Now that Edinburgh’s gloomy winter days are on their way out, it is time to revisit that good old student staple: the packed lunch. For some, the mention of packed lunches may conjure up images of slightly squashed tuna sandwiches eaten hurriedly in the school playground. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
With a little effort, it is possible to create a lunchtime delight worthy of the likes of Marks and Spencer or Pret A Manger. Hopefully you will find something here to take your fancy. If the weather holds out, you could even try eating your packed lunch as a picnic in George Square Garden or on the Meadows.
Crudités and hummus: Crunchy food might not be most people’s idea of suitable library scran due to the amount of noise it can generate, but as food is not allowed in silent study areas, it should not be a problem. Mix it up a little by trying red pepper hummus rather than plain chickpea.
Chicken salad sandwich: A classic, and rightly so. Spread some granary bread with a little mayonnaise and top with grilled chicken, lettuce, cucumber and tomato. You can vary this option a little by changing how you season the chicken before it is cooked.
Ploughman’s lunch: If it can fuel a farmer, it is good enough to get you through your essay. Pop some cheddar cheese, ham, pickle or chutney, crusty bread, and an apple in your lunch box and enjoy an old favourite. If you are feeling adventurous, replace the ham and crusty bread with a pork pie.
Italian pasta salad: A taste of the Mediterranean in the middle of Edinburgh. Chop up some tomatoes, peppers and onions, and roast until caramelised. Cook your favourite pasta and mix it all together with some pesto. If you are not a pesto fan, try pasta primavera instead, with spring vegetables in a creamy garlic and herb sauce.
Chicken and avocado wrap: A foodies’ favourite, and healthy with it. Mash some avocado, spread it on a wholemeal wrap and top with grilled chicken. Again, feel free to experiment with alternative seasoning.
[Image: Flickr @ Lisa the Waitress]