Who says there no such thing as a free lunch?
One of the most common questions I get asked in group is what can we have for lunch? Some members really do struggle with what to take to work. It will depend on what facilitates you've got, but check out this list of ideas below! If you've got any more please feel to add them to this post. Also please feel free to share this link if you think it might help any of your lovely slimming world friendsHappy Fopping guys xxSushi. A lot of supermarkets sell low syn versions.Subway salads. Syn free if having lean meat and no dressing, or syn the dressing.Sainsburys spicy pasta. This is a tin and only 1 syn! Add some superfree salad and you're sorted in minutes.Morrisins ravioli savers range. Again a handy tin. Syn free!Cous cous. Plain is free, always check flavoured ones eg the ainsley harriot rangeMug shots. Less than 1% fat are usually free. Double checkKidney beans in chilli sauce. Fab for adding to soups or add to cooked pasta or use as a jacket potato topping.Quinoa. Lovely mixed in with a salad.Quorn deli pieces, tikka or roast. I love these and syn free.Mattersons chicken Fridge raiders. Syns vary on what size bag you buy. The roast are 2.5 for a 60g bag. Other flavours vary.Ainsley harriot Szechuan rice is syn free!Marks and spencer Vietnamese style marinated pork salad bites in mooli ribbons with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. There's a tuna one too. Lovely and only 2 syns.Some healthy range microwave meals are also low syn.Here's some ideas from my lovely members:-My favourite lunch at the moment is leftover Pulled Pork (warmed up) on a huge salad. It is divine!!! My emergency lunch is a mug shot with 2 boiled eggs and ham thrown in and then lots of fruit! (Leftovers is such a fab idea!! Make extra dinner and heat up at work)The best lunch is leftovers from dinner-it's hassle-free as you're making dinner the night before, and you know you're securing chances of having a healthy one based on that! Alternatively, jacket potato with a different filling each day!Cold pasta with Turkey or ham with a sliced egg, a huge salad and balsamic vinegar as the dressing.At work a large salad with lean meat a mug shot for warmth and a yoghurt I would also take friut to snack onI have jacket potato and baked beans a lot, boots shaper Moroccan chicken couscous salad is 2 syns so have had that occasionally when out and about and have to buy from a shop. A friend at work on SW makes a tomato pasta sauce then takes in ready cooked pasta and prawns which she runs under our hot water tap, heats the sauce and has that, it always looks tasty and fresh.Vegetable soup = pre prepared bags (I like Aldi ones best for £1), add a chopped red chilli, veg stock then simmer for 25 mins then add dried noodles for last five mins. I sometimes add frozen petit pois too. Tastes like a wagamamas ramen soupYou can always get a jacket with beans and salad at my work! Tend to have mug shots for back up/poor days! Pasta with tuna mayo is always good as is nice cold!I had left over stuffed mushroom today. Tasted fine microwaved. Am thinking of doing a few at night and having then having them a few days in a row. Ham with an assortment of pickled veg is good if I'm in a rush and low on fresh veg.Mini quiches are good as you can make loads so they cover a few days worth of lunches.I love the Thai mugshot mixed with veggies (you could cook some the night before) and chopped up crabstick. Easily done for work.Heres some sw ideas!Spaghetti hoops on toast: Pile a tin of spaghetti hoops on top of 2 slices wholemeal toast from a 400g loaf (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice).Chicken & pasta salad: Mix bite-size cooked chicken with cooked and cooled pasta and lots of chopped salad - red onion, red pepper and spring onion taste great. Add fat-free salad dressing and herbs and mix well to coat the salad.Potato and ham frittata: Add par-boiled potatoes, chopped cooked vegetables (eg pepper, courgette and onion) and sliced ham to a non-stick frying pan. Top with beaten eggs and cook for 5 minutes, or until the base is just set. Scatter over 1 level tbsp Parmesan cheese (1½ Syns) and place under a hot grill until set and golden.Tuna & sweetcorn jacket potato: Top a huge jacket potato with tuna (canned in brine) and sweetcorn. If you fancy it add a dollop of extra light mayonnaise (1 Syn per tbsp) to the tuna mix. Enjoy with a big green salad.Flame-grilled chicken sandwich. Place a chicken breast between two sheets of clingfilm and flatten with a rolling pin. Season, spray with one calorie cooking spray and grill, turning occasionally until cooked. Place the cooked chicken breast between two slices of wholemeal bread from a 400g loaf (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice) and top with shredded lettuce, 1 tbsp salsa dip (½ Syn) and homemade coleslaw - made using grated carrot, cabbage, red onion, and fat free fromage frais.Layered salad: Tuck into a layered salad made with shredded lettuce, grated carrot, diced cucumber, sliced tomatoes, sweetcorn, 30g grated red Leicester (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and 2 level tbsp Hellmann’s Lighter Than Light Mayonnaise (½ Syn per tbsp). Swap the cheese for fresh prawns if you fancy a seafood salad.Ham minestrone soup: Add chopped onions, garlic, celery, carrots, vegetable stock and a can of chopped tomatoes to a pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in pasta, canned cannellini beans and chopped ham. Cook until the pasta is tender then serve sprinkled with parsley.Luscious lunch tipsChoosing reduced fat Cheddar means a generous 40g of cheese for a Healthy Extra portion. Grating cheese also makes it scatter further than slicing.How large is your Healthy Extra? As a visual guide, a 30g Healthy Extra portion of cheese is about the size of a small matchbox or an ice cube. Look out for the Pick & Mix cheese section next time you’re at the supermarket – most portions are between 25-30g and can