If you’re like me, you’ve probably fallen into the school of thought that lunch is a means to an end rather than an opportunity to eat something really interesting and exciting. Often I’ve sat trying to think of wonderfully adventurous and different foods to eat but inevitably I give up and go for the same old cheese sandwich that has been a staple of my lunchtimes for decades. It’s with a lot of interest that I came across Lunchbox Salads by Naomi Twigden and Anna Pinder, and for the first time in ages I felt like lunch may become exciting again.
Twigden and Pinder trained together at Leith’s cookery school and they ran Lunch BXD in London. With Lunchbox Salads the foodies promise that that they have put together a series of recipes that are easy to make and take less than 30 minutes. At this point I was thinking this book must be too good to be true. On first inspection Lunchbox Salads is divided into a series of chapters based around a ‘hero vegetable’. From squash and sweet potato through to broccoli and kale, Lunchbox Salads is absolutely brimming with fantastic ideas to inspire you to put that extra bit of effort into your lunch.
The book opens with a Store Cupboard offering a handy guide to the staple ingredients you should always have on hand. It’s another of my problems when it comes to cooking; I’ve spent most of my life thinking about what I want to eat, when I want to eat it rather than attempting any planning ahead. The list of ingredients here are simple, cost effective items you can pick up and they keep for ages so there’s really no excuse for not having them on hand all the time.
It really is quite astounding just how simple these recipes are. They are as easy to make as the writers claim and they are deeply satisfying. The green bean chapter is my favourite and I can safely say the Thai Baked Halloumi Salad is one of the best discoveries in this book. Other recipes I can’t get enough of include Sweet Potato + Red Lentil Cakes with A Raw Shredded Salad (well to be honest every single sweet potato recipe is fantastic) and the Seeded Kale + Buttermilk Chicken Caesar Salad.
Something I really loved about Lunchbox Salads is the ‘Try This’ tips that appear throughout giving you little ideas about substitutions or additions to make your meal a little different. Those simple little ideas can make a whole lot of difference and they give you even more variety and choice when it comes to deciding what to make. The final chapter of the book gives you a series of sauce recipes and some great hummus ideas too.
One of the things that’s really striking about Lunchbox Salads is the design of the book. The pages are clean and modern with eye-catching, colourful imagery. I found myself salivating over food I would most likely not even eat – that’s how good it looks! The book is a handy size too so you can pack it in your bag and take it with you on the go.
Having spent a lot of time with Lunchbox Salads I can definitely say it’s revolutionised the way I think about lunch. Prior to reading this book the word salad filled me with a sense of dissatisfaction and dread but the recipes here are really tasty and creative. I’m actually excited about lunch and more than willing to wave goodbye to my boring old cheese sandwich in favour of richly varied recipes packed with taste and yummy goodness.
Published By: Ebury Press Release Date: 6th July 2017