Live Your Best Lunchbox Life

Anna Kilcooley -
Live Your Best Lunchbox Life

It’s not cake and bacon in the BTP head office every day (although it quite often is). There’s always a variety of tasty smells coming from the microwave so we asked the team what keeps them going through the working day.

Jane – Office Chief

Thinking of what to eat for lunch every day can be difficult. I don’t like to have sandwiches every day so i’ll often cook dinner for my family and save a portion for my lunch the next day. I like a variety of food, and my lunches consist of Hainan Chicken & rice (Singaporean), Japchae with Kimchi (Korean), Thai curries with rice, Indian curries with naan bread or Singaporean curries with baguette.

Hainan Chicken & Rice

Stuff a handful of garlic, ginger and spring onions into the cavity of a whole chicken, slow boil for 2 hours.
Use the chicken stock, a pinch of salt and add fresh ginger slices and spring onion to the rice before cooking and allow the ingredients to infuse into the rice.
Run the cooked chicken under cold water with gentle care and rub sesame oil and light soy sauce on the chicken.
Slice tomatoes and cucumbers and dress with sesame oil & light soy sauce as a side dish

Chilli sauce to serve
Garlic, ginger, pinch of salt, vinegar, fresh chicken stock & handful of fresh chillies

Lucy – Finance Assistant

I love home cooking and don’t like to spend money on lunches very often. I also get bored eating the same thing all time so I tend to mix it up with a variety of cuisines. The weather is getting colder so I’ll be making lots of vegetable stews, ramens, curries and lasagne/moussakas. You’ll often find Jane and I sharing lunches or cooking for eachother which is a really nice thing to do (especially for me as Jane can COOK).

Vegan Moussaka/Lasagne

Ragu, onions, garlic, passata, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, mushrooms- lots!, courgette, red bell pepper, nutritional yeast, marmite, basil/oregano, red lentils, salt & pepper

‘Cheese’ Sauce
Flour (I use chickpea to make it gluten free) , dairy free spread , dairy free milk (I prefer oat milk as it’s creamier), nutritional yeast, dairy free cheese, salt & pepper

Pan fry slices of aubergine to speed up oven cooking time. Layer the ragu, cheese sauce, aubergine/pasta, spinach & leave some cheese sauce for the top. Sprinkle with cheese on top if wanted and cook for 45 mins on roughly 180-200.

Roast Veg Quinoa Salad

Roast veg of choice, I like to use: aubergine, courgette, carrots, tomatoes mushrooms

Mix cooked quinoa with pan fried tofu/veggie sausages cut up into little circles with the roasted veg, avocado, spinach, herbs and spices of choice and seasoning. I usually microwave it at work because warm meals are better.

Anna – Marketing Assistant

I make a little concoction I like to call ‘not-poodle’ (cos it’s not a pot-noodle) which was great when I worked in an office with no microwave, just a kettle.

I chop chillies, ginger and garlic, mixed with a little dry stock, miso paste and pop in the bottom of a glass jar. Squish some rice noodles on top (or in a separate jar if you’re short on space or only have slower to cook ones) and then add chopped stir fry veg – spring onion, sugar snap peas, shredded carrot, pak choi, mushrooms, whatever you like in a stir fry really – to the top. At lunch time, top off with hot water, shut the jar for a few minutes and you’ve got piping hot ramen ready to go. It’s great in the winter when you want a hot meal, but also fresh crunchy veg. I also like to mix a little mini pot of oyster and fish sauce, with some sweet chilli and soy to add at the end. You can make loads at once and use them up through the week, too.

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Laura – Training and Development Manager

I’m really bad at preparing meals ahead of time, I tend to just follow my heart (stomach) when it comes to eating. Being so indecisive my lunches are normally an unusual mishmash of things or bought on a whim. In the wake of August bank holiday I have had to dive back to into mother Hubbard’s cupboard and bring food in.

My favourite packed lunch is jerk chicken with a salad my old Latvian housemate used to make – kidney beans, red capsicum pepper, sweetcorn, spring onions, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, salt and pepper to season; trust me it’s delicious despite its simplicity. Lots of cherry tomatoes and come carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus, I use a little bento lunchbox so I can keep it in little compartments, having the chicken and salad for lunch and the rest for snacks throughout the day – stops me eating all the crisps.

Andy – Accounts Assistant

Anything I bring in either tends to pasta or rice as a base and then you can add different extra for some variety through the week. Normally for pasta it’s be roasted vegetables or tuna, for rice some teriyaki chicken or chilli (normally using turkey mince)

The other thing I regularly bring is a coconut, sweet potato and chickpea curry which is really simple and quick to make and tasty enough that I don’t mind eating for several days in a row.