be enjoyed as a Healthy Extra. Discover more ideas on getting extra from your Healthy Extras.Jacket potatoes are fab for Food Optimisers. Free fillings for spuds include baked beans, tuna & sweetcorn, low fat/virtually fat free cottage cheese, Quark skimmed milk soft cheese and prawns.For hunger satisfaction pack sandwiches with Free Food fillings, like chicken, beef, ham, tuna, prawns, salmon, sliced egg and salad and lots of salad on the side. Automatically reduce the Syns in pre-packed sandwiches by choosing wholemeal bread as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice (deducting 6 Syns from the sandwich). Check that it’s wholemeal – watch out for those delicious granary and wholegrains.Syn free saladPacking a salad for lunch is a doddle as you can fill your Tupperware box with any salad vegetables you have in the fridge – and that includes leftovers from the night before. We love cold, cooked meat, lean cooked bacon, eggs, halved cherry tomatoes, finely chopped red onion, cucumber chunks and sweetcorn in a lunchbox. Drizzle on some fat-free vinaigrette or balsamic vinegar and you’re done.Niçoise saladFor a classic Niçoise toss tuna (canned in spring water or brine) with green beans, a quartered hard-boiled egg, a chopped spring onion and cherry tomatoes. Add fat-free French style salad dressing to taste.CouscousCooked couscous is perfect for boosting your midday salad with extra filling power. Enjoy with chopped red onion, tomatoes, red peppers and coriander.QuicheA quiche packed with Superfree Foods is easy to whizz together. Mix ½ tub of fat free cottage cheese with beaten eggs and herbs. Throw into a quiche dish or individual silicon muffin moulds. Add cooked meat or seafood like ham, bacon or prawns, add potatoes and veggies and pop in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden.SandwichesMake a doorstop sandwich with two slices of wholemeal bread (from a small 400g loaf) filled with layers of fresh sliced tomato, slices of hard-boiled egg, crispy grilled bacon (with all the rind and fat trimmed off) and lettuce. It’s Free – using a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice for your bread.Many of our successful members tell us that they cook extra-large pans of food, then freeze portions for a busy day or to take to work for a speedy meal. Spaghetti Bolognese, chilli con carne and vegetable stew are just a few of our favourites. And you can’t beat the humble jacket spud – enjoy yours with:tuna (canned in spring water or brine) mixed with sweetcorn and fat free natural yogurtprawns in fat-free fromage frais, sprinkled with freshly chopped tarragonmelted Gruyere cheese (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) with chopped grilled mushrooms and fresh parsleyquark and chopped spring onionsbaked beans (with a sprinkle of chilli powder if you want to spice things up)tinned spaghetti in tomato saucelow fat/virtually fat-free cottage cheese with freshly chopped chives or fresh pineapple cubesBaked beans and coleslawMix shredded white cabbage, grated carrot and sliced red onion with a level tablespoon of extra light mayo (1 Syn) and the juice of half a lime. Season to taste. Serve with baked beans – with a spoonful of smoked paprika for extra oomph!Garlic mushroom jacketsJazz up your jackets with some garlicky mushroom magic. Transform the simple and understated spud into a sensationally stylish supper.Prawns with Marie Rose sauceMix a few tablespoons of fat-free natural yogurt with some ketchup (1 Syn per level tablespoon), a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add as many cooked prawns as you like and stir well.Pizza-styleMix together two chopped tomatoes, two sliced spring onions and your favourite Free pizza toppings – mushrooms, peppers, and cooked ham or skinless chicken all work well. Scatter over diced mozzarella cheese (45g is a Healthy Extra 'a' choice) and grill for a few minutes to melt.Smokey bacon and tomatoThis bacon and tomato topping is full of flavour and goes perfectly with fluffy potato.Twice-bakedScoop out the flesh of a baked potato and mix with chopped chives or spring onions, fat-free cottage cheese and diced lean ham or smoked bacon. Spoon the mixture back into the potato skin, sprinkle over reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (40g is a Healthy Extra 'a' choice) and grill until golden.RatatouilleEnliven a jacket spud with a generous topping of tasty home-made ratatouille and enjoy it either as a snack or a light lunch served with a salad.Chicken and garlic mayoMix a little garlic salt or a small crushed garlic clove with fat-free natural yogurt or cottage cheese and extra light mayo (1 Syn per level tablespoon). Stir in chopped cooked skinless chicken breast and your favourite Free veggies (mushrooms, sweetcorn, cucumber and peppers all work well), then pile onto your potato!ChilliCook up a spicy beef or veggie chilli that your family will love - only you need to know that it's completely Free. Serve with jacket spud and transform an ordinary supper into something sensational. If you have a microwave handy at lunchtime, take advantage of the hundreds of Free canned and chilled foods available. There are dozens of delicious soups that are Healthy Extra 'b' choices... Take a look at the Healthy Extra pages for details.Snack ideasGot the nibbles? Don’t reach for the biccies, there are plenty of Free Foods and Healthy Extras to enjoy on the go. We love…Ryvita (enjoy 4 Original Ryvita as your Healthy extra ‘b’ choice) topped with 4 Dairylea Light Triangles (Healthy Extra 'a') and chopped vegetables make a filling snack.A bag of Ryvita Minis (all flavours are a Healthy extra ‘b’ choice) make super scoopers for dips.Having a bag armed with fruit or a big fruit salad is hard to beat when a snack attack strikes – all Superfree! We also love no added sugar jelly pots – only ½ Syn each!Hopefully that gives you lots of ideas!! Don't forget you've got the website, recipe books and the best place for ideas, image therapy xx