I am big on making and taking my own lunch for work. When I’m having a busy day, one of the last things I want to do is spend my lunch hour standing in a queue to buy an overly expensive and less than appealing salad or sandwich which will most likely make me feel lethargic all afternoon.
(Like my apple-shaped chopping board? You can get your own from John Lewis by clicking HERE)
I’m also keen on not making too much work for myself with regard to lunch prep, so I like making up a few lunch boxes at the same time so I’ve got some easy grab-and-go lunches for the week ahead. These beetroot, feta and lentil lunch boxes are one of my favourites for work - they are healthy, nutritious and filling but don’t send me to sleep at my desk. I like making this salad on a Sunday evening and chucking it in a few boxes with some extra lunchy bits and voilà! Lunch is sorted for the week.
This beetroot, feta and lentil salad is very versatile and can be paired with a variety of different lunchy bits to make a tasty lunch bowl at home or a healthy and filling work lunch box. For this particular recipe I’ve paired my beetroot, feta and lentil salad with some Mediterranean-style falafel (which I bought from Aldi rather than make from scratch), a light rocket, tomato and cucumber salad, sliced avocado and some soured cream and chive dip (because dip = life), but here are a few other things you could pair your salad with:
Easy-peasy option: Toasted pitta bread (or other bread of your choice), sliced in half and spread with smashed avocado or hummus if you’re not an avo fan.
A little more effort: A light tomato, cucumber and green leaf salad and a slice of savoury tart or quiche.
For more dedicated lunch-preppers: Cooked and sliced spicy chicken breast or homemade sweet potato falafel (which you can find a recipe for HERE) with tzatziki dressing.
Specialist Utensils: Medium-large sized bowl to assemble the salad in (e.g. a salad or pasta bowl would work well).
Top Tip: Not a big fan of feta cheese? Try making this salad with crumbly goat’s cheese or crumbly ricotta cheese instead. Struggling to find seed mix or can’t eat certain seeds? You could use crumbled walnuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkins seeds on their own instead or leave them out entirely.
Makes: Approx. 3-4 lunch bowls or boxes, dependent on your appetite and what you choose to pair your beetroot, feta and lentil salad with (if anything).
Beetroot, Feta & Lentil Salad
100g dried green lentils (you could use one tin of cooked green lentils instead though I will say that I find this salad is nicer with dried lentils)
100g pickled or cooked beetroot (dependent on your preference)
100g feta cheese
25g mixed seed mix (I use a ready-made mix of sunflower, pumpkin, golden linseed and sesame seeds)
5g / small handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Small pack of falafel (I used a 300g / 9 piece pack to make 4 lunches)
Small bag of rocket
Small pack of cherry or baby plum tomatoes
1 large or 2 small avocados
Small pot of soured cream and chive dip (or dip / sauce of your choice)
A drizzle of olive oil
1. Place your dried green lentils in a pan and cover generously with cold water. Cook according to the instructions on the packet. If there are no instructions, bring the pan to the boil and allow to boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to a simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender. I usually cook my lentils while I am making dinner so I can keep an eye on them while I do other things. *If you are using cooked tinned lentils, drain and rinse the lentils well under cold water using a sieve or colander, before setting aside to dry.
2. When the lentils are cooked, drain and rinse the lentils well under cold water using a sieve or colander, before setting aside to dry. Pat dry with kitchen roll if you want to assemble the salad straight away.
3. Tip your cooked lentils into a medium-large sized bowl. Chop the feta cheese and beetroot into small cubes and add to the bowl. Finely chop the mint leaves and add to the bowl, and then give the salad a good stir before seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
4. Time to assemble your lunch bowls / boxes! Add a couple of tablespoons of the beetroot, feta and lentil salad to each lunch bowl or box. Then add 2-3 pieces of falafel, a small handful of rocket, some chopped tomatoes, cucumber and avocado to each bowl or box. Finally, add a dollop of soured cream and chive dip, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
5. Eat straight away or pop your prepared boxes in the fridge for easy grab-and-go lunches for the week ahead.