Dining Al Desko… Some easy to prepare lunch options

by grainnep

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One of the upsides to having less money to spend on lunch every day is that you can guarantee the quality of the food you eat by preparing it at home and eating it ‘Al desko’. It is a great way to save money – it is so easy to spend almost €10 every day just buying a sandwich and a coffee. I have always kept my little cafetiere by my desk and with my little supply of Has bean ground coffee and these lunch options, I am a very happy bunny, deskside.

I have posted these great dip recipes before but think they are worth reposting. Together with this simple recipe for delicious Parmesan biscuits (gluten free!) they make a lovely deskside snack. Throw your favourite chopped veggies into a zip lock bag, alongside these dips and you are guaranteed to feel nicely satisfied and full of energy for the afternoon ahead.

Parmesan Biscuits with Chilli
51/2oz Gluten Free White Flour Mix and extra for dusting
4oz grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp salt and pepper
1 egg yolk
3oz butter
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp chopped rosemary – optional
Few tablespoons of cold water

Preheat the oven to 180C
Place flour, butter, parmesan , chilli, salt and pepper into food processor.
Pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the yolk and pulse until blended
While still pulsing add enough cold water (2-3 tbsp) until it mixes together into a firm dough
Lightly dust work surface and gently knead to form a smooth ball
Wrap in cling , flatten slightly and chill for about 30 minutes
Remove and roll out and cut in your favourite shapes
Scatter with chopped rosemary if using
Bake for about 12 minutes on parchment paper until a golden colour

Goats cheese and yoghurt dip
9oz fresh goats cheese
4 tbsp Greek style natural yoghurt
1 garlic clove – chopped and mashed into puree with a little salt
1 tbsp each of your favourite herbs (Flat leaf parsley, chives, thyme, tarragon, chervil, mint, coriander – the list is endless. Ensure they are finely chopped

Mash the goats cheese and yoghurt using enough yoghurt to get a loose but not runny consistency
Mix the garlic thoroughly into the cheese and yoghurt
Stir in the herbs and season to taste
Great with chopped veggies
Well worth making even if you only have parsley and chives!

Beetroot Dip
I love love love beetroot. I grow it and really rate it – rich in antioxidants and nutrients, great for cardio vascular health and I could eat this dip every day.
The recipe here is based on Skye Gyngell’s recipe though I always omit the chilli so that Eva can have it and also it does depend on what herbs I have in the house. It is delicious either way!
500g beetroot
1 garlic clove peeled mashed and crushed
2 tbsp mint, 4 tbsp coriander stalks and leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 tbsp Greek style natural yoghurt
1 tbsp pf balsamic vinegar – any good balsamic will do
1 tbsp of spice mix (your favourite garam masala mix)

Coriander and Pistachio raita
(enough For 1)
1 tbsp each of chopped fresh coriander, chives and mint
1 small red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp nigella (black onion) seeds
1 tbsp shelled raw pistachios roughly chopped
150g greek yoghurt- I use glenisk

Mix everything together and season generously with black pepper and a little salt.
If you are doing this to being into work for lunch, keep your nuts separate until ready to eat to ensure maximum crunch!..