This summer I’m embarking on a journey. A journey filled with tupperware boxes, salad leaves, fruits, vegetables, spices and colour. It’s about making lunch less about unoriginal sandwiches and more about colourful moments in the middle of the day that are to be looked forward to. It’s about making those packed lunches of mine (and hopefully yours) more exciting.
For this particular lunch I was also a way of indulging my new-found love of avocados. It was something that could be eaten relatively mess-free, grabbing forkfuls between meetings, answering emails and rounds of MarioKart (clearly the latter being the most important). But also something that was more exciting than just some ham and cheese between a couple of slices of bread that got squished in my bag.
The best part was that I had all the ingredients in the kitchen anyway, so it was a case of just throwing it together when dinner was in the oven the previous night. Tearing up some cooked ham, slicing up an avocado, throwing in a handful of couscous and slicing the peppers I hadn’t used in my dinner into more salad-like chunks. It was pretty much all leftovers turned into something a bit more exciting; even the oil was leftovers, coming as it did from the jar of sun dried tomatoes in my fridge.
Ham and Avocado Salad
This lunch was created using the things that were in my fridge at the time, so it’s an original to The Usual Saucepans. It makes enough to have lunch for one and for that one not to be getting the munchies again about half three.
1 small avocado
2 tbsp couscous
1 tsp olive oil
2/3 of a pepper
salt and pepper to season
1 squeeze of lime juice
Start by preparing your toppings. Peel and deseed your avocado, then slice it into chunks. Chop the pepper (or peppers, if you’re using bits of different colours) into something that’s roughly ‘two bites’ in size. Using your fingers, take your ham and tear it up, using the natural grain of the meat to determine where it rips, into small chunks.
Put the couscous into the base of the box you’re going to be using and pour some water in on top. You don’t want to cover the couscous, like you would if making normally, more just enough to fill up the gaps between the grains. Put the ham, avocado and peppers in on top, season generously and pour the oil in on the top. Put the lid on your box and leave in the fridge over night.
Ten minutes before you want to eat your lunch, take it out of your work fridge and add two more tablespoons of water in to make sure the couscous it fully hydrated. When you’re ready to chow down, take a fork and mix it all up together. Munch away to your heart’s content.