• Food

Healthy work day lunch ideas

  • 11.01.2017

Forget the shop-bought sarnie – these delicious, nutritious recipes are just the thing to satisfy and sustain you through a busy day.

Sushi salad Smoked salmon & avocado sushi salad
Serves 4  

  • 200g short-grain brown rice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 4 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • 400g lightly smoked salmon fillets
  • 2 avocados

Miso-dressed slaw

  • 4 radishes, very finely sliced
  • 4 spring onions, shredded
  • 100g kale, stalks removed, shredded
  • 200g white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mixed toasted seeds

Cucumber pickle

  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar

Miso soup

  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 100g silken tofu
  • 4 sheets of nori
  1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, then drain and set aside. In the same pan, mix the sugar, mirin and vinegar over a low-medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Return the rice to the pan, season, stir well, then spread it out over a lined tray. Leave to cool completely before refrigerating.
  3. For the slaw, mix the radish, spring onion, kale and cabbage in a bowl. Make a dressing by combining the tahini, miso paste, lime juice, soy and 1 teaspoon of the seeds – pop in a jar, ready to dress the slaw at lunchtime.
  4. Make the cucumber pickle by mixing the cucumber, chilli and coriander together in a large bowl. Add a good pinch of salt and scrunch everything together with your hands. Leave the mixture for a minimum of 1 hour, to preserve the veg. Then squeeze out the moisture and dress with the rice vinegar and sugar. You could make
    a big jar of this and keep it at work to add to other packed lunches.
  5. To build your salad, spread the cooled rice in the base of your lunch containers and arrange the slaw and smoked salmon on top. Halve and peel the avocados, then squeeze the lime juice over to prevent them from discolouring. Roll the avocados in the remaining seeds and place them alongside the salmon and slaw.
  6. For each serving of the miso soup, put 2 teaspoons of miso paste, 25g chopped tofu and 1 crushed sheet of nori into a flask. When ready for your lunch, just add 250ml boiling water to the flask and enjoy with your salad.

Per serving 609 cals, 31.5g fat (6g sat fats), 30.9g protein, 52.9g carbs, 9.4g sugars

Noodle soupNoodle soup jars
A super-delicious and seriously easy packed lunch – just add water!
Serves 2 

  • 4 heaped tsp miso
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chilli sauce, such as sriracha
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 250g brown rice or buckwheat noodles, cooked, rinsed and drained
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 courgette, peeled and grated
  • 100g leafy greens, finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 80g sugar snap peas, sliced
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
  • ½ vegetable stock cube
  • A handful of wasabi peas or nuts, crushed, to serve

Poached eggs

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • A good pinch of red chilli flakes
  1. Make a dressing with the miso, peanut butter, soy, chilli sauce and ginger and toss the noodles in it. Divide between two jars, then layer up your veggies and coriander.
  2. To poach each egg, sit a piece of cling film in a teacup and drizzle with sesame oil. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and chilli flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Carefully crack in the egg. Twist the top of the cling film to secure the egg and lower it into the simmering water. Cook for about
    5 minutes – it’s nice to undercook the egg here as it will cook a little more later when you pour over the stock. Keep the egg wrapped firmly in the cling film until later.
  3. When you’re ready to eat your lunch, make up 400ml of stock with your stock cube and boiling water (or bring your stock in a thermos), and pour half into each jar or container. Mix well, pop the poached eggs on top, and crumble over the wasabi peas or nuts.

Per serving 383 cals, 13.7g fat (3.2g sat fats), 17.6g protein, 50.8g carbs, 9g sugars

Recipes by Maddie Rix, photography by Martin Poole.

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