Sketching out a rough meal plan for a few days in advance can help you see where a little bit of judicious planning can provide the basis of a lunch the next day. With busy lives, lunch is often a lighter meal so it’s worth asking yourself if just by cooking a little more of your planned evening meal could it provide you with a simple lunch the next day?
For example rice (plain or flavoured), pasta and other grains such as bulgur wheat, couscous or even simple boiled potatoes make a great leftover lunch, because just small amounts of fresh herbs, salad leaves and salad vegetables, and perhaps a zingy dressing, can turn it into a very different lunchtime meal to the one you cooked the night before.
Even a few spoonfuls of a robust meat casserole or stew can be whizzed up using a stick blender and some added stock to make a lovely but lighter meat soup. The same can be done with leftover veg, whether boiled or roasted, either will do. It’s so much quicker and easier than making it from scratch – all the work has been done the day before and it’s so much cheaper than buying it either fresh or in a tin.
If you have a little more time, pastry gives leftovers a new lease of life, makes them go a little further as well as providing an easy way to transport them to work or school. Quiches or our leftover Sunday roast pasties are a good example. And these can be frozen individually or in slices, ready for when you need to grab a quick lunch and haven’t got time to make sandwiches.