides and loosen cake. Pull on tube to release cake from pan, then cut around tube. Using thin metal spatula, loosen cake from bottom. Invert cake onto a plate or cake stand and remove bottom. Serve with berries and whipped cream.

Step 6

Do Ahead: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.

Have you ever looked in your fridge and the only vegetable in good shape looking back at you is a single head of cabbage? Cabbage is like that it can outlast almost any other vegetable. Now even if all you have in your fridge is some cabbage, there are only a few more pantry ingredients you need to make this easy, nourishing, and light cabbage soup.

To make this simple cabbage soup you only need fresh cabbage, onions, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, and a few spices.

Of course with so few ingredients the quality of the soup relies on the quality of your ingredients. Homemade chicken stock is the best (we'll also use Better than Bouillon in a pinch), and a good quality canned tomatoes makes all the difference (we use Muir Glen).