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The best thing about working from home is that I no longer buy all my food from Pret a Manger.
The worst thing about working from home is that I am always a fifteen minute drive away from Pret a Manger.
I love Pret. At the height of my Pret addiction – when pregnant with Elfie and working on Leonard Street in Shoreditch, with a Pret a three minute stroll away – I would visit around four times a day. Once for breakfast, again for lunch, a couple of hours later for second lunch and one more time for tea/snacks. Which, as you can imagine, was not good for my wallet.
Which is why, as finally after twelve years in the workforce I seem to have twigged how financially draining lunches can be, when I became self-employed and started working from home I decided I would make my own fiscally-friendly lunches. And then use the extra money to buy something more interesting than cheese and tomato croissants, if such a thing exists (It does. It’s called dresses).
But my word is it difficult to come up with regularly interesting lunches that you don’t select ready-made from a chiller cabinet. Lunches – the arguably less substantial little brother of the more interesting suppers – are boring! Small and boring. And you can only eat ham sandwiches and last night’s leftovers for so long before you start getting bored.
This is where my (new-ish) roster of ten minute meals comes in: lunches that are quick, easy and (mostly) healthy. Meals that can be thrown together in the time it would take to stroll to Pret and pluck an avocado and herb wrap off the shelf. Plates of food that will cost a lot less than a ready-made sandwich.
First up is this: the Courgette, Lemon and Feta Frittata. A recipe that I have my friend Laura Jane Williams to thank for, having seen a similar iteration on her Insta stories recently and thinking ‘yep, I’ll have that’.
This one is refined carb-free, protein-filled and, when served with a salad, has a massive three of your five daily portions of veg: cheese-stuffed croissant this is not! It’s ready in minutes and is bloody delicious; I’ve recently started buying Burford Brown eggs and us them here… not only are they really tasty but they’re some of the most ethically sound eggs around, so not only can you eat a delicious lunch but you can have a clean conscience while doing it.
Courgette, Lemon and Feta Frittata
- 1 Courgette
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Free-range Eggs
- 1/2 Lemon Grated rind only
- 75 g Feta or Halloumi
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Salad to serve
Start by heating a heavy-bottomed frying pan on a medium-high heat. You'll want one that's large enough to squeeze in a layer of chopped courgette (I slice mine to about a half a centimetre thickness). Turn your grill on high.
While the oil is heating chop your courgette, slightly on a slant. Place in the pan and cook until golden brown, around 4 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, crack your egg into the bowl and beat well with a pinch of salt and pepper.
If you're using halloumi rather than feta you'll want to brown this off with the courgette; pop it in the pan around 2 minutes before the courgette has finished cooking. Make sure you get it on the pan itself rather than on top of the vegetables.
If you're using feta wait until the courgette is cooked to add, and follow by grating the lemon into the pan. It should sizzle slightly but you don't want it to burn. Tip the egg in straight after.
Leave for a couple of minutes until the bottom of the frittata is golden-brown. Take the pan off the heat and pop it under a hot grill for a minute until it's completely set on top.
Serve with a side-salad and pat yourself on the back for not visiting Pret.